Before we tackle what a startup pitch should look like, let's get this out of the way: your pitch should never be a cookie-cutter. It shouldn't copy any other pitch out there because your company is unique and so are your investors. Right? Good, so throw out those templates you just Googled.
The Fast and Dirty of a Startup Pitch
Of course, this isn't to say that there aren't some elements and checkpoints that you need to hit with your startup pitch. Let's look at a few of those:
- Get to the Point. The internet has ruined all of our attention spans. Jump right into your pitch and don't bore. Are you still reading this?
- The Problem with Stories. Stories are great, but not too many people tell great stories. Try to present your story through the problem your startup is solving. Don't present your problem and then tell a story - they must be one.
- Be Product-ive. Do you know how many startup pitches forget to talk about their product or service? It's not enough to present the problem and then simply say that your company solves it. You have to explain the when, where and how of your product if you want angels to invest.
- Where's the Money? If you want me to invest in your startup, you have to tell me how I'm going to make my investment back and then some. Otherwise, you're just asking me for a grant or free money. If your business plan isn't clear and solid, make it so. Then figure out how to position that for your audience.
- You'd Better Know It. Finally, if there are any questions, you'd better have the answers. If you don't know it, I can guarantee that some other hungry startup out there does know the answers investors want to hear. Get your team and everybody in your lives to write down questions about your company. Then explain.
What are Investors Looking For in a Startup Pitch?
Now before you start thinking that's a wrap, here are some other things you'll want to keep in mind when putting your startup pitch together. (Namely, what are the intangibles in your pitch that are going to make them feel a lot better about giving you their money?)
- Passion and Energy. If you aren't passionate about what you're doing, your startup is going to fail. Investors know this. So during your pitch, you'd better convey that passion. What made you fall in love with your idea? Figure out a way to express that love while at the same time, making your investors fall in love with the idea as well.
- Quality Presentation Methods. Whether you're coming in with a Power Point or have a demo video, make sure it's a quality product. Don't come in with a pitch you shot in your backyard with your iPhone. Spend a few bucks on the presentation because you want everything about your pitch to scream, "We are ready for investments!" You don't want it to say, "We mismanaged our money so we couldn't even afford a graphic designer for a day."
- Team Trust. When it comes to investing, you want to be able to trust the people you're investing in. A great way to portray this trust is to show investors that other people trust you. Show your team. Investors like to see that they aren't the only people putting faith in you. If you're trustworthy enough for others, you will be for investors as well.
How did your last startup pitch go? Let us know what worked and what didn't!