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Investor Pitch Advice from Nicole Verkindt, CBC Dragon

In early September I reached out to Nicole Verkindt, President and Founder of theomx.com to see her experience promoting her business, using social media and interacting with entrepreneurs. The timing of it couldn’t have been better. I have been selected to pitch Brett Wilson live at the Wilson Centre’s #PitchParty 2016. I asked her the following questions. Her articulate response gave me lots to think about and will certainly influence my own online strategies, along with my pitch.

1. Before you were on CBC's Next Gen Den, how many LinkedIn connections did you have? Did the number of connections increase from being on the show?

2. Do particular events or platforms increase website traffic to theomx? Examples: Speaking events, dates particular shows are aired, social media announcements. 

3. Any advice for entrepreneurs on how NOT to contact investors? Example: Messaging VCs through their personal Facebook profile.

4. Have you done business with anyone that you have met on LinkedIn?

Nicole’s response:

"There is no "right" or "wrong" way to connect with potential investors, partners or clients. I think the critical part is figuring your value proposition and why what you are proposing is good for them. Put yourself in their shoes and try to ask specifically why they would care and what proposal from you would help them. Then it is important to narrow the messaging or ask to specifically address why someone would care. My perspective is that it doesn’t really matter if you have a lot of Linkedin connections or even website traffic. Volume is not always correlated to follow through/success, so it shouldn't therefore be the focus. Yes, the volume of contacts and leads I had coming to me increased with some of the tv work and speaking engagements that I did or events OMX attended, but our focus is and always will be to narrow in on why it matters to a particular stakeholder."

How am I going to use this advice?

The #PitchParty is a great opportunity for us to profile our business. After reading her response, I realized the value proposition in my pitch was tailored to our end customers but not necessarily towards investor objectives. A number of investors have expressed interest in our company lately and her advice gave me a fresh perspective. It doesn’t matter how many contacts a person has. Following through and focusing on measurable attributes are the most important qualities to consider when inviting someone on the bus.

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