The Ultimate Guide to a Hyper-Optimized [15-min] Investor Pitch
You did it! After months of extensive research, building connections, and going back and forth with VCs, you managed to land a meeting with a potential investor. This is the meeting that could launch your business into the mainstream if, of course, everything goes according to plan. You spent so many hours working on your pitch that you’ve learned it by heart. Everything has been checked and rechecked. Still, timing the presentation has proved harder than expected, and following the schedule accordingly is an entirely different story. Here’s how Sessions can help you upscale your investor pitch and secure funding for your startup.
Sessions itself is a start-up whose core mission is to improve meetings throughout their entire life cycle, from designing a logical flow and a more time-efficient agenda to making sure follow-ups are taken forward after the presentation.
So often, pitches fail not because the business model is flawed but because the presenter struggles to highlight the relevant information to the investor.
Keep in mind that a 15 minutes pitch deck should be simple, concise, and it should include the following information:
What questions should you ask yourself before approaching each topic?
Cover — Did you identify the objectives of your presentation? Does the opening statement sum up the essence of the proposal? Is the idea clear and easily understood?
Problem — What problem does your target audience experience? How prevalent/ relevant is the challenge for the general population?
Solution — What is your approach to solving this problem? How is it different from what your competitors offer?
Product — How would the product/service work? Is this a new field of interest? How much do people know about it? How do my target consumers currently use my product?
Demo — Can the core features of the products be tested/demonstrated with a short example/trial?
Features & Benefits — What is the marketability of this kind of product? What unique features does the product possess? How does it serve the customer?
Business Model — How does the product generate sales? Why is now the right moment to promote this kind of product?
Traction — What feedback have you received so far, and how was it implemented? What growth rate could be expected from this product?
Go-to-market — What is the timing for the market release? What are the priorities for market adoption?
Market Size — How scalable is your product or service? How accurate are the predictions, and what is the easiest way to showcase the impact of the product?
Competitors — Who will you compete with? What is their market share? What is their approach? What are some of their vulnerabilities/strong points?
Unique Advantages — Why is this solution impossible/hard to replicate? What is the added value to what is currently available?
Team — Who are the people responsible for the success of the business? What experience do the founders currently have in this industry?
Financials — What budget is required for making the product available to its target audience? How can this idea become profitable, and what is the financial goal distributed over time?
Fundraising — Who participated in earlier rounds of fundraising? How will the funds be allocated?
Now that you have all the critical components of a successful pitch planned out, you might ask yourself what is the best way to showcase each section without exceeding the allotted time with the investor.
Setting up a 15 minutes session for your pitch
Once you’ve successfully registered on Sessions, you will be able to connect to our platform. From here, you will be redirected to Sessions Home:
Next, you can select “From scratch” from the Planned Sessions menu. Of course, you could use the predefined template for a 15-min Pitch, but the beauty of Sessions is that you can also create your own. It is best to customize the agenda items according to your needs. After you select a blank agenda, you will land on this page:
You will be able to add subjects for the meeting in the left corner of the page by pressing “+ Add Agenda Items.” In the next section, we will explain how to interact with Sessions’ tools to get the most out of your gathering.
Understanding agenda tools
To provide a smooth user experience, Sessions provides a multitude of tools for your agenda. They are ready-to-use so you can include them in any meeting to improve time management and minimize distractions. These tools serve multiple purposes, from keeping the presentation interactive to preserving the information and documents used in Sessions over a long period of time, acting as a “virtual memory” for your past meetings. Efficiency is essential while discussing with someone whose time is usually scarce and expensive, so Sessions enables the centralization of resources for easier access and eliminates wasted time switching between apps.
When you decide upon the purpose of your presentation, you can start adding the preferred tools to the agenda. Be sure to add a description and a topic so that your audience understands the flow of the conversation. If everything adds up and the agenda is complete, you can proceed with inviting the participants.
What to include in a 15 minutes pitch
Having the liberty to be as inventive as you please with your pitch, we encourage you to experiment with different agendas until you find the one that’s most effective for your presentation. A 15 minutes pitch, apart from an elevator pitch, should account for more than a brief introduction of the business model. It can include a financial model, a prototype, or other resources that would prove the idea’s success. This section will provide an example of a plan for a 15 minutes pitch that you can quickly adapt.
Lobby — While the investor is in the Lobby, you can ensure there are no technical difficulties.
Icebreaker — 2 minutes: This section can be easily recreated in a meeting’s default state, a Conference. In the first 2 minutes of the call, the host should focus on greeting the participants, setting expectations about the structure of the agenda, and the time allotted for Q&A.
Overview Video — 2 minutes: If you have an overview video prepared, speaking over the visuals could help you convey the message and boost credibility for your presentation. Use the Videoshow tool to either insert a YouTube or Vimeo link, or upload a locally stored video. Either way, it will be seamlessly inserted in your meeting when the time comes, directly in the video conferencing platform.
Presentation — 5 minutes: A Slideshow is the perfect tool for storytelling since it allows a presenter to display the relevant information to an audience in a time-effective and dynamic manner. After you add your slides, participants will see the slideshow in a native experience. No share screen required. Interaction tools like “My Notes” can also be used by your investors to jot down thoughts or relevant info. They are entirely private.
Feedback & Q&A Session — 4 minutes: At this point in the discussion, you can designate a few minutes for feedback, discussions and answering the inquiries submitted by the participants in Questions during the presentation. You can also use the platform’s integration with Mentimeter and Slido to engage with your attendees.
Takeaways — 2 minutes: There is more than one way of working with Takeaways, the tool that helps you create the meeting’s minutes. You can be smart about it and prepare it in advance, with all the relevant links & resources for investors. Or you can complete them during the meeting. Either way, if the next steps have been arranged, you can check if the investor has fully understood the concept or schedule the following gathering. Takeaways will automatically be received via email by those participants who have a Sessions account.
After you’ve arranged the contents of your agenda, you might wish to save the pitch as a template to reuse it later. To do that, click on the meeting’s name and you will be taken to the meeting’s menu. The “Save as Template” option is available in the right corner of the screen. You can name your template, add a description, then click on the “Save template” button.
To continue setting up the current session, move to the left side of the screen, and down below, you will see the option for sending invitations as “Manage participants.” After selecting it, click on “Invite others” and add the emails of those you wish to attend the presentation. Or you can click on “Copy session link” and share it through other communication channels.
The last step is to schedule the meeting by adding the date, time frame and to hit the “Publish Session” button on the right side of the screen when everything is ready.
Be sure to connect on time and always rehearse your presentation in advance. A Sessions account is not mandatory for someone to take part in a meeting, but it’s beneficial: your audience will individually receive via email their private annotations from “My Notes” or the meeting’s Takeaways.
Now that you’ve created the perfect pitch for your start-up, all you need is a bit of confidence and luck to land you the opportunity of a lifetime. Sessions can help with the organization aspect, making sure that your pitch is structured and timed correctly so that there are fewers variables on your way to success.
How I optimized the time I spend in meetings (and maybe you can do it too)
Having an agenda is said to be the heartbeat of every productive workday.