Five tips for pitching to investors with Alex Houseman

Alex Houseman, Founder of Over the Moo, pitched to Shark Tank Australia and won (kind of).

On Tuesday night’s episode of Shark Tank, our top expert, Alex Houseman pitched for $250,000 for an 8% equity stake in his vegan ice-cream business, Over the Moo.

His completely dairy-free, gluten-free ice-cream was an absolute knock-out with the sharks, with them all initially wanting in on the business.

“The product is great, I really like you, and you’ve got that determination I really look for in a partner.” Janine Allis said.

But some questions about intellectual property rights meant that sharks, Steve Baxter and Janine Allis, withdrew their offers and Glen Richards, founder of pet-care company Greencross, had the last remaining offer of $250,000 for a 40% equity stake, which Alex declined.

Since filming completed, Over the Moo has tripled it’s revenue and is now stocked in 500 Woolworths, as well as in 1,000 local supermarkets including IGA and FoodWorks.

Alex didn’t walk away with a deal, but he also didn’t give away equity in his business for less than what he wanted, and the experience of pitching on national television taught him some valuable lessons.

We caught up with Alex to see whether the reality of appearing on Australia’s most high-profile pitch night lived up to expectations.

What made you go onto Shark Tank rather than find a private investor?

Shark Tank is the ultimate investor pitch and it’s a great way to perfect your content and delivery. The main aim is to get a deal, but you also get feedback, experience and exposure for the brand through TV.

Do you wish you’d done anything differently? Or did everything go according to plan?

The whole experience was a whirlwind and so it’s tough for everything to come off seamlessly. It was pretty hard to stay calm and clear headed in the Tank. The Sharks are throwing different numbers and valuations around and mental arithmetic and decision-making on the spot was difficult. Plus the added pressure of television lights and cameras capturing your every move.

What was the most valuable thing you learnt being on Shark Tank?

My no.1 piece of advice for anyone thinking of going on Shark Tank is ‘Back yourself’. Investors want to put money behind entrepreneurs who they believe in. You’re the authority on your product so it’s important to communicate that.

Based on what you’ve learnt being on Shark Tank, what are your top 5 tips for pitching to investors?

1. Make your pitch crystal clear. If you can’t explain your product or business model quickly and easily then you’ve got a big problem.

2. Know your numbers. It’s easy to get flustered, when you are in a pressure situation, so the better you know the financials, the less likely you are to fudge them.

3. Think about your audience. Investors are interested to hear your brand story and why you started but ultimately for them it’s a business decision so put the business proposition front and center.

4. Make your pitch concise. Don’t cram as much as you possibly can into your pitch. It’s better to be clear and maintain a good pace, then talk at 100 miles an hour.

5. Sell yourself. A good product or business idea is only 50% of the pitch. You’re the one who is going to execute so investors need to be convinced that you’ve got the goods.

Who was your favourite shark?

Andrew Banks is a big favourite of mine.

Who was the most hard-ball shark?

Steve Baxter.

 

Alex Houseman, and other top experts are available to provide you with personalised over-the-phone advice about your busines.

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