Startup pitch essentials

You are on stage to pitch your startup. The timer starts and off you go. You have three minutes to share what you have been working on day and night. Only a few minutes to convince investors that your startup idea is worth their time and money. And you won’t be the only one pitching to them. There are so many more startups that are meeting with them and that are looking for funding. So how are you going to do this? Let’s guide you through it with some essentials for pitching.

If you have ever been to a pitch competition, you know that there are very passionate startups on stage who are convinced that their idea is the next big solution. On the other side is the audience: easily bored and distracted. Your mistake is to assume that they will be giving you their full attention for three minutes.

You will need great presentation skills which you can only obtain by practicing a lot. You will need great content and an outstanding pitch presentation. Let’s discuss the last two. How are you going to structure that pitch? What do you include in that pitch?

All pitch decks have at least one slide dedicated to the problem and the solution the startup is offering. The problem describes how relevant the issue is and how annoying it is for the target group. The solution is the way the startup proposes to solve the problem. This is very crucial to the pitch deck. In the end no one is looking to fund startups that are not solving any problem.

A good way of introducing your problem and your solution:

  1. Talk to your audience with ‘you’. This way your audience feels involved.

  2. How is the situation today?

  3. How it could be tomorrow when they apply your solution.

If you start your presentation convincingly with the problem and your solution, you could catch the audience with a relevant problem and convince them that you have the best solution to it, you already have done most of the work in the very beginning of your presentation.

Market opportunity
Include the market potential for your solution in your pitch deck. Your audience might be wondering if there is any market for your business, so you need to include the potential to convince them. Include a slide in your pitch deck which describes how many people could potentially adopt your solution.

It is always good to show that you are aware of the market, but also of the competition. Don’t be scared to the main competition and differentiate your idea. This way you’ll avoid awkward questions about competitors you might not know. Tell the audience about your killer strategy and why it will succeed.

Business model
How do you make money? Make sure your business model is always present in your pitch deck. You might be asking for money so you will need to prove that you will give back more money to investors in the future. Make sure you present the business model in a way that is easily understandable to anyone so your audience can immediately understand how you will be making money.

Team is everything. Show the faces of your team members and name the specific skills they have. This way you prove that you have the minimum requirements to succeed. Show why each team member was chosen to be part of your startup.

Fundraising request
Are you actively looking for funding? Then it is also important to mention how much funding you are looking for. Make it crystal clear how much you are seeking to raise and what you will be using the money for.

With these tips, you can structure your pitch well. Do you want to learn how to pitch like a pro? Apply now for Present Your Startup! Applications are open until September 1st.