The GPS
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The GPS

For every minute in a pitch, take one hour to prepare.

In our last blog on valuing African start-ups, we set the scene for a promising and encouraging increase in the data and methods available for valuing your start-up. We concluded that the increase in high-profile deals in Africa’s start-up tech ecosystem gives further proof to its value, and therefore the value of each start-up within. Though this is not without its own set of incomparable risks against the rest of the world, it’s encouraging that these deals are going in the right direction. In this post, we’ll give you direct guidance on things to consider when approaching your investor fundraising period.

Firstly, understand the landscape. You’re probably already an expert in your field, whether it’s health, e-commerce, hospitality, agriculture or logistics, and all the wonderful tech that comes within, but grasping a deep understanding of the financial world will help you to make more informed decisions that will affect the future of your start-up. Whether you’re using the Series A, B, C scale depending on your stage, or seeking angel, venture capital, crowdfunding, traditional loans, or debt structures to acquire funding, you need to have a clear picture of your target. This should also be discussed and agreed upon within your team as any hint of internal miscommunication or disagreement can cause a red flag for your potential investor.

The 30-second elevator pitch. We touched on the importance of preparedness and communications skills when going into any investor pitch. Having clear, concise messaging to sell the proposition and potential of your organization is the surest way to build trust and credibility. We have experts give guidance on tools and frameworks to support this, but the 30-second elevator pitch is a reliable marker. If you have just 30 seconds to convince someone of your business who has never heard of you before, are you ready with the right use of words?

Know your numbers. Whatever stage you’re at, having a grip of your numbers in a calm and professional manner will help to instill high trust and confidence in you and the business. We’ve all seen the difficult-to-watch snippets of multiple Dragon’s Den episodes where founders stumble over simple revenue, profit, loss, and projections. So make sure you’re well-rehearsed on these critical components.

Who’s in the room. An important aspect of this preparation is the understanding of the specific individual(s) you’re coming face-to-face with. What is their background, their expertise, are they specific to one sector, what have they invested in before? All of this research better equips you to tailor your message to the correct purpose and will show you have a unique understanding of the person.

Be comfortable with your impact numbers. Investors are increasingly held accountable to certain metrics both nationally and internationally. These could be Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You have the opportunity to stand out by making clear the SDG most aligned to your organization of which you’re supporting. This gives you a clear differentiator, by showing the impact on communities and economic development that the scaling and growth of your start-up will have.

As we have seen throughout our various MEST programs, preparing for an investor pitch is crucial to ensure you maximize every opportunity you get to grow.

Also, our upcoming webinar on Africa Startup Funding 101 will share valuable insights on what investors look out for. Register to learn and add these nuggets in your next pitch to make sure you shine!

Register today!

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MEST Africa

MEST Africa

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The largest Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for startups: www.meltwater.org