Indeed we all are in the festive spirit, wish you all festive season populace. In today’s blog, we would be focusing on ‘nailing your pitch on Pepcorns’.
Few understand this, a great idea is only valuable if you could explain it in the simplest form, say a 5-year old analogy. You would have noticed this lately all great entrepreneurs are storytellers that’s because they exactly know how to connect with their audience. They speak in the language of their customers. The idea is to deliver persuasive thought that bonds with the person in front of you, like if they listening or reading they literally get lost in that world. The idea is not to convince but to show as much as possible rather than just telling.
On Pepcorns, your pitch section is the most powerful fundraising tool. It’s how you can entice potential investors to join you. Ensure that your pitch is clear, crisp, and compelling.
Why is it important to have a clear pitch?
It’s crucial to be able to articulate what you do and why it’s important, without using jargon, fluff, or a whiteboard. The ability to boil down a big, hairy, complex problem to its simplest form is a skill you must develop. It shows investors that you’ll be able to sell customers on your product, sell business partners on your mission, sell talent on your company, etc.
How do I build out my pitch?
Start your campaign by uploading slides from your pitch deck or, you can start from scratch. In general, these slides may vary from 10–12 depending on the business. We suggest the following content and order:
- Highlights: Mention company key points. (significant achievements)
- Problem: Articulate the problem your company solves.
- Solution: Share a picture of your product/service. Also, include your value proposition — the unique way your product solves the problem.
- Market: Use a graph or chart to illustrate market size. Show both current size and projected growth, if applicable! (Be sure to emphasize that growth estimates are projections that cannot be guaranteed if you include ‘em!)
- Traction: Provide an overview of your traction since founding. Consider a timeline of your past ~5 major milestones.
- Growth: Show growth with a line graph of revenue, customers, users — whatever is applicable.
- Research: Include significant findings, supported by data.
- How it works: Describe how your product works in 3 steps with a picture or icon for each.
- Competition: Include a competitive analysis chart to show what differentiates your product from others & how it’s better.
- Business model: Outline how your company generates revenue — investors want to know!
- Use of funds: Include 1–2 pie charts detailing how you’ll use funds, given you raise your minimum and/or maximum on Pepcorns.
- Future/Vision: Offer a timeline of your next ~5 key milestones for the next year or so.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts
Be clear: Investors invest in startups they understand. So, simplify, simplify, simplify! You’re going to describe what your company does thousands of times — to users, to investors, to shareholders, to prospective employees. People who know nothing about your business should be able to grasp what you do, quickly and fully. Make things as simple and clear as humanly possible.
Be concise: Use as few words as possible. Concision conveys to investors that you’ve thought deeply about your idea and how your company will work and grow.
Be conversational: A great pitch is one you can give to your mom and she’ll get it. It’s not technical, it’s conversational. This will also encourage word of mouth spread of the investment opportunity — people talk in normal conversational speak!
Get feedback: Pick 10 people, arrange a 30-minute phone call, and ask for their feedback on your campaign page. These could be college friends, Twitter followers, or prospective investors. Identify themes in the feedback. Then, double down on what they find especially compelling & get ahead of common questions or confusions by addressing them on the page.
Excite them about your raise, too!
Ambiguity. Ask yourself, “Is this vague or unclear? Can it be interpreted in more than one way? Would someone need to ask clarifying questions?” Keep your pitch simple and focused.
Mystery. Eliminate all industry jargon. Minimize indefinite pronouns like “this” or “it”? Avoid marketing speak, MBA speak, and buzz words — prospective investors will tune out.
Looking for more resources?
Check out Y Combinator’s Library :
- How to Pitch Your Startup — Kevin Hale
- How to Pitch Your Company
- How Pitching Investors is Different Than Pitching Customers — Michael Seibel
DocSend’s seed research shows that 31 seconds of investors’ time spent on your business model slides can result in over $150K funding.