So your compelling Executive Summary or a referral from a trusted colleague was able to help you land a meeting with a potential investor. This is your chance to impress them with both yourself and the business opportunity. Below you will find a compilation of tips and resources from a variety of serial entrepreneurs and investors to assist you in creating and delivering the best possible pitch. And remember, your goal in this initial meeting is to get to another more meaningful meeting.
The key components of a pitch are similar to those that would be addressed in an Executive Summary. Use that document for guidance on what the potential investor or partner would like to see from you, and check out the Additional Resources below for additional tips.
Short and Sweet - For a first meeting, keep your pitch at a maximum of 10-15 slides. Remember that the goal here is not to get a deal done, but to get to another meeting.
Pitch to the Audience - As with any presentation, the content should address the interest of the audience. If the Pitch is being delivered to a potential equity financing investor, focus less on the science and more on the business opportunity. The converse is true for a potential partner or collaborator as they will likely know the problem and market quite well, but will be more interested in the technical solution that your company has to offer.
Be Flexible - Get the interest of your audience and listen closely to feedback. Despite your best efforts, the business idea that you pitch may still require significant work and modifications before it is suitable for funding or partnering.
Representation - Be confident and persuasive, but do not overstate the truth as this will come out sooner or later and does not end well for anyone. Remember that nearly every deal is incomplete, so know your limitations and be direct with them.
Local Hands-On Resources
- Alliance of Angels runs regular Pitch Clinics every other month to discuss the components of a great 10 minute pitch and work directly with the participants on specific startup messaging.
- Northwest Entrepreneur Network has created a First Look Forum for entrepreneurs looking for expert coaching and exposure to the local Angel and Venture Capital investment community
Listed here is a selection of tips from successful serial entrepreneurs and investors on how to create and deliver a winning pitch: