Well, you’ve landed yourself an opportunity to stand up in front of an investor and pitch your million dollar business idea. Congratulations! Now, comes the hard part. Pitching to investors can be a daunting task and overwhelming. Where should you start? What should you prepare? What are the important aspects that you should not neglect? Investors meet with hundreds, if not, thousands of startup founders every year and they provide funds to only a handful of those. Raising money is a key part of starting your own business and before scheduling a meeting with an angel investor, here are a few things you need to prepare to pitch to investors.
Know to who you are pitching
The needs of a venture capitalist (VC) and those of an angel investor are not the same. While VCs will need more thorough details about your business including numbers, financial statements and possible return on investment, angel investors will be quicker to make a decision and will look at the bigger picture. It is crucial for you to know to whom you will be pitching to and what will make them say yes or no. You can go further into your research by discovering the types of businesses they are likely to invest in by looking into their portfolios.
Have your pitch deck ready
A pitch deck is an essential tool to present your business idea or company to potential investors and persuade them to invest in it. According to Forbes (2020), “The pitch deck typically consists of 15-20 slides in a PowerPoint presentation and is intended to showcase the company’s products, technology, and team to the investors.” Then, what should you include in your presentation?
A brief introduction to the company
Be clear and concise while presenting your company; you can mention a bit of your history, how you came up with this business idea, your mission statement and your team.
Problem vs Solution
Many start-up owners fail in representing the information investors are looking for, i.e., how is your product or service changing the lives of its audience. What is the problem that you have identified in the market and how your offer is providing a solution to that problem? Investors want to see if your product or service is viable but most importantly, how it stands from the crowd and can be profitable.
As mentioned above, investors meet business owners all year-round and your duty is to captivate them. Great pitches are usually structured as a story; it’s a journey that needs to be worth every penny. It can come from your personal life experience or a fictional story involving your buyer persona and how your product or service may change his/her life. Do not forget to mention every milestone and success of your business up to this date.
Turbine’s pre-incubation programme of 12 weeks provides opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their business idea to local investors and business angels. Through this intensive programme, you will have access to coaches that will guide you through preparing your pitch deck.
Include a demo of your offering
In addition to storytelling, you could definitely stand out from other startups by providing a demo, prototype or MVP version of your product or service. This could be a great way to demonstrate user experience, engage your audience with your value proposition and more importantly, provide tangible evidence of your idea. An experiment will leave a strong impact and will last longer than a speech.
Practice, practice and practice!
Many start-up owners think that pitching will be a breeze: “I know the ins and outs of my business and can explain my vision to anybody!”. Unfortunately, many crash and burn out of stress while pitching to investors as they ramble and forget what they intended to say in the first place. In addition, as pitches last for 10 to 20 minutes in general, it is important to be well prepared and rehearsed so that the 20 minutes do not turn into a 40-minute speech. Our tips to you will be: practice in front of your slides, friends or relatives and obtain feedback from them before the big meet. Be concise and prepare for Q&A time. You may bring in a few index cards and have supporting documents to show confidence and be comfortable while explaining your project to your audience.
At Turbine, we offer a supportive community of aspiring entrepreneurs and early-stage startup owners that can encourage you and provide you with feedback while practicing your presentation.
Follow-up with your business plan
As discussed earlier, venture capitalists and even business angels will require more than a presentation to assess the potential of your new business venture. Follow up your pitch with an email providing more information about your company, including your business plan, any requested financial statements and sales forecasts to prove the viability of your project. A follow-up email within 24hrs will also demonstrate your business ethique and willingness to work with these investors. You can also request feedback from them to rework your slides if necessary and refine for your next pitch.
If you are ready to start an exciting business venture today and would like to raise capital for your business now, contact our team and we will be more than happy to help you achieve your big dreams.
Source: A Guide To Investor Pitch Decks For Startup Fundraising, Forbes. 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2020/06/20/guide-to-investor-pitch-decks-for-startup-fundraising/?sh=55b86dc25a5a