A startup pitch is the most fundamental and essential element to attract investors for obtaining funding for a startup. Engaging investors to offer your startup capital requires work beyond that required for conceiving a brilliant product idea or mobilizing profitable operations.
Investment pitching requires a well-crafted, strategically convincing passionate outreach to influence investors. Are you a startup seeking ideas for your first investment pitch? Here are some checklist pointers you can use.
1. Craft a Crisp and Time-bound Pitch
Investors are often swamped with ideas for funding. Therefore, a clear and succinct presentation of your startup idea and roadmap that includes a crisp, yet impactful explanation of your vision and purpose will go a long way in sustaining their attention.
A longwinded presentation could disconnect your audience and burden them with details that are not helpful for them to make decisions favorable for funding your startup.
2. Focus on the Unique Value
It helps to adopt a storytelling methodology to demonstrate the impressive and appealing benefits that your product or service will deliver to your customers. More than facts, figures and datasheets, painting the scenario of how life will change for your customer after experiencing your product/service and translate into value for them will go a long way in creating a great pitch.
Highlighting how your product or service delivers this value for your customer way better than your competitors do must be the hallmark of the investor pitch, along with supporting assets such as patents and licenses, if any.
3. Include the Right Numbers
The significant data that will influence investors’ decision to fund your startup will include your estimate of the amount required to procure necessary and sufficient capital goods and working capital to run your business, staff costs and other overheads, your own investment plans, your operating plan and your financial forecast.
While too much data in your pitch can cause a drift in the focus of investors, the essential figures as well as the data your potential investors are requesting to review will be essential for a favorable funding decision.
Amongst the other qualitative and quantitative data to be presented are industry understanding, consumer understanding, understanding of competition and obstacles in the business, methods to overcome them and navigate through the business cycle. The data presented and the openness to share and demonstrate future expectations will validate the readiness of the business to walk the extra mile in making the startup successful and worthy of shareholder value.
4. Showcase a Powerful Team
If your startup is yet to create a successful track record in terms of financials, presenting the experience and knowledge that your team holds as a powerful enabler of success can serve to convince the investor community that your business possesses the capability to succeed.
Demonstrating the team’s capabilities with data and success stories on past projects will reinforce investor belief in a new startup and its commitment to establish the viability of its idea.
5. Build a Prototype/Minimum Viable Product/Proof of Concept
It is important to provide a sneak peek of the end product to the investor community to create a tangible experience as well facilitate a first-hand experience of unique benefits of the product. Prototypes, live demos, mock installations, explainer videos and a host of other tools go a long way in establishing trust in the product or service, allowing the audience to visualize the functioning and benefits of the proposed product or service for which funding is sought.
6. Illustrate Social Value
Startups today demonstrate a cause extending way beyond the objective of profits. By demonstrating social responsibility and the desire to contribute to social value and give back to society can be a great driving force for investors. However, it is important to be cautious about how your startup’s social mission is presented to investors. Instead of choosing a social mission that is trending and popular, it helps to commit to a cause or supporting of a community that correlates with the product/service of the startup.
7. Pay Attention to Hygiene
Engage a professional or expert who can fine-tune your pitch in a way that will communicate your startup idea to others effectively. Focusing on the aesthetics such as theme, design, graphics and style make your pitch deck appear more organized and visually engaging. Rehearsing your presentation and receiving opinion from peers or experienced colleagues is a crucial step to finalizing your pitch.
In a Nutshell
Mobilizing funds is a key challenge for entrepreneurs. A startup pitch deck can serve as a visual representation to help entrepreneurs emphasize the key goals and plans of the startup to prospective investors. Being equipped with the right information on the plan and outlook envisaged for your startup is more likely to persuade investors to make a favorable funding decision.