How to Pitch Your Startup

Passion, hardwork, and a healty amount of obsession are essential ingredients to entrepreneurial success. A startup founder’s ultimate success is dependent on others buying into his of her vision. It means, your progress is contingent upon your ability to pitch the value of who you are, what you’re doing and why it matters.Early-stage founders can use pitch deck templates to create visual presentation that provide brief overviews of business value propositions, market opportunities and metrics. The purpose of a presentation deck is to enable entrepreneurs to effectively tell the story of their business. In many ways it’s like a structured scientific proof. You want to walk the listener through an argument as to why this is going to be an amazing business.We shouldn’t expect to construct the perfect pitch deck right away, we may begin by constructing the simplest description of your business possible: The Elevator Pitch. When you meet hundred of people at various meeting, you have seconds to peak someone’s curiousity, and the best way to do that is compelling Elevator Pitch. This one-sentence statement explains what you do, who you serve and why it matters in simple language.After you’ve articulated you Elevator Pitch, you can expand upon your short pitch with the details potential investors, partners, and team members care most about with a 1-minute pitch. A 1-Minute Pitch usually delivered in a pitch competition.Before creating your pitch deck, it’s important to consider the perspective of potntial investors. The current VC landscape is showing bigger deals spread amongst fewer startup. In order to stand out, your pitch must include both the specific informational components investors are seeking and a memorable story that illustrates a compelling opportunity.The biggest challenge of making a memorable deck is building a storyline that echoes outside of the pitch deck. This means, building a storyline that is not only easy for investors to remember, but also a storyline that’s easy for them to repeat and regurgitate to other potential investors. Your job is to convince investors your startup offers the greatest potential return, with the least amount of risk. Investors evaluate risk in three main areas: Market Risk, Product Risk, and Execution Risk.One of the biggest investor turnoffs is lack of revenue potential. Putting money into a product that isn’t strong enough to succeed. Your product or service must be useful, usable and unique. Finally, experienced VCs know amazing ideas are worthless without qualified teams bringing them to fruition.Our objective is to succinctly illustrate your marketplace knowledge, business model and qualifications for execution. What's really important is to not go into the weeds of all the details because what you’re trying to do is give them enough information that they want more information. Your goal at meeting No. 1 is to get people interested enough that they want meeting No. 2. Avoid excessive text, use large fonts that are easy to read, include colorful charts, statistics and graphics, and label each slide (e.g. problem, solution, team). We shouldn’t include unsubstantiated growth projections, describe extraneous hiring details, use tons of bullet points, and inflate your capabilities.The founders need two pitch decks: (1) a detailed version that can be shared with investors via email, and (2) a simplified version that can be elaborated upon in person. It’s not uncommon for investors to request to see a deck before agreeing to meet. Conversely, a standard deck should be streamlined to ensure investors spend more time listening and less time reading.We have creative freedom when organizing and presenting your slides. Here are the four most common types of pitch deck formats: The Problem-Solution Deck, The Vision-Opportunity Deck, The Team Deck, and The Traction Deck. The most commonly used pitch deck template is the Problem-Solution Deck, which is ideal for founders with especially unique solutions to widespread problems.don’t be afraid to venture outside of existing formats, so long as you're including necessary information. The most compelling elements of your business plan, your unique value proposition (UVP) and your intended audience should all inform how you structure your deck.The problem-solution deck format is cover, summary, problem, solution, product, business model, market opportunity, competition, growth, traction, financials, team, funding, summary, and appendix. All of it should be explained specificallyDuring the presentation, when somebody asks you a question, that’s the right time to address the question. Even if it means you have to jump ahead or jump back. entrepreneurs must demonstrate flexibility, spontaneity and willingness to “jump off” script.Here are some of Ressi’s(CEO of the Founder Institute) best pitch presentation tips: Keep it under 10 minutes, Tell a story (take your audience on a journey of why this business matters), have a clear UVP, show your passion, and anticipate question. Delivering the perfect pitch takes practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.Constructing a pitch deck is a crucial component of delivering a compelling investment presentation. A winning deck clearly articulates a target audience, a problem worth solving and a scalable solution. It also mitigates the three types of risk investors care most about: Product Risk, Market Risk and Execution Risk.However, displaying something “technically correct” isn’t enough. For better or worse, most investors associate good storytelling with entrepreneurial capability. Therefore, “mastering the pitch” is crucial for founders wanting to secure venture capital. The easiest way to enhance your entrepreneurial storytelling skills, and improve your pitch deck, is to join a startup community dedicated to your success.
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Alwin Wiryawan

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