23rd June 2017
The Profs is a London-based, online tuition agency that connects students, professionals and companies with a network of highly-qualified private tutors. From humble beginnings in Richard’s bedroom back in 2014, The Profs grew into a global online tutoring platform with 8 full-time employees, 400 tutors, and more than 2,000 students taking classes – all in just 30 months.
The company was Highly Commended for Start Up of the Year 2016 at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Worldpay awards and came 44th in this year’s Start Ups 100.
“Accolades like these have really helped The Profs establish itself in the UK and have really boosted the morale of our entire network – tutors and clients take us more seriously and more and more professional tutors are now applying for positions.’’
The Profs’ latest achievement is winning the best pitch at the SETsquared Partnership, where founder Richard presented the company to a panel of six renowned judges, including Linda Cheung from Enterprise M3, Brian Watson, founder of Trumpet911, and Vicenzo Roberti, Director at SUMO enterprises. The profs came out on top from a line-up of 28 other companies.
For Richard, it’s important to keep pitching:
“Each competition pitch involves sitting down for a day and looking hard at what we’ve achieved. This process of evaluation is really important for maintaining momentum in a business.”
A pitch is a conversation, not a presentation. The aim of the pitch is to get the investors interested, so they want to hear more about you. If they’re asking questions, that’s a good sign!5 Top Tips for Pitching:
- Viability. You must convince the panel that your company is solving a genuine problem and that it appeals to a big enough market – be prepared to talk them through this.
- Endorsement! Judges will want to know what other people say about your business. For us, it was our 350 online reviews which really impressed. The Profs has a full five-star rating on review websites such as TrustPilot, Facebook and Google, which shows we have gained the trust of our students and tutors.
- Risk Assessment. If you can, show that you have generated some early revenue streams. They need to trust that you are investable. Show your experience, your CV, and gain their trust.
- Clarity. Make sure you are clear what you are looking for and what is it that investors can do for you, whether this is money, connections, office space, or mentorship.
Richard graduated from the London School of Economics with a first class degree in Economics & Philosophy and it is there that he discovered his passion for tutoring. He is in charge of strategy, recruitment, PR, business development, course-creation, accounts & financials statements.