26 Nov 2015

You have a great idea; you’re seeing some market traction, you’re confident about making it big. The next important thing: pitching your startup to investors. Venture capitalists often hear hundreds of pitches a year. But only a few are successful. So what separates the successful pitches from the failed ones? Standing in front of a group of people who can make or break your company and asking them to invest money in your business can be very nerve-wracking. How do you start your deck? What details should you include? Well, who better to give you pitching advice than Venture Factory itself?

Here are 25 things you should know before you pitch:

1. Why are you in a unique place to follow through on your business idea?
2. What is the problem your business is solving and how does it solve it?
3. What’s your business model? How is your business going to make money?
4. How scalable is your business?
5. From inception to bringing the product to market, what stage is your start up at?
6. Does your business model have high revenue and low burn rate?
7. How well do you understand your target market?
8. What are your competitive advantages vis-à-vis your competition?
9. Do you have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) yet?
10. How justified is your Customer Acquisition Cost, given the LTV (Life Time Value) of your customers?
11. Do you have an exit strategy in place?
12. What are your team’s strengths and weaknesses, and are you utilizing their strengths effectively?
13. Are all your co-founders on board full-time?
14. Does your vision for your startup align with those of your co-founder(s)?
15. Have you researched the investors you are pitching and what businesses have they backed in the past?
16. Do you know the amount you want to raise and can you justify it with metrics?
17. Have you outlined a year-on-year plan for your startup’s growth?
18. Do you have an engaging presentation that is straightforward, simple and specific?
19. Can you show the investors you really understand the product-market fit inside out?
20. Do you a plan to mitigate risks?
21. Do you know what the investors will be concerned about and how you will address investor fears?

As entrepreneurs you are usually very confident people. But pitching to an investor can be very intimidating. It doesn’t have to be. Answer all the right questions. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of your business. What makes you different is what gives you an edge.

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