Pitching projects, solutions, technology for ‘Livable Cities’

John Aguilar, serial entrepreneur creator and host of The Final Pitch

As the head of public engagement of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), I have always been on the lookout for ways that we can effectively engage key stakeholders and come up with innovative and creative programs to elevate the real-estate sector in the country.

When I was tapped to become one of the mentors in The Final Pitch’s fifth season, which will be about real estate and livable cities—two things that I am personally passionate about, I didn’t hesitate. I would love to be able to engage and mentor young, creative minds to come up with innovative projects that will make a difference in the real world.

‘The Final Pitch’: Real Estate and Livable Cities

The Final Pitch is the country’s first and only business reality show, where entrepreneur contestants pitch their businesses to our esteemed panel of investor-judges who are looking to own a piece of their companies. In concept, the show is a cross between The Voice, The Apprentice and Shark Tank combined.

The season begins with the initial pitch, where the entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to the investors for the first time, and the investors then select which entrepreneurs they would like to invite to the next round as official contestants of the show. The contestants are then introduced to mentors who help them in the different aspects of their businesses.

The contestants are then invited to their respective potential investor’s headquarters, where they further discuss their businesses, and given a series of challenges that test their character and ability to deal with adversity. The season culminates with the final pitch, where the contestants pitch their businesses one last time, and the investors make their final offer.

In its first four seasons, the show has successfully funded a good number of entrepreneurs with millions of dollars in total funding, and has changed the lives of these entrepreneurs who now credit the show for their exponential growth and awareness as a direct result of their participation in the program. The entrepreneurs have come from as far as Silicon Valley in the United States, and from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in the Philippines.

“As we are currently airing our 4th season, we are now preparing for the 5th season which now takes an interesting twist. For the first time ever, we will be producing a season with a theme. The Final Pitch Season 5: Real Estate and Livable Cities Edition will be the first season focused on real-estate projects, urban solutions, and property technologies that contribute to livable cities,” says John Aguilar, serial entrepreneur creator and host of The Final Pitch.

Previous seasons of the show focused on various technology start-ups and SMEs pitching their businesses to investor-judges for funding. This time, real estate-related deals and solutions for the property sector will be at the forefront.

With the jitters created by the possible volatility of the demand from the POGO sector impacting the entire industry, there is now an even more urgent need to prepare for the eventual down-cycle of the property sector, and future-proof the business interests of developers and construction industry stakeholders. This can be done by either consolidating landholdings for the future, or even totally shifting business models to prepare for the seismic shifts that technological disruption will bring to the real-estate sector.

Real estate

At the core of any real-estate developer’s business are its assets. A property owner or owner’s representative or broker can pitch a property to the show’s investors.

“Whether for sale or joint venture, we are looking for properties across the Philippines ranging from raw land, buildings, islands, even prime properties in the Metro,” John stresses. “Our foremost criteria for accepting these properties for consideration will be that the title is clean. We will not engage in a broker or broker’s representative who does not have exclusive rights to market or sell the properties they are proposing. Properties or projects with an existing prospectus or highest and best land use study are preferred, but not required. If the property is for sale, the selling price must be at least 20 percent below market value.”

The properties must be free from any liens and encumbrances, and must be fully owned by the party pitching the property. These properties will be pitched to the investors with the intention of selling the properties to them, or engaging in a possible joint venture project together. The terms of the deal may be flexible, but if the project is not interesting, the project might not even make it past the consideration stage.

“Ultimately, we are looking for great deals for the investors for properties that can be land banked, renovated, or developed for the future,” John notes.

Livable cities

Aside from real-estate deals, the season will also feature start-ups who will pitch businesses that make for livable cities—green and sustainable building materials and technologies, clean energy, all the way to smart home and proptech (property technology) start-ups.

Entrepreneurs who pitch their enterprise, service or invention must have at least a minimum viable product or prototype. Businesses that provide solutions that improve people’s quality of living, particularly those that address safety, hygiene, health care, the environment, recreation, public transport and access to goods and services will also be considered.

John also reveals that they are currently finalizing the cast of investor-judges who will complete their lineup. The investors will be a mix of property developers, businessmen, and corporate leaders keen on exploring new enterprises that can complement their businesses, integrate effectively into their value chain, allow them to diversify their portfolio, or enable them to create meaningful impact through financing or other strategic initiatives and interventions.

“Interested investors may get in touch with us to explore their involvement in the show, whether on or off-camera. The final investors and partners will be announced during the official press conference, where they will also be given an opportunity to announce the deals they are looking for and are open to,” John announces.

The Final Pitch as a television show and as a business platform is our own contribution to nation-building,” John shares. “We are very pleased with the positive reception of the business and start-up communities to it and how people have embraced it as a legitimate avenue to raise funding, as well as learn valuable insights on running a successful business, whether traditional or tech-enabled.”

The Final Pitch Season 5 begins filming by late November 2019 and will air by March 2020 on CNN Philippines. To pitch your property, solution or start-up, log on to thefinalpitch.ph/application. Deadline for submission is on November 8, 2019.

The Final Pitch airs Sundays at 8 p.m., with replays every Monday at 9:30 p.m. and Saturdays 1 p.m. on CNN Philippines. The show is produced by Streetpark Productions Inc.

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