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How To: Pitch Your Startup Idea

Haram Khan | 20 April, 2019

Being able to start your own business is a milestone everyone wants to achieve in life. But it can be pretty intimidating when the fate of your startup rests in the hands of investors sitting in front of you.

However, if you have a well thought out plan, you can easily convince potential investors in less than 10 minutes! So without further ado, here’s your guide to pitching your idea to any venture capitalist.

1. Start with Your Story

It’s important that you recognize the problem that birthed your idea. The problem statement paves way for the most basic and crucial part of your pitch: a compelling story. Try to do some research and create your story in a way that relates to your audience. The more tailored your product and story, the higher the chances of capturing their interest.

2. A Product Like No Other?

Educate your investor about what your product intends to do about the issue. It’s important that you sell its uniqueness. No one will invest in your idea if they think there’s something similar present in the market already. Avoid using jargon unless your investors are very familiar with your industry.

3. Identify the Target Market

Dream big, but know that everyone on the planet can’t be your target market. Be realistic and identify who you’re trying to sell your product to. Market segment identification will not only impress your audience, but it’ll also help you develop a more strategic plan.

4. Always Keep Your Revenue and Business Model with Yourself

Given the limited time, it might be difficult to communicate your entire business model to the audience. But always remember that investors are looking for numbers. From your operating costs to revenue stream and breakeven, you need to have all the finances sorted out. Spend time on figuring out your product prices so that you can accurately convey them to your investors.

5. A Sound Marketing Strategy

A sound business plan needs to have a good marketing strategy. There is no point in having a product that might never reach the target audience. The success of your pitch depends on the nature of your marketing and sales plan. Be sure to include a unique selling proposition, a distribution plan, and any promotion strategies you plan to use.

6. Sell your team

People are the ones that make a lasting impression. Tell your audience what an amazing team you have and the different skills they possess.

7. Your Asking

Be upfront about how much funding you’ll need. Tell them how much has been invested already, how the shares and ownership is divided and how much more is needed to move forward.
Remind the audience why your management team is capable of managing their investment for growth. Tell investors how much you need, why you need the money, what it’ll be used for and the intended outcome.

A Few Bonus Pointers:

  • Don’t wing it. Always be prepared.
  • Avoid using jargon unless your investors operate in the industry as yours.
  • In the Q and A session, be prepared for the “why now?” question. Clearly think about why’s now the right time for your product.
  • Your body language is key so be confident, but never overconfident.
  • Remember to conclude your presentation by giving a brief summary about everything you just said. That’ll help reinforce your pitch in everyone’s mind.