Delivering a proper pitch is not as easy as it sounds. There are a lot of things you should keep in mind. Investors are looking for people who have the power to crush their competition, they want you to show them you can invent the future, they want to know your secret and how you’ll make the world better. So gathering information on how to present a proper pitch before actually preparing one is important. Here are some tips from some US investors and VCs:
Advice from top VCs on how to pitch perfect
Dave McClure, 500 startups
Dave McClure recommends explaining the problem at the beginning of your pitch. Mention what you are willing to solve as a startup to help the users. You can explain it by giving an example of users that are willing to use the product but have had a specific problem. This is the way to create an emotional connection with your audience.
Ron Conway, SV Angel
In an interview for OZY, Ron Conway talked about the dos and don’ts in pitching. Do show the investors why they should listen to you. Do use a picture or even better a demo or a prototype, it makes it much more clear. If you still haven’t reached that level, you can compare your startup to other companies and products. That way the investors can visualize the product or service. One of the things you shouldn’t do during your pitch is rambling; you have to be very precise in all of your answers.
Paul Graham, Y Combinator
Just like Dave McClure and Ron Conway, Paul Graham recommends explaining the problem as soon as possible as well as showing a demo so the investors can visualise your concept.
You should also focus on the way of presenting and the business model. However, try not to go too deep into the business model you have at that point, it’s just an estimation as it will change during the process. It’s better to give the investors an idea of how your product or service will fit the market. During the pitch it’s better to have one person talking, otherwise, it can get chaotic. Pick the extrovert in your team to pitch.
Marc Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz
‘The Mind of Marc Andreessen‘ published by The New Yorker is a very helpful article. It’s about his experience with almost every startup he funded with additional tips. Don’t try to be something you’re not, investors like to see who you really are, and what’s your startup’s essence. Investors are looking for people who have the power to crush their competition. According to Marc, the top VCs want you to show them you can reinvent the future. The investors want to see whether the founder has a secret – something that comes from their personal experience, about how to make the world better.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn
In 2013, Reid Hoffman decided to share the pitch deck he used in 2004 to pitch LinkedIn to Greylock (for a Series B investment). He realized he could help many more entrepreneurs by making it available, in order for them to learn from a successful company which started out the way they did. According to Reid, startups should be strict at picking their investors too. Getting financial support is not just about one thing. Partnering with investors is more than just the money, it’s about delivering that extra value to get to the next level. Great investors can boost the strength of your network, or they can be a source of network intelligence. How can you know if an investor would add value? Pay attention, if they are constructive during the financial process, they will.
Furthermore, all of the VCs recommend leaving some time at the end of your pitch for questions and discussion with the investors.