When I'm asked to single out the one element that needs to be improved the most to promote Italian startups in an international context, I have no doubts.
It's not the lack of innovative projects, nor the right teams nor the lack of funds invested in startups in Italy. It is the lack of engaging presentation skills!
If there's something that we Italians have to deliberately work on is the ability to sell our projects at their best.
The vast majority of startups that I see presenting, after having studied their business plan, tend to highly under-sell what they have.
What is even more concerning is the general lack of awareness that this is the area where the CEOs have to work the most, way more than the financials or their marketing strategy!
Thus, we are planning to provide as much mentoring as possible on this topic for both our GYM startups and finalists of the business plan competition.
A few days ago we provided the first Communication Skills module. The GYM startups had the chance to interact with a real guru on the subject: Elisabetta Ghisini, ex McKinsey, then Stanford Business School communication instructor and founder of Verba-International.
She provided a 3hr workshop, followed by 1:1 sessions with every startup.
The videos of the workshop follow, and here's the presentation (PDF) (thanks Elisabetta!).