Your pitch is one of the crucial elements, which can propel your business from a raw idea into an actual enterprise. It matters. A lot.
In general, all investors know that out of 100 investments only 10 will hit the jackpot (or grow into a unicorn company). Let’s play with the numbers a bit further. Now, out of every 1,000 pitches an investor receives, he will fund only 100 or even less. Statistically, the odds for your success are not that great. However, you can double your chances for getting funded by crafting a pitch that is just too good to resist.
What makes a powerful, unforgettable and crazily attractive pitch? Here’s what top VCs and entrepreneurs who had closed massive funding rounds have to say.
Mondays Are Not the Best Day to Pitch
This is a short, but important tip comes from Michael Harper, an entrepreneur who received over $75 million in funding for his company Bigcommerce.
What’s wrong with Mondays? It’s that day of the week, when partners at most VC companies hold morning meetings to go through the potential deals and decide on investments. If you pitch on Monday afternoon, you will spend the rest of the week dying to know whether the company is interested in your offer or not. Also, if your pitch may get lost in the bundle of other ideas spoken during the week and receive less attention that it would have if delivered closer to Friday.
Clearly Outline the Problem You Solve
“Great products and companies do 1 of 3 things: Get you laid (Sex), get you paid (Money), get you made (Power). How does your solution tap into the emotional, powerful, evolutionary needs that we as humans have?” – asks Dave McClure, a veteran angel investor and founder of business accelerator 500 Startups.
In your pitch you should clearly outline how you will make your customers happy and how your product is better/different than others on the market. Sure you may not be the only company selling umbrellas…but you may be the one selling best umbrellas for left-handed grandmothers. Your product superiority and the difference you bring even to a micro-market should become clearly visible during the first two minutes of your pitch if you do want to win that investment round.
Besides, you need something to illustrate your solution – product demo, market research backing up the need for the product; videos, screenshots and visuals alike. The same is true when you are seeking press coverage after the launch.
Storytelling Matters as Much as Data
Jeff Paine, founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures, who has over a hundred of companies in his portfolio, advises the following:
“Numbers and facts are difficult to remember in detail over a 10-minute presentation. A compelling story, however, is difficult to forget over a 10-year span.”
While data and facts obviously strengthen your pitch and are important, especially for convincing financially minded investors, it is your story that the majority will remember and engage with.
Here’s a quick example: when you prepare your slides map out your actual customer persona. Share the problem he has. Next, map out the adventure this person took from struggling with his problem to becoming happier once they started using your product.
Save those pie data charts for the appendix section and go through the big data during Q&A session.