8 tips to pitch your startup to success!

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You have a startup and you have prepared its business model and go-to-market plan. What’s the next step? A pitch! You need to craft a great pitch for your startup to investors! A successful pitch is your ultimate way to secure funds and get your startup on its feet.

The Tank, by Umniah organized an event in partnership with Seedstars, during which 10 startups pitched their business to a panel of hand selected jury members, and a diverse audience of 100 entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem players.

It’s time to pitch your startup to promising success with these 8 simple and effective tips!

Prepare a killer pitch deck and use visuals

Avoid using a lot of text and try to replace it with images, charts and graphics. Visuals do not only make your presentation more attractive but are a sure-fire way to lock into your audience’s memory. Make sure to use the right visual aids that can act as a reference during your presentation in the rare cases that you forget what you want to say. One important thing to keep in mind is to add your startup’s brand color and font type throughout the presentation. Consistency is key.

how to pitch
Tell a story

One thing that most successful entrepreneurs have in common is the ability to tell great stories. Telling a story that ties with your idea helps create a narrative structure to your presentation. So, try to incorporate your story early on to your presentation to engage your audience from the beginning. Paint the picture of startup story and share it in a simple and effective way as it will help you integrate your data and information in an interesting way. This method can boost your pitch as it will help you communicate and integrate all the facts, statistics and information in a memorable way.

Research your audience first

In most competitions, an email would be sent to contestants with the names of the jury members. Make sure to use this information for your advantage. Research about the members and find out what are their disciplines, demographics, values and interests. Just look for any piece of information that will allow you to build common grounds with the audience.

Research your audience first

In most competitions, an email would be sent to contestants with the names of the jury members. Make sure to use this information for your advantage. Research about the members and find out what are their disciplines, demographics, values and interests. Just look for any piece of information that will allow you to build common grounds with the audience.

startup pitch
Focus on problems and solutions

Think of the big picture here. What really makes your startup different than the numerous ones popping up each and every day? What are some problems people seem to face and are overlooked that only you can be able to solve effectively?
Start your presentation with the problem and gradually end it with your solutions. Also present the potential take-aways that both consumers and product owners will attain through this. If you’ve already managed to take your startup to the real world, investors could appreciate that and this could help set you apart as your idea is not only just a fictional concept.

Keep your eye out on the competition

Competition is inescapable in the business world. Investors are very well aware of that and what they are interested to hear is how your startup stands out from the crowded competition. So, be mindful of what it is that you can offer that is unique, innovative, and a step ahead of the game.

Focus on the unique value proposition of your product

Your aim is to sell your idea to investors and that’s why you should always highlight the unique value proposition of your product and how it’s different. Convince them why they should invest their money in what you are offering. Try to include a phrase or a slogan in every slide that pertains to the unique identity of your product, so that it subconsciously sticks to their minds.

pitch for startup
Answer questions smartly

Sometimes it’s all about how you present yourself confidently. A well-prepared presenter is someone who anticipates the questions the jury might ask. Present your pitch in front of someone who has no idea about your startup and note down their questions and prepare answers accordingly. If you are asked a question that you don’t have an answer to, simply say “That’s actually a great idea which my team and I will discuss and integrate into our project” or “We would definitely like to discuss this with you during the coffee break”.

Practice, practice, practice

As the old saying goes: “Practice makes perfect.” Practicing will help you ace the pitch. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll be when presenting. Every time you practice, you lessen the chances of you forgetting what to say as it enables you to focus more on building a connection with the audience and attracting their attention. Make sure to time yourself and keep your presentation in under 20 minutes long.

Finally, as nerve-wrecking it could be to some as you will be the centerpiece of the room with all eyes on you, try to maintain eye-contact with audience. This simple and most repeated advice will definitely keep investors engaged. Remember, even nerves can be used as energy. So, use that energy to your advantage and move around if you can. In fact, that can signal you as being confident and honest.

Last but not least, keep a smile on your face. Now are you ready to ace that pitch and transform your idea to reality?

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