The market is ripe with opportunity when it comes to launching startups which address pressing issues in industries such as data science, IT, or healthcare. However, careful consideration should be made in regards to filling gaps in industries which truly require innovation and outside-the-box thinking.
Data by Fortunly indicates that 42% of startups fail because they offer services that the market doesn’t need, with 50% not surviving first five years. Forbes reported that over 70% of startups fail due to premature scaling – interestingly, non-technical teams perform technical founders by 31%, meaning that prejudices don’t apply.
You don’t need to have a major in IT or business development to launch a successful startup and make meaningful impact on the market. What you do need however, is a flawless pitch which investors and B2B stakeholders will get behind in regards to logistical support and monetary resources. Andy Jacob, CEO of The Jacob Group, says “Your pitch is crucial to your success. I like seeing pitches that are so easy to understand that it only takes a few minutes for the reader to understand what is going on with the business vision.” That being said, let’s explore what it takes to write a flawless pitch, as well as the significance of pitching startup ideas to third-parties.
Why Startup Pitching Matters
Before we tackle the proverbial elephant in the room, let’s start small and discuss the role of startup pitching. Individuals and teams with ambitious startup ideas which aim to address certain global problems or local deficiencies present their projects as “pitches” for the investors. Often referred to as “elevator pitches”, startup pitches act as a bridge between creative teams and CEOs and their backers and investors. There are no rules as to who is viable to become a startup founder, as showcased by data published by Small Biz Genius:
- There are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world
- 26% of entrepreneurs turn to internet for business-related advice
- 33% of entrepreneurs only have a high-school diploma
- 60% of people who launch startups are between ages 40 and 60
Estelle Liotard, Senior Writer and Content Writing Specialist at Trust My Paper said the following: “Writing a startup pitch challenges your idea’s validity. If you can convince a third party to invest time and resources, especially with funding, into your project, you will know that your idea works. While it may be scary to write a startup pitch and make it your objective your that is the language investors speak the best – meet them halfway.”
Even if you don’t have plans to launch your startup in the immediate future, pitching your idea to potential investors can prove advantageous. Some of the most concrete benefits of writing and pitching your startup idea include but are not limited to:
- Gain further inspiration to develop your idea in detail
- Test your idea’s market and development viability
- Test your public speaking, presentation and sales skills
- Learn critical startup founder lessons from experienced individuals
- Network with like minded individuals for later collaboration
- Build personal reputation with trending investors and startup owners
Steps to Write a Flawless Startup Pitch
- Target the Lowest Denominator
Depending on the niche in which you want to build your startup idea, technical vocabulary and terminology can dissuade certain investors from funding it. That is why you should aim for the lowest common denominator in the room and adjust your lingo to be as accessible as possible.
Enunciate that investors can interrupt you at any point to ask about any advanced terminology which will inevitably pop up during the presentation. However, take the initiative and lower the barrier for entry to ensure everyone present understands what you’re pitching.
- Start with You
Who are you? What is your entrepreneurial background? Do you have experience in the industry you aim to position your startup in? How do you see modern working culture and how will your startup differ from the norm? It’s good practice to start your presentation with a brief history of “you”.
Use the opportunity to present your skillset, experience and portfolio to the investors in order to build credibility as a speaker early in the pitch. Even if investors know you through word of mouth or prior connection, be professional and address yourself before moving on to the topic at hand. After a short AMA (Ask Me Anything), it will be time to present your business idea in greater detail.
- Present a Problem/Solution Outline
Your investors have undoubtedly seen numerous presentations on “groundbreaking” or “transformative” businesses in their time – aim for a unique pitch instead. Don’t address your idea as a “company” or a “brand”, instead, present a pressing problem you aim to solve in the near future.
Once that’s done, move on to the solution to that problem, be it a product, a service, a new data processing algorithm, etc. Simon Sinek and his Why How What methodology of value proposition is a great template for startup pitching in this phase of the presentation. Break the mold – approach your investors with a practical problem/solution outline, not with a vague monologue, and you will receive a genuine response from them.
- Social Proof & Empiric Data
Any claims you make during your startup pitch should be backed by statistical data, empiric research and social proof. If you claim that “customers are unhappy with present market offering”, what is your source on that?
Likewise, customer testimonials, reviews, quotes and other user-generated content (UGC) can serve to prove your point during startup pitching. By relying on professional, trusted resources (such as published literature, research and industry websites), you will quickly solidify your credibility as a viable funding candidate.
- Simulate a Client Story
To further demonstrate the practical application of your startup’s product, a client story can be introduced to the presentation. A client story can be a simple 3-5 sentence scenario of a “Michael walking into a store” or “Samantha coming home from work”.
Depending on your product/service, these clients can engage with the solution you’ve created for a pressing problem (as discussed previously). Writing tools such as Supreme Dissertations, Evernote and Classy Essay, in addition to Readable and Grab My Essay can be utilized to write client stories. One story should suffice per pitch, given that it will serve only to illustrate, or simulate, your startup’s practical application on the open market.
- Long-Term Monetization & Prototyping
In order to find common ground with investors, you will have to think like a salesman for the duration of your startup pitch. This is why rudimentary monetization plans should find their way into your pitch without the investors’ explicit say-so.
Do you intend to launch the product/service in version 1.0 and continue its development? Do you intend to develop multiple variations of product/service for different regions and client profiles? The monetization plan should be followed by a prototype or an AR/VR demonstration of your idea. Present your investors with something they can “touch”, and your funding goals will be that much closer to fulfillment.
- Ask for Feedback & Follow-Up
Finally, the way you end your startup pitch will resonate with investors more than you might think. Take a proactive stance and ask for feedback, questions and a follow-up on their final decision in regards to your funding.
Take investor feedback in stride, don’t hold back in answering questions and set a flexible deadline (weeks or months) for follow-up on your funding request. Just because an idea is well thought-out and has long-term potential, what matters the most is the person (and people) at the helm. Founders who are communicative, sales-centric and professional in their delivery will always rise above the sea of startup pitches.
Facing a room of people with the power to make or break your startup idea is terrifying, especially if you pitch for the first time. However, it’s important to test your idea as much as possible and derive a better solution for practical development at the end of the day.
While they are driven by monetary gains, investors are excited at the prospects of pitching in and being part of revolutionary new business ventures. Be yourself, and the right investment partners will identify with your startup pitch shortly thereafter.
Bio: Dorian Martin is a Content Creator and Editor at Top Essay Writing, where he writes with a passion for digital marketing, IT and business development. He also writes for the best thesis writing service and aims to build a career in creating unique, practical and trending digital content. In his spare time, Dorian contributes to his blog and does his best to stay in touch with latest happenings in digital content marketing.
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