Sweeten the deal: 5 tips to ignite meaningful connections

Date

July 25, 2019

4 min read

AVPN’s Deal Share Live works hard to deliver high quality pitches and demos from Social Purpose Organisations (SPOs) covering varying markets, geographies and levels of maturity.

In curating these engagements, we are often asked what goes on behind the scenes to make them a success. Here are some insights from the team on how to create connections between resource providers and SPOs.

Shortlisting High-impact Deals

Establishing a comprehensive understanding of the SPO landscape is critical in helping us define the parameters that will be of relevance to the larger ecosystem players in Asia. From identifying the SPOs’ active markets, their financial and non-financial asks and stages of growth, these metrics will better inform the shortlisting process.

From a list of over 400 SPOs, the team reviewed and interviewed 188 SPOs to shortlist 29 SPOs from 11 countries to share their work to the audience at AVPN Conference 2019. A majority of the shortlisted SPOs are at the stage of growth where they were ready to scale beyond their current impact area and are leveraging on technological innovations to do so. For instance, Equal Reality has concrete plans to expand their virtual reality (VR) diversity and inclusion training experience into Asian markets, while Field Sight is ready to scale their digital platform for monitoring and quality assurance in post-disaster reconstruction.

Credibility is Key

Potential funders are driven by certain attributes when evaluating a deal and the credibility of the deal scores high on that checklist. In addition to having all shortlisted deals endorsed by an existing AVPN member, the team introduced the concept of a ‘Champion’ to the Deal Share Live sessions. This role is assumed by a representative who is either developing a partnership with, has previously partnered or invested in the SPO. With the Champions representing organisations from the AVPN membership network, they were well positioned to bridge the gap between funder and the SPOs through testimonials that increases the confidence of other funders and resource providers to engage with the SPOs.

Journey of the Senses (JOS), a social enterprise that aims to challenge the social stigma around people with disabilities through dining and other services, commended that the concept was very useful to their pitch as their assigned Champion, Anna from MYSC, was able to give genuine affirmation of success. Having supported them since 2017, Anna was able to relay her familiarity of JOS’ business capacity, deep understanding and passion for the industry from a funder’s experiential point of view.

Intimate Engagement Works

In the spirit of encouraging more organic connections between SPOs and delegates, we moved away from formal, often high-tension pitching sessions towards the style of a World Café that we piloted at AVPN Conference 2018. All SPOs conducted their presentations in organised clusters where delegates are free to roam, rotate and select any of the pitches they were keen to catch. The close-knit arrangement was highly preferred by the majority of the Conference participants as it made a refreshing change to the colder boardroom-style pitch so often experienced. A common sentiment expressed was that the ambience gave way for “deeper engagements” since delegates were “less afraid to speak up and discuss on the spot” amid smaller audiences. In turn,  more challenging and reflective questions were posed by delegates as well as meaningful immediate feedback can be received by the SPOs. We find that it is always important to explore creative formats to suit the objectives and maximise efficient engagements for different Deal Share Live sessions.

Resources, Resources and More Resources

The importance of human and intellectual capital to build the capacity of the SPOs is often overlooked and Deal Share aims to shed light on this through the facilitation of pre-DSL mentorship sessions, conference introductions and connections as well as sparking interactions to ensure that SPOs meet with the right people at different junctures of their journey. With the launch of the Social Enterprise Development Toolkit,Deal Share will also leverage the 400+ mapped member resources to further the deployment of relevant resources to the SPO.

Understanding the Supply landscape

Together with broadening our perspective from the lens of the SPOs, Deal Share is also uniquely positioned to leverage on the AVPN members’ network by tapping on the expertise, sector knowledge and bringing relevant stakeholders together to collaborate and maximise impact with the SPOs. An example of such a convening is evident in the recent Disaster Tech Innovation Programme developed together with Prudence Foundation where we brought together 17 key partners who are advancing disaster preparedness in their own and collective ways.

These learnings have been pivotal to curating sessions that are insights-driven. Beyond these Deal Share Live sessions, we continually connect investors to deals and build focused pipelines throughout the year. Whether you are a funder, capacity builder or SPO, partner with us to explore collaborative opportunities aimed at enriching  the SPO ecosystem. Visit us on our new Deal Share page to find out more on how Deal Share works and to read more on related projects.

For a more comprehensive rundown and summary of discussions in each of the Deal Share Live sessions, please find the full reports posted on the respective session pages, here.


About Author

The Deal Share team is made up of 5 members, Jasmine, Joy, Natasha, Faye and Diana, who work together to bridge the gap between AVPN members and Social Purpose Organisations and enable collaborations by leveraging financial, intellectual and human capital towards greater social impact.