How To Pitch Your StartUp
A major part of having a successful startup is having the right investors or stakeholders.
Founders think that by just talking about their idea to people, they will be able to attract investors to throw their money at them.
One thing you should know about investors is, they don’t give away their money easily. So how is it that you intrigue them, and gain interest in your startup? By presenting it the right way.
The following tips can guide you in preparing for your Startup Pitch:
1. First of all, you have to show extreme enthusiasm and passion about the topic you are talking about. Just take a look at Steve Ballmer, ex-CEO of Microsoft, and how he enters the stage.
Clearly you can see that Steve loved Microsoft. If you take a look at the most successful presenters out there, you will find similar behavior.
3. A good way to start a presentation would be to mention the problem you are tackling, and how you have found a solution for it. You tend to find that the most successful startups are ones that tackle a problem that was faced by the founders. This is part of the reason why they are passionate about the topic. Just remember, many of the people in the audience have faced similar problems to the one you did, and the solution you are presenting might also be a solution to their problems. Make sure the solution and the problem are very well related. No one would have invested in Uber if they mentioned the problem as high cost of air travel.
4. After stating the problem, you should reveal the solution. This is the moment you wait for to “wow” the audience. Make them all think: “why didn’t I think of that myself before”. Everyone wishes they came up with the idea of Facebook or Uber, why not make them feel the same about your idea. Visual aids would be very helpful. Having either a live version of your solution, or even screen shots, can help the audience relate to what you are talking about. Don’t guide them through every tab or option you have, but just highlight the significance of how your solution will tackle the problem.
5. The next part should be about competition, if any. Make sure you don’t hide the obvious, because most investors will do the research themselves afterwards. List the main competitors, but make sure that you have a competitive edge, because that comes directly after. Mention what your USPs (unique selling points) are, and how you intend on overachieving your competition. Saying I have an app that will let people message other people, just like What’sApp, will probably get lots of things thrown at you, except money. It’s important that you do your research ahead of time, and very thoroughly. Don’t leave this till the night before and come up with the first two names that you can find. Study every possible competitor, and show how you plan to be better than they are.
6. Following the competition, give a timeline. Even if you can’t give exact dates, giving an estimated timeframe helps puts things into perspective. Investors want to know when they can start expecting return on their investment; after all, they are investing and not donating. Highlight key dates (milestones) such as product testing stage, product launch, and if possible, global location launchings.
7. Lastly, don’t forget to name the team. If you don’t have any team members, then this is something you should do before you think about presenting the startup. Cofounders are key, and as you can learn from the How to Start a Startup sessions, make sure they are people you know. Naming your team members not only gives them credit for their work, but also gives you credibility. When investors learn that there is a team working on this idea, it increases their confidence in your product. If your team members have strong credentials, don’t forget to point that out.
To finish off these tips, there are three points that people should keep in mind when giving their startup pitch presentations. Don’t overcrowd your slides with sentences and bullet points, pronounce clearly using common words (don’t try to impress with technical abbreviations and words only you and your physics teacher know), and practice, practice, practice. Practice makes you confident, and confidence increases your credibility. So make sure you rehearse several times, with friends, in front of the mirror, and videoing yourself, before you take stage to give one of the most important presentations of your life.