Tech City UK Blog

Since our IOT Launchpad briefing event, there’s been a lot of talk from startups about possibly applying for the Technology Strategy Board’s Launchpad 2 funding. It seems that some people are deterred by the application process and in particular, the video entry.

With the recent surge in crowdfunding campaigns with more and more competitions like this including a video component, mastering the art of filming a good pitch is something we all have to face sooner rather than later.

It doesn’t need to be complicated, scary or expensive to produce a video. Here are our top five tips to help you get your entry in on time.

We’ve included some examples from different Technology Strategy Board competitions to give you some guidance.

1. Narrative

The beginning is your chance to get the viewer hooked. Think about the wider implications of your product/project and the problem you are solving.

For example:
“No one uses their phones at festivals: batteries die, there’s rarely any place to charge them and everyone turns their GPS off. Therefore, the opportunity to build apps and communicate with the festival goer crowd is minimal – that’s why we built this amazing product!”

Follow this link to see an example of a successful applicant who uses narrative well in his opening.

Once you’ve addressed the opening, you need to explain in more detail:

· Your approach / solution

· Why your project is innovative

· How your project will be commercialised and what impact it could have

· Why the Technology Strategy Board funding is needed

· Your relationship to the Cambridge / London IOT cluster

2. The camera doesn’t matter

It really doesn’t matter. Really. You can use your phone, a DSLR, a Red Dragon: it doesn’t matter. Fancy angles don’t add value to your pitch. Another successful entry to a different Technology Strategy Board competition proves this point for us. He tells the story and communicates the idea, with no crash zooms or dolly pans included.

3. Filming computer / projector screens

Inevitably, you’ll want to include some shots of your computer showing the fancy software component to your project. This is fine, however, phone cameras will make the image appear flickery and full of lines. See this example of another successful entry.

Most cameras, no matter how fancy and expensive, will also do this to images of screens, so changing framerate can help depending on what the screen is showing. The easiest way around this is to use screen capturing software which is cheap and readily available, such as ScreenFlow.

4. Sometimes saying less is more

This brings us back to point one – narrative. Sometimes, you don’t need to use a heavily worked on script. Using visual storytelling is a great way to get your message across, or using kinetic typography rather than voice over. Check out this animated video – another successful entry for a different Technology Strategy Board competition.

5. Take a deep breath and keep your feet still

Ultimately, these are the only two things you need to do. Try not to fidget and make sure you’re audible. Anything else is a bonus. This isn’t going to be a video that you can repurpose as you have to address specific questions related to Launchpad 2. Therefore, there’s no point in investing thousands of pounds in high-end video production. You can however, have some fun – for example use online video editing software (eg. WeVideo)! 

Here are some other entries to different Technology Strategy Board competitions to demonstrate the diversity of entries they’re used to.

The Project Factory:       http://youtu.be/XB55wrGrzXU

Chromatrope:                   https://vimeo.com/87279655

Temptster:                         http://youtu.be/Bu65ui54ZNQ

Peter Balman:                   https://vimeo.com/94067983

You’ll need to get your entry in by 3rd September. Good luck!