CREATING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS PITCH | A guide for early stage entrepreneurs |
| Some context / intro |
In latest years, the use of terms such as “business pitch”, “elevator pitch”, “investment pitch” have raised in popularity. Every tech pro or wanna be entrepreneur uses these phrases during their daily basis interactions, when they get in contact with investors, or when they’re attending events But what is a pitch, exactly?
A business pitch is the delivery of a business and product strategy verbally by an entrepreneur or a startup team to investors, potential partners, potential customers, media or any other targeted audience.
Every time an entrepreneur is pitching an idea, product or technology, the aim is typically the same: to secure funding from investors or to close business partnerships. Nevertheless, it’s important to mention that a good business pitch is getting better if used not only in front of investors but in every business environments, networking events or industry conferences that occur on a daily basis, of course, adapted to each pitching occasion.
A business pitch can vary significantly in content and delivery if it is used for a public or private event.
A public pitch is targeted to a more diverse audience, most of the times in a context when multiple presentations are delivered. In such a context, the biggest enemy of the pitcher is not the previous or next pitch, but the overwhelming quantity of information that wants to get in the audience’s head.
“That’s why public pitches focus more on the storytelling part, trying to engage with audience’s emotions and curiosity. You will still need numbers and facts, but the way you dress up the presentation becomes equally important. Remember also that the objective of a public pitch is not to get an investor or partner convinced but curious. Measure the success of your pitch by the number of relevant people who are reaching out to you after, or by the number of people you are approaching who already know who you are and what you do.”, says Bogdan Iordache, Investor and Program director of MVP Academy accelerator.
A private pitch, on the other hand, is different in many ways. Most of the time private pitches are targeted towards convincing an investor or partner that you should do business together. The presentation should be less focused on storytelling (you already have their attention) and more focused on business details. Get all your numbers and projections straight, know your market, competition, get ready to explain how you manage the risks associated with your go-to-market strategy and team enlargement.
Sometimes, public pitches are slammed for their lack of consistency because they do not provide all the relevant information. It is true that sometimes pitching events, be it demo days or contests, feel more like a pony show than a business event. But in the same time, remember that they serve a different purpose and should be judged with different measures.
It is important to understand from the very beginning of this guide that you need to tailor your pitch to the needs of each business opportunity you’re getting. Investors have specific interests about the team, business model or business strategy, while a potential business partner is interested in the business benefits and growth opportunity for his business.
A business pitch has various specifications an entrepreneur should care about when creating his presentation depending on the audience that he/she targets.
In this guide, we will explore in detail:
- how to develop an effective business pitch to attract the interest of investors
- what is a pitch deck
- some of the best structures to use.
Besides, you will access the knowledge and experience of some of the most successful entrepreneurs in our network that pitched in front of thousands of people and, eventually, secured investment as well.
| The pitch deck |
Business plan pitches are, most of the time, presented with the aid of PowerPoint presentations, Keynote/Prezi presentations, demo videos or other tools that can help you deliver a broad description of your company, your team, your product, your overall business: this is what we often call the pitch deck. You can use the pitch deck for your face to face meetings with investors, during pitching events, for your online meetings or other business environments where you need to present your startup.
Regarding pitch decks, there are multiple templates available on the Internet. You can find some of them here, here, here and here. Still, from our experience of working with tech startups for 8 years now, we believe that more important than the template or even the content, is the structure of your pitch deck and how you prioritise your information.
As journalists start their articles with the most important information and leave the background details at the end, this principle also applies to your pitch deck structure.
To make it easier for you to understand, here’s what you should insert in every slide of your business presentation, your pitch deck: