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How To Deliver A Good Pitch

We, the Open Data and Innovation team, have hosted many innovation challenges over the last few years, and have seen some great pitches. We are often asked what makes a good pitch. After all, you have only five minutes to explain your product and convince the judges that your product or idea is the most compelling. Here are our top tips to help you deliver an effective pitch.

1. Introduce yourself
Tell us who you are and what you have done lately to give the judges context. Bring some personality along too - it doesn’t all have to be serious! Make sure you keep it brief, though, as you want to spend more time talking about your product.

2. Explain precisely what your product or idea does
We are looking for innovative ideas and products. Be specific about how your product or idea solves the problem statement that is outlined in the innovation challenge. For example, if our innovation challenge is about reducing congestion in a local area and promoting bike riding, for example, how will your product do this and what are your plans to make this work? Take the judges on a journey and tell a story about how your product will work for the average customer and how it makes their life easier. We recommend you attend the innovation challenge information session (when available), as it’s an opportunity for you to understand the problem statement in detail and ask questions to the panel of experts. 

3. How will you commercially sustain your product?
Although there may be seed funding provided in our Innovation Challenges to kick start your product or service, how will you sustain your product in the long term? What business or revenue model will you be applying so it is economically viable? Feel free to provide examples of how other similar revenue models have worked so that it is crystal clear to everyone in the room. Make sure that model works for you too. It’s tempting to be optimistic on what the running costs will be, but you need to factor in costs for providing customer support and providing regular updates to your product so it stays relevant in the market and its performance remains optimal.

4. How is your product unique in the market?
There may be similar products in the market to yours, but what makes your product different to competing products? What are you offering that we must have? Name your competitors and any gaps in the market. How will your product or idea fill in those gaps? What technology are you using that is different and will benefit the customer?

5. Privacy and security of data
Transport for NSW takes privacy and security for their customers seriously, so if the solution requires personal details from the customer, ensure they are safe. There are some privacy and security requirements that TfNSW require the incubatee to adhere to. 

6. Be prepared for questions
Usually, there will be time allocated for the judges to ask questions so that they are able to understand your product offering and how it applies to the innovation challenge. Be well prepared for any follow-up questions from the panel of judges. Know your product and its features, and what you’re willing to undertake to see your product succeed Be realistic on what future features you may want to include (if any).

7. Pitch Deck
Prepare a pitch deck! It makes it easier for the judges to understand your pitch. We can only accept PowerPoint or PDF and will ask for your pitch deck a couple of days in advance. We also will be converting your PowerPoint into PDF, so be aware that any animation contained in your deck will not work. Ensure your deck is readable with clear font, and do not cover each slide with text for judges to read. Pictures and audio are a great way to engage the audience and helps you focus on key points throughout your pitch.

8. Keep to time
Be early to your pitch slot, and keep to the time allocated. There is usually a short brief prior to the start of your pitch during which we will brief you more on the judges and the flow of the pitch. We do not allow any time extension for the pitch duration, so please take this into consideration, especially if you want to demo your product. You want to pace through your pitch so you’re not cut short when your time ends, so be concise. Everyone loves to talk about how awesome their product is, but it’s also about storytelling, so there needs to be a beginning, middle and end. 

You can stay updated on our events through our Innovation Challenges page on the Open Data Hub. Or, if you have an idea that benefits Transport for NSW customers, you can submit an idea at Transport PitchFest