Every business needs capital sooner or later. If you’re an entrepreneur seeking early stage funding the reality is that most investors will want to hear about your company directly from you. Will you be ready to tell them about your new venture? Do you know what to say (and know what investors want to hear)?


Experts Jeff Milanette, from Innovative Partners Incubation, and Mamadou Gueye, from Teranga Capital will lead you through the basics of making a funding pitch.

We’ll talk about:

  • What a funding pitch is all about
  • What the structure of your pitch should be
  • What to present in your slides (and what NOT to include)
  • What investors expect from the companies they invest in
  • Topics to cover when giving a funding pitch
  • How to get that first meeting with an investor

We’ll also discuss these topics:

  • The kind of funding your business requires
  • Other kinds of funding opportunities that may be possible, and how to take advantage of them

We now solicit for interested entrepreneurs to fill out the attached application and submit a pitch to be given on Tuesday 6 March 2018. This workshop and competition will be a chance to see how professionals judge a pitch and learn from their advice and counsel given to the competitors by the hosts.

All are welcome. If you’re seeking funding, this is a great opportunity to learn – even if you aren’t a presenter.

Coaching on how the pitch might be improved or made more compelling will be given by the panel members. The top three presenters will receive special recognition during the Conference on 8 November.

Here Are the Rules:  

Pitches – should be no more than seven minutes in length (max. of 10 slides) and given by the CEO or MD of the organization.

Pitch presentations will be submitted to the judges by close of business on 20 February (two weeks before the Workshop). E-mail to:


Up to seven finalists will be selected to make their presentations and each presenter will receive constructive comments intended to help them make a better presentation.

The list of presenters will be announced on 27 March and selected presenters will be notified by e-mail.  

Act now to submit your presentation and take part in this informative and insightful event.

Applying to be a Presenter at the AAIN Pre-Conference Event

We encourage you to attend this event if for no other reason than to be part of a competition, and learn from the experiences of others who do make a pitch. The important thing is to understand that most businesses require capital in order to grow. Regardless of the investment source, eventually, the entrepreneur will have to pitch his / her endeavor to someone — the loan officer at the bank, a wealthy relative, an angel investor, etc. This event is intended to help you become a better presenter and have a better chance to obtain the support of an investor of any kind.

To apply to make a pitch, follow these instructions:

  1. Design and construct your pitch
  2. E-mail it to jeffm@innovativepartners.com. Make sure you include your name, name of organization, contact information (mobile / e-mail).  
  3. You will receive an e-mail from us acknowledging our receipt, and if you are selected, designating you as a presenter in the competition on 6 March.
  4. Practice the pitch, remembering to keep it short, and simple (no more than ten slides, no longer than seven minutes to present).
  5. We will be in contact with you before the event to confirm your participation and ask for any clarifications, and give you the exact address of the venue at Cheikh Anta Diop University (site of the Conference).
  6. Review the materials cited below to help you prepare.

What the Experts Say about Making a Pitch

Here are some thoughts from the experts on constructing a Pitch Presentation:

  1. Think about what Matthew Pollard, a pitching expert who has worked with Google says in the interview presented on this website:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5561wYE4VYM. He discusses five things entrepreneurs need to do when describing their product/service to an investor.
  2. Guy Kawasaki of Garage Ventures, is a world renown investor, entrepreneur and adviser who has a “10-20-30 Rule” for making a pitch. Although the rule as applied is for making a full length pitch, the elements of how a pitch is structured are very important. Here is his explanation:  https://guykawasaki.com/the-only-10-slides-you-need-in-your-pitch/
  3. David Rose is one of the best known angel investors in the world. He makes a great case for doing an investment pitch (usually about 15 minutes in length for an angel investor, 30 minutes for a venture investor) comprised of about 10 slides. He points out that the entrepreneur’s integrity, passion and experience are key ingredients in a great presentation. See David’s program here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzDBrMisLm0
  4. One final example is the Sequoia Capital outline for a pitch presentation. Sequoia is one of the oldest, largest, and most successful venture capital investors in the world. If you’d like to see what their pitch deck looks like, go to this web page on SlideShare.com:  https://www.slideshare.net/PitchDeckCoach/sequoia-capital-pitchdecktemplate

About the Instructors

Jeff Milanette and Mamadou Gueye are highly experienced experts in their fields who are sharing their knowledge and expertise with the participants to help them become better presenters. Their bios appear below.

Jeff Milanette

From December 2013 until May 2015, IPI President Jeff Milanette was the founding CEO of the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (www.ethiopiacic.org) assisting clean and green technology entrepreneurs in commercializing their technology innovations. Prior to Jeff’s assignment in Ethiopia, the Port of Los Angeles contracted with IPI (2009-2013) to start-up and manage PortTech Los Angeles (www.PortTechLA.org) a clean and green technology incubator focused on the commercialization of technologies with maritime environmental applications intended to make operations at the Port more energy efficient while reducing carbon emissions. Jeff Milanette has also been the president of three startup companies including SpeakEZ, Inc., which commercialized university spin-off technology in speaker identification into a successful commercial telephony product which was acquired by a publicly-held company. In the late 1990’s, he served as CFO of a start-up woman-owned internet services company which raised about $2M in debt and equity financing from angels, and other informal investors.  Between 1995 and 2000, he was also a partner in a small investment banking firm that invested in small enterprises in the U.S. Most recently, Jeff has written business incubator manager curriculum in investment readiness for the infoDev incubator manager training course, in addition to managing the project for contractor J.E. Austin and Associates. Jeff is a Board member of the InterNational Business Innovation Association (InBIA).

Contact:  jeffm@innovativepartners.com

Mamadou Gueye

Mamadou is the Investment Manager at Teranga Capital, responsible for originating and closing deals, and portfolio management of the many companies in which Teranga has invested since it was formed in 2016. Therefore, he has extensive experience evaluating investment opportunities, and a comprehensive understanding of the underlying factors that influence the growth of a young company.


Prior to joining Teranga Capital, Mamadou worked for two years as the Financial Advisor to the CEO of the African Biofuel and Renewable Energy Company (ABREC), an international organization whose members are African States that are fostering green economies throughout Africa. Since its funding five years ago, ABREC has emerged as a force for sustainable development with projects such as the funding of the $200M African Renewable Energy Fund and the management of the $60M PRODERE Program of the West African Monetary Union Commission. From 2012 to 2015, Mamadou was Head of Secondary Market and Trading as a financial analyst in the financial services firm CGF Bourse where he raised funds for corporate and private institutions, structured Islamic Bonds, Conducted a Road Show for government bond issues, did financial modelling and related services for companies seeking financing, and raised more than 180B CFA Francs across regional markets in West Africa.


Mamadou’s earlier work experiences included being an Analyst and Auditor for the chartered accounting firm Bureau Immel & Associes, in Morocco, and also for Cabinet Milo Conseil in Paris, where he conducted due diligence, analyzed business profitability indicators, and advised clients regarding sources of funding, working capital and product life cycles.

Mamadou earned an MBA in finance from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff, and a post graduate certificate in finance and management control as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the High Institute of Applied Computer Science in Agadir, Morocco.


Contact information:


About Innovative Partners Incubation

IPI has been a leader in business incubation since its inception  and has been the lead or support consulting company in over thirty business incubation and entrepreneurship-related projects. We form expert teams to meet the requirements of a contract and therefore have worked with a variety of independent consultants throughout our operating history. Formed in 1986, the company specializes in incubation program development and assisting entrepreneurs in obtaining the skills required to successfully finance their companies. Accomplishments include development of Rutgers University’s Business Innovation Center, the National Environmental Technology (NET) Incubator at Central State University, the New Jersey City University Business Development Incubator, PortTech Los Angeles (PortTechLA) and several others. Our work has also included projects for the World Bank’s infoDev organization, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), UNIDO, and the US Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) as well as conducting numerous incubator feasibility studies for institutions and other public sector organizations. While we have worked with some of the most advanced new technologies, we also specialize in frontier markets helping those at the “bottom of the pyramid” to accomplish their business goals.

The corporate philosophy of IPI is to use our technical skills to transfer our knowledge of business and finance to entrepreneurs. For seventeen years IPI managed the New Jersey Entrepreneurs Forum and conducted monthly training in financing a company, meeting the expectations of investors, designing financing programs to help entrepreneurs find funding, and learning how to interact in their local ecosystem. We look forward to applying what we have learned in the service of our clients. We draw on a large group of experienced professionals and promise our clients that our team will be technically qualified for the project. We look forward to an opportunity to share our experiences with your entrepreneurs.

For more information: www.innovativepartners.com

About Teranga Capital

Teranga Capital is an impact investment company dedicated to the financing and support of small businesses with high growth potential in Senegal. Its objective is to provide an innovative solution to meet the financing needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), between 50 million and 300 million CFA throughout a mix opf equity and debt.


Teranga Capital targets SMEs with high growth potential from all sectors and regions of Senegal. It provides equity and becomes a minority shareholder of SMEs over a time horizon of around 5 years, and ensures active and personalized support according to the specific needs of each company in the portfolio. Investee companies are supported in formalizing their management, strengthening their organization, increasing their skills and accelerating their commercial development.


Teranga Capital is strongly anchored in Senegal and has raised capital of 4 billion CFA francs from renowned investors: Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), Senegal’s Strategic Sovereign Fund (FONSIS), SONATEL, ASKIA Insurance and several individual Senegalese investors.


For more information: www.terangacapital.com


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