How should I train to an important pitch?
The Israeli ecosystem holds many investment opportunities: local VC players, funds from abroad, angels, government grants, incubators, corporate programs and more. But how can your startup stand out? How can you make sure that out of the countless startups that investors see every month — your’s will be the one to get funded? It all depends on the right product, the right market, the right timing and the right team. And all of which must be perfectly presented in a short pitch. So, how do you plan and execute a good pitch?
Know your audience
Are you presenting the startup to a room full of lawyers? Developers? Analysts? You must find out which individuals will hear your pitch, in order to be sure you deliver the right angles of your company’s story. In any case, you must show enthusiasm and be passionate.
How do I train? First, talk to your ecosystem: do you know somebody who pitched to this VC in the past? Then, just visit the relevant investor’s LinkedIn page and see who’s who. Your next stop is their Facebook profile, to see which groups they follow, and what is their background and interests. When you have a clear image of the audience, you can think about the questions that might be asked — and how to answered them in your presentation.
Turn your startup into a different kind of story
Investors see many presentations and every founder use some storytelling in his pitch. You must stand out, by letting investors know that you represent an unusual startup, even before they’ve met your unusual product.
How do I train? Find your company’s story edge and stick it out. Think about it: what would you tell a journalist after a huge exit? What’s funny, relatable, emotional and appealing about the company’s first day? First month? See your investor as an audience, and give him a short glimpse at the human side of your story.
Know your offering
You’ll have to explain exactly what is your product/service, how it works and which value it gives your clients. Keep in mind that an impressive product won’t get you funded without an impressive business plan, revenue channels and more. You must explain what makes your offering unique, innovative and therefore — will bear fruit for the product’s ecosystem, possible partners and investors.
How do I train? By telling all of these to a friend with a strong technical background, a friend with strong business background and a friend with no knowledge of your product or market. Use their insights to see what’s missing, what’s clear and what needs better explaining.
Show your knowledge of the clientele
You must prove to investors you know the product’s target audience, and should base your client insights on recent researches, presented by infographics and charts. Then, show how do you plan to acquire the mentioned clientele, and how could it expand by mentioning marketing channels.
How do I train? Read market researchers of different sources and periods, summarize them into simple flashpoints and remember the market’s procedure. Then, read commentary and analyst predictions and understand how the two fits together.
Show you can make money
No investor will give you a second glance without knowing you can generate revenue through consistent, stable growth vectors. Present your revenue model, and sales prediction in a simple, straight and forward manner.
How do I train? Dive into your business plan; think about value chains, income channels and show the numbers. You could use other success stories and predict you could reach similar goals faster, or with a larger income. Investors want to hear about your exit strategy — will you go for licensing? Acquisition? Maybe an IPO? You must show them how and when your company could return their investment.
Remember: Timing and pacing are critical
Plan your pitch to be completed in the shortest possible time. If you’ll present your company, product and plans in just a few minutes, the impact will resonate better. If the timeframe is known (for example, 15 minutes during a pitching day or 7 minutes during an event) — plan to finish at least 2–3 minutes sooner. When you speak, don’t rush things. Move at a standard talking pace, don’t speed up when you see time’s running out. Don’t spend too much time on a single slide — allow your audience to choose which slide interests them, and return to it after your presentation is over. The pitch must give a simple flow, like a conversation and not a sales presentation.
How do I train? Practice, practice, practice.
Samurai Incubate organizes pitching days through its Samurai Innovation activity. Contact or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or meetup.com to know when is the next event.