I attended on 12th June 2017 a presentation and workshop on pitching ideas for entrepreneurs. Not only have I learnt a great deal but also the host Adeo Ressi from Founder Institute made everyone feel comfortable by joking all the time!😂
The Founder Institute is a global idea-stage accelerator and startup launch program helping entrepreneurs ‘with the structure, training, mentor support, and global network needed to start an enduring company’: http://fi.co/users/1329971/edit
So, Adeo Ressi started his talk by stating the five most important rules to follow when pitching your idea to potential investors:
- Show confidence. This is valid for any kind of enterprises you want to launch!
- Don’t make excuses for not pitching your ideas!
- Avoid superlatives/adjectives
- Use data, in other terms, be factual. Back up your ideas by showing you know your audience needs (demographics, size, geolocation…)
- End strong by stating clearly what your ask is! Why not leave with a slogan, for example.
He started with the basics, i.e the opening line you need to master for each of your pitch:
‘My company is [name], is developing [a defined offering], to help [a target audience] [solve a problem with the secret sauce].
It sounds easier than it is, so keep in mind these further tips when you are working on your opening line:
- Be prepared to bring up a defined offering to the table, keep it clear (articulate, especially your company name!) and short!
- You also need to specify your audience (age group, education level…) and what they truly want!
- Never lie but don’t tell the whole truth easier. Remember the point about confidence?😉
Then, Adeo went into more general tips on how to get a higher visibility and brand awareness. He advised all entrepreneurs to find a prominent lead by doing research to figure out who might need your deal and by exploiting your networking opportunities through the following sites:
Remember that your chosen lead must have time, money and expertise to help you out. You may need to repeat the pitching process up to 60 times to get one lead.
Now, let’s enter into the nitty-gritty of the pitching process:
- Meet as many people as you can
- Send invitations for coffee
- Keep updated with news
- Meet potential leads at online and offline events
- Send invitations for longer meetings once you have broken the ice with one lead
- Ask for funding
- News update again.
Remember not to over-sell yourself and that the goal of each meeting is to get to the next meeting. You need to build relationship and trust.
Prepare a one-paged agreement with those who have shown interest in investing. Remember, the real investor will be the one you come towards to and pitch your idea to, and not the other way around!
When approaching someone about to invest in your company, ask for a little less than you wanted and explicitly ask if they want to be your adviser and lead the round.
When pitching, think about what the focus of your offer/service/product is on:
- A vision
- Traction/Interest (eg raise money for a business milestone that generates revenue).
Finally, according to Adeo Rossi, the hardest business areas to pitch for, as investors are harder to convince to invest in due to the high risks are Travel, Music, Sports, Wine.😓 So, keep that in mind and find a complementary service that could add additional value!