7 Hacks to Pitch your Startup
Entrepreneurs need to be prepared to pitch their company, anytime, anywhere. An elevator pitch should be short and crisp – you only have a few minutes (2 – 5 min.) to explain your vision and trigger a spark of interest from your audience / investor. Pitching a startup is really difficult and we have a lot of respect for that. Founders need to master this skill set, as there are many talents out there, setting the bars higher every day. Talent alone won’t get you far. We have not seen a single founder yet, who became a pitch-master without practice.
Ask founders, with a really strong pitch and learn how they prepared for it. Usually it takes founders days to practice a pitch, sometimes even weeks. It won’t surprise you that accelerators often hire so called ‘pitch doctors’ for their batches. How we see it, to master a pitch you don’t need a pitch-doctor – any speaker-coach would be able to help you. What’s truly complex about a startup pitch, is that pieces of a complex puzzle – from your equity story, scalability, roadmaps, assumptions and financial plans – all need to come into place. That’s the tricky part! An experienced business angel or advisor will be very helpful for this matter. Remember, competition for investors increases everyday. Fundraising is likely to become harder in the coming weeks and months (see recent drop in European Venture Sentiment Index).
However, there is no need for panic, there are still enough investors out there, looking for opportunities. We strongly recommend to prepare well and not to rush things, especially during the pandemic crisis. You are likely to scare investors away, if you panic! You need to be calm and ready for a deal, and solid preparation is the key to success.
Watch the video and take her advice – we call it the “7 hacks to pitch your startup” – as we believe she nailed it!
1.) Title & Tagline – “keep it short and sweet” (e.g. “Amazon for Education”)
2.) Problem – “make our audience feel the pain”
3.) Solution – “explain how your concept works and how you tested it”
4.) Unique Value proposition – “show how you stick out from competition”
5.) Traction – “what you have achieved so far and how you would scale your business”
6.) Team – “why your team will win”
7.) Call-to-Action – “you are pitching to get results”.
There is really not much more to add, but make sure your storytelling ends with a nice close of the circle (e.g. a short summary).
Mastering a pitch will need time even when you know the hacks to pitch, as you will have to shape the wording you use and adjust it – over and over again. Use a strong, powerful and effective language. Practice your pitch 100 times in front of a mirror, memorise it and don’t get frustrated, if you feel you are not making progress. After a couple of days you will see the progress and your pitch will rock!
Berthold Baurek-Karlic is Founder and CEO of Venionaire Capital, with many years of experience as a serial entrepreneur, corporate finance expert and early-stage investor. He supports the startup ecosystem in various roles such as President of the European Super Angels Club, Board of Austrian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and General Secretary of Business Angel Institute.