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Getting Your Pitch Right

This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Andrea Barrica is a venture partner at 500 startups and the co-founder of inDinero and O.school, inDinero helps startups scale by offering cloud-based solutions to take care of accounting, tax and finance support. O.school helps people build sexual confidence through medically accurate videos, articles, and live streams. Andrea was at Startup Istanbul 2015 where she taught startups the best way to pitch their solutions.

During her session at Startup Istanbul 2015 where she trained startups on how to build a good pitch for their solution, Andrea listened to some of the startups do a trial pitch where she looked out for if the pitches were clear, boring, or well delivered. The pitching startups were also able to get first-hand feedback from members of the audience.

When pitching your startup, it is important to take out the big words and sound as simple and understandable as possible, all you need to do is say the problem, the solution and who your customers are. If you are a tech startup, it is also important to talk about how your technology works, A good example is “my name is XYZ and I am the CEO of ABC, a hardware device that pairs with mobile phones and stops the problem of 1.5 million stolen cars yearly”.

The only way to get better at pitching is by doing it out loud, writing your pitch on paper and trying to memorize it is not advised, you can try pitching to people around and get feedback too.

When you are in a crowded space, differentiation is the most important part of your pitch, once your startup is one where the market is competitive, you need to find those facts that make you different from your competitors.

One of the startups pitched a solution that helps startups with expense reporting and accounting. Andrea mentioned that she has used lots of accounting and expense reporting software, which pushes her to ask the question “what makes you stand out?”, having traction can be an added advantage because it is a form of validation that shows that people actually pay for your product.

Another of that startups, pitched MoleIQ, a startup which provides actionable insights for shopping mall managers, to help optimize their marketing, and increase traffic and revenue. Members of the team are alumni of Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm. The mobile app had over 10% growth that happens every week. The solution does not need any installation in the mall to provide navigation customers and data analytics to the mall manager.  A good number of startups said they understood the message he was trying to pitch across.

Andrea believed that the startup has all the ingredients to make a good pitch, but he pitched it without a background story and just listed the facts he had, but the best pitches always gave stories in between the lines. In conclusion, Andrea left a few pitching tips which are:

  1. Pitch loud
  2. Slow down
  3. Find out the most compelling thing about your startup.

30 May 2019

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