4 Ways to Secure Seed Funding with an Impressive Investor Presentation
If your startup is still very much in the ideation phase, presenting to investors can be particularly terrifying. Investors want passion and the details of your company. Having both of these things and being able to show them is essential. What it all comes down to, once you have an investor meeting is being able to express your idea at the investor presentation.
A professional pitch deck can only get you so far. You need to know the numbers and your concept by heart. Entrepreneurs can be thrown completely off course when a busy investors simply asks for a quick elevator pitch with no slides included. Being prepared for any kind of investor presentation starts with these four tips.
1. Kick it Off Relatably
A successful hook at the very beginning of your pitch is a must-have to get an investor’s attention, but it needs to be more than just attention-grabbing. A really successful hook is something that the investor can personally relate to. It’s something they understand or are very familiar with.
At MaGIC Accelerator Program, over 50 startups made their pitches to a room full of investors and the standouts were clear. Auto Craver, an online car dealer company, they began their pitch by pointing out an experience that nearly everyone could remember.
The startup asked the crowd if they could remember the last time they’d sold a car or bought one used. Not waiting for a response, they replied, “Of course you do! It was horrible.” Connecting memorable human experiences to your startup is a simple way to get investors to relate to your idea. Starting out on the right foot begins and ends with getting investors to understand and like your concept.
2. Speak with Exactness
On Gimlet Media’s Startup podcast, Alex Blumberg records his journey as he founds and funds his media company. The very first episode entitled, How Not to Pitch to a Billionaire, is an enlightening tale for entrepreneurs.
The episode starts with Blumberg pitching to Chris Sacca, billionaire early investor in Twitter, Instagram, Kickstarter, and Uber. The pitch was an all-out disaster, but it’s a great lesson for upcoming entrepreneurs.
First in Sacca’s checklist for a potential startup is their conviction. He spoke of how he heard about Instagram and didn’t think much of the photo-sharing platform, but could feel the passion and determination in the founder’s voice.
Beyond that, Sacca was looking for an exact estimate of funding needed, evidence of the need for your startup and how it will be profitable, and a succinct timeline of breakeven. After Blumberg’s less than impressive pitch, Sacca gave it right back to him. The investor actually pretended to be Blumberg and told him how he should have pitched and then told him why his company wasn’t a good bet. It’s clear the investor was looking for someone who could deliver their idea in a succinct, confident, and fact-packed way.
3. Crafting the Focus
There are likely certain aspects of your pitch that are more important for the investors to get than others. Mikael Cho, Founder of Crew, created a curated platform for designers and developers that won the startup two million in one round of seed funding.
Cho went to his company’s blog to explain how they did it with their pitch deck. The first step that entrepreneurs should take to create their pitch deck is to decide on the main elements you’ll need to craft your story.
With all the elements laid out, Cho and his team were able to see which element had the greatest impact on their idea. They decided that market opportunity was one of the strongest parts on their story and that it would be the focus piece of their story. Through iterations after practice with an investor, Cho realized that growth was really their main selling point and moved that slide to the beginning.
Cho’s pitch was more successful because he found out what the real focus of his pitch was and highlighted that very early on. Thinking about your startup, beyond the concept, determine the most important factor that sells investors.
4. Sell Your Team
Surprisingly, your team can be one of the biggest selling points of your startup. Investors want to know what you are the one who should be creating this business. What makes you solely capable of creating the best version of your idea.
Gimlet Media’s Blumberg worked at This American Life before starting his own podcast company. He knew everything about how a successful podcast works making him uniquely fit for his business idea.
If you aren’t particularly qualified to launch the startup, consider finding a startup founder who is or cultivate resources and skills to make yourself qualified. Entrepreneurs can win an investor presentation by stepping in front of their product and highlighting themselves.
What do you think makes an investor pitch? Where are you in the process of creating one? Any tips? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.