Thoughts on pitching startups after 3 successful rounds in 18 months.
There are a few immutable aspects.
- Reduce Risk / Increase greed.
- Create an emotional reaction first. People then use facts and logic to rationalise their emotional decision.
- Nothing beats a traction sandwich. Opening slides traction, fluff in the middle, traction to close. The mullet pitch should not be considered.
- If you are pitching and you know there are elements of the business you are weak in, take someone with you you idiot.
- For Gods sake have a good answer to “how are you going to make money out of this?”. In fact, don’t even begin with a startup unless you have a decent answer to this.
- When an investor or competition judge says you are wrong, don’t get defensive. A lot of the time when they ask you difficult questions they are not expecting you to provide an answer, they are watching your behaviour and thinking ability. That’s why they say “the team is most important” when investors think about coming in. Can this leader and the team think their way through the unforeseeable challenges?. So don’t be a dick and say “no you’re wrong”. Unless of course they are actually wrong and you are right.
- Beware vanity metrics.
- Do some proper work on Value prop and market fit. Then cut your pitch down until you can do it in 10 seconds and it makes people say “oh really? tell me more…”. Good luck it’s hard.
- At the very least do some google questionnaire or stop people in the street to understand the problem you are solving.
- Have max 15 words per slide if pitching in competitions.
Well that’s that.