Before a startup can become a huge business, it has to pass through various hurdles. One of these hurdles is funding. A startup is characterized by scarce resources, and therefore, looks towards investors and other financial institutions for funding. To be able to do that, you need to create a startup pitch and present it (perhaps, present it remotely due to the Coronavirus) to potential investors.
In this article, we’ll discuss all about startup pitching, how to pitch your idea using a pitch deck, and tips for presenting remotely.
What Is Startup Idea Pitch
Everything begins with an idea. Your startup pitch is basically an idea for your business that you get to present to potential investors and other stakeholders.
Moving from the initial idea to a successful business is anything but easy. However, there have been millions of entrepreneurs who have been on the same journey and have countless pearls of wisdom to share with us. Learning from the experiences of various business people, including Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerburg, Steve Jobs, etc. can give you insights into your own business.
How To Present Your Startup Idea With A Pitch Deck
A Pitch Deck is a presentation to have in front of stakeholders to demonstrate your business plan and the vision for your startup. Typically, a pitch deck presentation contains 10 to 20 slides, however, the final number of slides may vary depending on the topic, the type of pitch to deliver and other circumstances. With the help of pitch deck templates, entrepreneurs can save time preparing their presentations. Instead of reinventing the wheel creating a presentation design from scratch, pitch deck slides can be used.
Typically, a winning pitch deck includes the following components which are normally presented as slides (be it in PowerPoint, as a PDF or using any other presentation tool, platform or format):
The most successful businesses have been those that have identified problems and have solved them for others.
What problem does your business aim to solve? You may make this slide more relatable by including a story while defining the problem.
In this slide, you will describe the solution—your product or service. You will describe how your customers will use the product or service and how it can solve their issues effectively.
This slide offers a short and sweet overview of your startup and the value you would give to your customers. You don’t have to overdo it and can keep this slide simple and to-the-point.
Your Unique Selling Proposition
In this section, you can showcase how your startup is uniquely qualified to address customers’ pain points. How is your startup ready to solve the problems that the customers may have? This is included in the USP, a slide where you present what is your unique selling proposition.
This slide includes details about your ideal customer and the market you’re targeting. Your investors would want to know the market size and the spending potential there is to make their decision accordingly. Ideally, you can include the problem you’re trying to solve in this section and describe how it affects your target market and the benefits they can avail of once you solve it for them.
Your Business Model
After outlining your solution, you need to describe your business model and how it makes you profitable. How do you price your product or service? How do you supply it to customers? Who pays which bills, and much more. Typically, the Business Model is presented in a Canvas, which is a one-page slide with nine components: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, and cost structure.
In this slide, you include the path your business will take, or is already on. If your business has achieved a few milestones, be sure to include those in this slide so that investors can learn about your achievements.
Sales and Marketing Strategy
How will you develop strong customer relationships such that your business creates advocates? What will your sales strategy look like? You will include all of these details in this slide.
In this slide, you will include the financial aspects of your startup—the income statement, the sales forecast, cash flow forecast, etc. to demonstrate to your investors. However, make sure that you don’t include entire spreadsheets here because that will be difficult for the audience to see.
This slide includes information about your competitors and how you are different from them.
Tips For Pitching Your Startup Idea Remotely
Ever since the Coronavirus was declared a pandemic, most governments advised people to work from home and practice social distancing. The way we work and do things have completely changed since then; however, as we slowly get used to the new normal, and life and work continues, remote presentations are included in businesses and organizations.
If you also have a remote presentation on your startup pitch, here are a few tips to ace it.
Tell A Story
For both in-person and remote pitches, the first tip is extremely important, and as you're pitching remotely, it is doubly crucial: the slide deck is not the pitch. Your pitch is the story that you tell.
So what does this mean? This is a linear narrative that depicts the key reasons why any investor would want to invest in you.
Explain What Your Product Does
At the end of the day, your product matters and if your investors aren’t able to understand what it does, your efforts will be in vain.
Therefore, explain comprehensively what your product does and how it solves the problem for your customers.
Do Killer Positioning
Ultimately, your investors would want to know about your positioning in the market to be able to invest in you. Therefore, you need to focus on your positioning and how you convey it to your investors. Make sure this is the slide that your investors remember and repeat!
Since you’re doing a remote presentation, here are a few miscellaneous tips to follow:
- Ensure a fast and reliable internet connection so that connectivity isn’t lost in between crucial moments.
- Make sure you are visible and audible throughout the remote presentation.
- Dedicate a room for the presentation so that you don’t get distracted.
- Breathe, and start with a smile!
In this article, we talked about startup idea pitching, what a pitch deck is and what is included in it, as well as a few tips on presenting your pitch remotely to investors!