PITCHING TACTICS FOR ENTREPRENEURS

How to pitch your business in the best possible way

  • Open by stating your name, title/role, and company name (allows audience to get familiar with your voice before you start pitching)
  • The Quick Hook: Grab the emotional attention of the audience within the first 30 seconds
  • Definitely include these 5 elements: Problem – Solution – Market – Business – Team
  • Pitch your vision, not just what you currently have or are
  • Tell a story: Take your audience on an exciting upward journey with smooth transitions
  • Reference things people know / understand, don’t make people think or question you
  • Show real validators to prove your points, supported by strong emotional validators
  • The Right Opportunity: Clearly convey a Big Market + Big Problem + The Right Solution
  • The Right Team with these qualities: Integrity, Credibility, Passion, Experience, Knowledge, Skills, Leadership, Confidence, Commitment, Vision, Coachable, Doers
  • One Joke: Make audience laugh at least once, but don’t do a comedy routine
  • Don’t read slides or stare at projector screen! Look forward and connect with your audience
  • Don’t speak too fast, people listen better when you speak slower and you sound wiser!
  • Don’t use industry acronyms / terminology, or reference companies they won’t know
  • Don’t show a video, do show a quick DEMO or screen shots (pictures fail less often than live demo/video)

Tough questions you should expect from investors/jury panels

Company Questions:

  • What’s the history of the company? When did you start operating?
  • Why did you create this company?
  • How did you meet/find your team members? Why are you / team right people to execute this business?
  • Target market size? Minimum market penetration needed for success?
  • What’s your traction? (MVP done?, user/revenue growth?, key milestones?)
  • Why will you fail? Biggest challenges?
  • Why will you succeed? Unfair / sustainable advantages?
  • Are you a starter or finisher?
  • Show me how you achieve the magic ratio: ARPU / Life-time Value > Cost to Acquire / Maintain a Customer

Capital Raising Questions:

  • What’s the capital raising history of the company? How much / what terms?
  • When did you start raising this round? What investors have committed?
  • Have you invested any of your money?
  • Are your advisors investing?
  • What’s your valuation? Terms?
  • How much cash is in the bank? What’s your monthly burn rate (expenses not covered by operating cash flow from revenues)? = Runway (Cash / Burn Rate)
  • Use of proceeds and expected results/milestones?

Surprising questions:

#1: Who believes in you and how can I get in touch with them?

#2: What entrepreneurs do you admire and why?

#3: How do you track trends in your market?

#4: Can you tell me a story about a customer using your product?

#5: How do you know how much money you need and could you scale your business with less?

#6: How can I connect with 5 customers who have used your product or service?

#7: What will your market look like in five years as a result of using your product or service?

#8: What mistakes have you made thus far in this business and what have you learned?

#9: What if three or five years down the road we think you’re not the right person to continue running this company—how will you address that?

#10: Have you ever been fired from a job? Tell us about it.

Blogs and websites worth checking out

Venture Hacks (great list of articles about everything you need to know)
http://venturehacks.com/archives

Steve Blank’s website (great blog posts and resources)
https://steveblank.com/tools-and-blogs-for-entrepreneurs/

Sam Altman’s Startup Playbook for entrepreneurs
http://playbook.samaltman.com/

Brad Feld’s website (great blog posts about everything)
http://www.feld.com/archive

The FOCUS framework (Practical guide to reach product-market-fit)
https://thefocusframework.com

Create a landing page in 60 minutes
customerdevlabs.com/60-minutes-launch-instructions/

LEAN Stack (online editable and sharable lean canvas)
https://leanstack.com/

Landing Page Design

Instructions
http://customerdevlabs.com/60-minutes-launch-instructions/

Landing page creators with A/B testing capabilities
http://unbounce.com/
https://www.optimizely.com/
https://instapage.com/

Other website creation tools
https://www.strikingly.com/

Payment processing (taking pre-orders)
https://www.trycelery.com/

Prototyping your web or mobile app (without any coding)

http://keynotopia.com/ (simple and easy tool to design interactive (clickable), exportable prototypes)

https://balsamiq.com/ (rapid wire-framing tool that helps you work faster & smarter.)

https://www.sketchapp.com/ (slightly more advanced design tool)

https://www.invisionapp.com/ (making your visuals clickable)

Tutorial for SKETCH (designing screens for digital products (vector design tools that develops click-able prototypes

https://www.switchtosketchapp.com/

Tips and tricks from Henrik Scheel

How to deal with anxiety

Madlibs for Pitching model by Adeo Ressi