Getting the Green Light
You have a great business idea, you’ve begun testing the concept, and you’ve connected with potential investors. Now you have to convince them that you’re worth it. Here are some tips for making a winning pitch.
1. Have a prepared presentation (a “pitch deck”) that will help you pitch your entire idea and business plan in less than 20 minutes. It should be about 10 pages long and should include a cover page, a summary of your business, and the elements below.
2. Bring more than enough printouts of your pitch deck, nicely bound, for your team and prospective investors. Have a notepad for jotting things down.
3. Start with your elevator pitch, a one-sentence description of the company, a succinct explanation of the size of the market space, and the state of the company thus far.
4. Launch into the business problem your concept solves and your solution, highlighting the strengths of your approach.
5. Set yourself apart. Describe your competition and explain what makes you different.
6. Talk about the market space for the company you’re in, and your specific market segment.
7. Present your model for generating revenue. Identify the core revenue stream, present reasonable pricing structures, and project them out for a meaningful amount of time. Include how much money you’ve already raised or invested yourself and what you’ve accomplished with it.
8. Describe your team and how its members’ expertise is relevant to your business. Bring key players to your presentation.
9. End the pitch by stating how much of an investment you want in exchange for how much of a stake in the company you’re willing to give.
10.Be ready for questions. Learn a bit about your audience beforehand and anticipate their interests and concerns.
11. Throughout your presentation, be able to back up anything you say. And remember: make good eye contact, stand up straight, and speak audibly. Investors love to see confidence.