How to craft the perfect pitch
Writing the perfect pitch is an important aspect for any startup looking for an investment (but they are also a key aspect of many jobs when wanting to present a new idea/project). It is essential to get to a pitch that tells your startup’s story and clearly states what your startup does and what your goals are, all whilst keeping it short but powerful and compelling.
If you are looking for some guidance in the the making of your perfect pitch, you can follow this list, provided to us by Techstars Berlin’s Managing Director Jag Singh. Base your pitch on these eight questions (not necessarily in this order) and follow a few tricks I will explain at the end of this article to craft the perfect pitch!
What does your company and product do?
Try, in a few words, to describe your company and what your product is and what it does. Do not forget to show your product! Don’t invest too much time on it, as it is not a Demo, but do not make the mistake of not showcasing it.
How does your company do it?
Specify what your “secret” is, what technology you use to develop your product. A little bit of mystery is fine, but your audience will want proof of what you are using and how you do what you do, in order to make it more human. So ditch the magic and give the people what they want.
Who are your customers?
If your product is already on the market, list the companies that use your product. Tell a real customer story. If you aren’t live yet, list your soft-commits, or companies that have expressed interest.
What is the pain they feel?
Explain the problem you are trying to solve and try to convey how real and concrete it is and therefore why your product has a reason to exist.
How big is your market?
Define the size of your market, your target customer and your competitors. Market size is an aspect investors pay a lot of attention to, because it allows them to estimate what success could look like.
What is your unique insight?
Explain how you are different from your competitors and don’t make the (common) mistake of saying that you don’t have competitors. Everyone has competition, even if it’s indirect. There might, in fact, be similar products to yours already on the market, but, if there aren’t any, then there must be other ways to solve the same problem your product solves. Let your audience know what sets your product apart from theirs.
How much progress have you made?
Time for some numbers. Show your growth, your product and customers milestones. If your product is on the market, you can list your revenue/profit. If your product is not live yet, tell your audience how fast you were able to develop a working product and your startup’s timeline. Show you traction and name people who are interested in investing in your company or any investors you might already have.
Who’s on your team?
Answer this question either towards the beginning or the end of your pitch. This is your chance to name your fellow founder/s and key team members, depending on the length of your pitch, you can also add a fun anecdote about your colleagues or shortly tell how you met your founder/s. Investors tend to invest in people first, ideas second, so make sure to tell them something about yourself as a person.
A Few Extra Tips
By including all of the elements mentioned above in your pitch, you will have a complete presentation and will include all the essential information your audience needs to know. Make sure not to divulge yourself too long in answering each question: summarizing is key. Work on finding attention-grabbing statements and short explanations that will make your audience understand the main concept and also leave them wanting to know more. You should end your pitch with a call to action, by inviting your audience to ask questions after your presentation or to show them more in-depth details on how your product works and what you are trying to achieve.
Another important thing to remember is that you are a human being, presenting to other human beings, so try and make a connection: be real and honest, show your passion and be confident about the product you are presenting.