We recently got the amazing opportunity to pitch on ThePitch.fm. They’re a podcast that provides entrepreneurs the friendly opportunity to be evaluated by investors after pitching them their company. It has a very strong following and many influential entrepreneurs have participated and listen to their podcast.
I appreciated the candid feedback they gave me on their show and it’s pretty amazing how clearly ThePitch hosts articulated their position without getting overly emotional.
Overall I’m happy with how I pitched Shotput but here are a few mistakes I made that you should avoid:
Pitch lacked cohesion
I pitched Shotput as BOTH an advanced warehouse which means physical infrastructure + basic software & as a producer of advanced logistics algorithms.
Currently, we’re providing warehouse services like pick & pack fulfillment and storing products which puts us in the position to substantially reduce the cost of supply chains long-term.
Our goal is to reduce the cost of direct-to-consumer supply chains — what we call “Production Floor to Customer’s Door” — by 90% in 5 years through the use of advanced software and robotics.
Though from any investor’s (and even your customer’s) perspective, they want to hear the simplest and clearest story i.e. where the company is going, NOT all of the messy details involved in current day-to-day operations.
Again, we got lost in the weeds with our business and should have spent more time discussing recent momentum. I spent time discussing how we opened a warehouse to manage physical services for our early customers.
Having a warehouse, however, is an important step to learning more and building the correct experience for our customer. The distraction of eventually becoming a strong software business is unrelated to the existing business and needs to be framed contextually.
Additionally, since Shotput had a 6 month set back after my other founders left I should have focused on clarifying the time frame we’ve had to execute.
Building a strong service offering that will evolve as we gain more traction and reducing the costs further will continue improving our growth trajectory.
Here’s what I should have said instead: Shotput’s main goal is to reduce the cost of direct-to-consumer supply chains by 90% in 5 years. To achieve that goal, we have a warehouse with software which helps our customers precisely understand their cost and control their fulfillment experience.
With larger volume customers, we’re focused on using advanced algorithms to provide richer intelligence such as how to optimize their distribution network and how to lower their overall shipping costs & time.
Over the long term, we expect to develop more software and continue to reduce the costs of fulfillment which will increase our ability to service more customers.
With more volume, we have the opportunity to outsource fulfillment to other providers, but to maximize the customer experience today we need to maintain the warehouses.