Original post by CAROLINE CUMMINGS, Bplans
I know what it’s like to pitch to investors—both angels and venture capitalists. I’ve raised close to $1 million from angel investors for my previous technology start-ups. Sometimes you only get 10 minutes to pitch your business opportunity to the investors (or less in some cases). Below is a format I’ve successfully used, as well as helped many other first-time start-up CEOs raise investment capital.
If there’s one thing I can’t stress enough, it’s the importance of rehearsing your pitch. I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs think, “Oh, I know my business inside and out—pitching will be a breeze!” Good luck! I’ve also seen many entrepreneurs crash and burn when delivering their investor pitch—and ramble on and on. There’s nothing more frustrating then being told, “I only need 10 minutes of your time,” and then 20 minutes later you’re still on slide #5.Additionally, investors will want you to be able to back-up your claims. Have a well thought out business plan on-hand to share, so investors can read more if they’d like to. The intention, after all, is that you deliver a powerful pitch, and their hands are out asking for either your executive summary or your complete business plan.
These are the most important things to keep in mind when you prepare your pitch:
1. Tell a Story
Begin your pitch with a compelling story. This will engage your audience right out of the gate. And if you can relate your story to your audience, even better! Your story should address the problem you’re solving in the marketplace.
2. Your Solution
Share what’s unique about your product and how it will solve the issue you shared in the previous slide. Keep it short, concise, and easy for the investor to explain to others. Avoid using buzz words unless your investors are very familiar with your industry.
3. Your Successes
Early in the presentation you want to build some credibility. Take some time to share the relevant traction you’ve had. This is your opportunity to blow your own horn! Impress the investors with what you and your team have accomplished to date (sales, contracts, key hires, product launches, etc.).
Join our event ‘Pitch Perfect’ at WeWork Moorgate, 1 FORE STREET , EC2Y 9DT London on Thursday, 1 October 2015 from 18:00 to 20:00 (BST)