The landscape for scientists is changing, in the current funding environment scientists are increasingly required to look for funding and partnerships outside the conventional framework to enable them to continue with their research. Developing skills to communicate your ideas beyond your own industry is now more essential than ever for both emerging and established scientists.
WiSPP and NAB have collaborated to provide an opportunity for WiSPP researchers to pitch their research ideas both in 180s video form and live at our shark tank competition on the 17th October. The Perfect Pitch competition brings together a panel of judges from across a range of sectors including media, philanthropy, biotechnology and business.
Who is WiSPP? Women in Science Parkville Precinct (WiSPP) is a collaborative effort to boost the numbers of women in science leadership.
You are a WISPP researcher if you work at:
The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
The Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
This competition is open to students & employees up to 15 years from PhD completion (career interruptions considered), of any gender, of the five WiSPP member institutes.
You never know when you might need to pitch your research to a potential supporter. Imagine you’re at a function. A world renowned investor walks in and stands next to you. There are many people vying for her attention and you have a brief window to impress her – one hundred and eighty seconds maximum. Within this time frame, your aim is to effectively summarise your research, excite her interest and get a meeting time for further discussions about funding your research.
We are asking applicants to submit a 180 second video pitch explaining your research – the pitch should be aimed at attracting the interest of potential funders from across a range of non-academic sectors (corporate, philanthropy, and venture capital etc). You will have the opportunity of winning the people's choice award ($500) or gaining entry tickets to a shark tank competition to win our NAB travel award ($2000) and student prize ($500).
The shark tank competition will take place on the 17th of October at The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre 2.00pm -4.00pm. The finalists will be notified by the 14th of October to give them the weekend to prepare for their 180 seconds live pitch to our Judges and audience. We expect a number of people to attend this event who fit the "potential investor" description. Come along and be prepared to pitch your research for real at our afternoon tea networking session following the competition.
Producing your video:
This competition will be judged according to your ability to engage your audience with your pitch - it is not a competition about video production.
Smartphones produce quality videos and we encourage you use this easily available resource to enter the competition. The judges will be looking for engaging pitches they want to see in a live shark tank presentation - so grab your phone and get filming!
If you are interested there will also be support within each institute to develop your pitch and video. For advice about accessing your institute's technical support please contact the WiSPP Project Officer, Alice Tinning on email@example.com
Once you’ve uploaded your entry, make sure you promote it on social media. On Twitter, use the handle @WISParkville and #perfectpitchto let us know all about it!
There will be two panels of judges selected from across a range of sectors (corporate, philanthropy, media, venture capital etc).
Panel One will judge the video pitches and shortlist five for live presentation:
Krystal Evans – CEO BioMelbourne Network
Andy Gearing – Biocomm2
Shane Huntington – RRR Science Broadcaster
Paul Wood – Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS)
Grace Jin - Human Resource Manager Cisco Systems Australia
Annabella Newton -Patent & Trade Mark Attorney, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
Panel Two will judge the shark tank competition on the 17th of October.
Frank McGuire – Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research
Caitriona Fay – National Manager – Philanthropy and Non-Profit Services, Perpetual
Bridie Smith – The Age Science Reporter
Shane Huntington – RRR Science Broadcaster
Shannon Lyndon-Lugg - GM, People for Business. Banking
Tim Fawcett , Director of Corporate Affairs Cisco Systems Australia
A Peoples’ Choice award will be conducted using the thinkable voting system.
Conditions of entry:
As the submitter of the video, you must be the copyright owner of all content or have permission from the creator to use their content. Credit for content that you do not own must be provided. All entries that breach this rule will be disqualified and removed from the website. By submitting an entry you are consenting to your video being promoted by WiSPP across different platforms. Your video may remain available on thinkable.org after the competition has concluded and it may be used in subsequent promotions for WiSPP.
I need help preparing my video!
Contact WiSPP Project Officer, Alice Tinning for advice on resources you can access in your institute:
I need help preparing my pitch!
How do you interest an investor or a philanthropist in funding your research? The Perfect Pitch will help to get you there. It is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in your project, an idea, a product – or in yourself. It is an ice breaker that will invite interest and leave the listener wanting more. You can google “elevator pitch” and recover hundreds of pages of information. But to be succinct, here is what you need to do.
Engage your audience – perhaps start with a question, or a statement on a problem that your audience will understand and can relate to.
Start at the end – what problem will you solve – what product will you create
Briefly – and without jargon, explain how you are approaching the problem
Point out what makes your work unique
Tell them what you need from them. Are you looking for funding support/access to expertise?
Practice – don’t use notes
And then remember all these C’s
You can read more about science–specific pitches here:
NAB/WiSPP Perfect Pitch Science Communication Award
The top video pitches as voted by our illustrious judges will gain entry to our shark tank competition. The winner of the shark tank will be awarded NAB/WiSPP Perfect Pitch Science Communication Award and receive a $2000 Travel Prize to facilitate travel to conferences, learning development or pitching opportunities
WiSPP Perfect Pitch Science Communication Student Prize
The top video pitches as voted by our illustrious judges will gain entry to our shark tank competition. The top student shark tank competitor will win the $500 Student Prize to facilitate travel to conferences, learning development or pitching opportunities.
$500 Travel Prize to facilitate travel to conferences, learning development or pitching opportunities.