As a startup business owner, raising money to fund your idea is crucial. If you’re seeking investment from angel investors or venture capitalists, one of the first things you should prepare is your investor pitch (sometimes known as a ‘pitch desk’). Here are our top tips on creating a killer pitch that’s sure to land you an investment.
What Exactly is an Investor Pitch?
An investor pitch, or pitch desk, is a brief presentation (usually created using PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi) outlining who your company are, what you do, and why the investors you’re pitching to should put their money into your business.
Start with a Solid Structure
To help you out, here’s an outline of how to effectively structure the presentation slides you’ll be creating for your investor pitch. These are the essential questions investors will want answers to, so make sure you address each point in your presentation.
- Why Are You Here?
The best way of starting your pitch is telling your potential investors who you are and what you do. This should be done in one succinct statement – one that will probably take a lot of re-writing. This is your first, and arguably most crucial, slide for your presentation, so make sure your statement of purpose is impressive. At this point, it would be really effective to explain what motivated you to be here pitching today – a little backstory behind the business.
- Who are the People Behind the Scenes?
We’ve already written about how important it is to include the people working hard behind the scenes in your startup’s business story, and the same rule applies here. People relate to other people; showing how your people work not only creates an emotional connection, but gives an idea of the talented, charismatic workforce behind your business idea. Showing how skilled your colleagues are will instil a sense of confidence in your potential investors.
- What’s the Problem?
Here, you’ll need to explain to the investor(s) the problem your business aims to address. This shows your investors how aware you are of the current market pressures and that you want to solve real issues.
- What’s the Solution?
To truly grab the investors’ attention, you need to prove that your innovative solution is better, faster, more cost-effective than old ones – not an easy feat considering that people crave familiarity; that’s why your amazing marketing and presentation skills need really shine here to persuade the investors that your solution is better than any current or past ones.
- Do You Have Evidence of a Successful Business Plan?
You must, must, must show traction in your pitch deck. Business traction is the progress of your startup company and the momentum it gains as it grows. The higher the traction, the more attractive your organisation is to investors! Show off your successes (including monthly recurring revenue, customer reviews and month over month growth) to appeal to investors in the early stages of funding your company.
- What Budget Have You Planned?
At this point, it might be tempting to show a financial projection for a 5-year plan. However, what’s more effective than this is to tell your financial story and to clearly explain the costs to start and operate your business to achieve its goals in a set period of time. Although lots of financial projections can be off-putting to your potential investors, don’t go unprepared – it’s always a good idea to have a contingency plan in mind just in case you’re asked something like, “What if a PESTEL factor affects your expected growth?”.
- Can We Get Back to You?
Chances are, investors aren’t going to snatch your hand off and offer you a deal straight away; they’ll want to think about it and consider their options. That’s why it’s essential for you to leave your contact details after the pitch. Whether you add this in as a presentation slide right at the end, or you offer them a classic Business Card, just make sure your email address and phone number are clearly available. It’s also a good idea to print your presentation out because, unless you’re rehearsing at your venue, you might struggle to read what’s on the screen and come across as professional. You can then give your details straight to the investors. If you do choose to print it off, make sure you pop them in a branded Presentation Folder to really clinch the deal.
Extra Tips and Tricks
- Keep your investor pitch short – 10-20 slides should do it (but as close to 10 as possible is ideal). Entrepreneur advise that if an investor tells you that you’ve got X minutes to pitch, always take 5 minutes off that, so it’s really important to keep it short and sweet.
- Use more pictures than text. There’s nothing as unappealing as a screen full of text – and to come across as a sleek, well-studied professional, don’t read directly off the screen.
- Treat it like an interview. You know you’re going to be asked questions, so anticipate what they might be and plan some of your answers beforehand.