Guest Post from Detroit Venture Partners contributed to EntryPoint’s 2021 Detroit & Ann Arbor Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Reports.
Although the way founders pitch to investors today has changed dramatically due to COVID-19, the tenets of a successful pitch remain largely the same. Whether you are meeting with investors in person or over Zoom, the goal is to get a commitment so you can continue building. Here are a few tips and best practices we have learned over our years of operating and investing to help you nail your next pitch.
Keep it simple, be direct, and get to the point. In most cases, you will likely have just 20-30 minutes to sell your vision and convince investors to move forward with you. Focus on nailing the headlines with the deck content and filling in details as you tell your story. The one caveat to this tip centers on your fundraising slide: Be clear about how much you are raising and outline the major milestones that this capital will help you achieve.
Talk about your team early in the pitch. Early stage investing, especially at the pre-seed and seed stage, is as much or more of an endorsement in the team as it is in the product or market. A unique product or massive market will peak investor interest, but the strength of the team is what gets the deal done nine out of ten times. Your goal should be to quickly convince investors that your team has an unfair advantage over competitors and that it is the team that will win your market.
Know your business inside and out. Great founders ground themselves in the minutiae – the details surrounding their startups and the industries in which they operate. Early stage investors may not always ask detailed questions about industry benchmarks, financials, etc., but you will make a deep and positive impression when they do by answering clearly and concisely. If you do not know the answer to a question, say so and let the investor know you will get it to them.
Remember, pitch conversations are two-way streets. These meetings are an opportunity for both parties to figure out if they would like to work together for the next 10+ years. Ask real questions about your investors, what they bring to the table for their portfolio companies, and what their decision process entails.
Keep moving forward. Stats tell us most pitch meetings will result in “pass” decisions. Remember, this is your vision for the future and you are going to build it with or without those who hear your pitch. Visit http://www.detroit.vc to learn more about Detroit Venture Partners.
Visit www.detroit.vc to learn more about Detroit Venture Partners.