This article is written by Brian Malika, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
At Startup Istanbul 2016, we had a panel session with 4 panelists Yousef Hamidaddin, Ozan Sonmez, and Khaled Talhouni, they talked about 7 things Startup Founders need to know on pitching.
Ever asked yourself what distinguishes a really good pitch from an average one? Well, if you still think that a good pitch equals to a really out of the world idea then you might be mistaken. This is because beforehand knowledge of what the investor is looking for in a start-up determines more on how the pitch will be successful in a bigger percentage.
1. When preparing to pitch, strive to understand what type of investor you will be facing beforehand. And in that process, make sure to gather enough intelligence information on the type of values your anticipated investor audience subscribes to.
Thereafter, try to make room in your pitch to link with the values of your projected investors. And practice ensuring that you do not get confused in the whole process since such adjustments might occur at a very short period to your pitching. By expressing to your projected investors that you appreciate the values that they stand for, you actually increase your chances of getting that investment deal. On to the next one below.
2. Still at the part of gathering intelligence on the type of investor that you will be pitching to, always make sure that if you are pitching to a large company, you clearly understand beforehand the investment year that they are in. This is because large companies usually have a fixed amount of venture capital that they allocate over a certain period of time after which there might be no more of that investment again.
So by knowing the investment year which your prospective big company is in, you get to have the benefit if working on your pitch plan to fit within the appropriate investment plan for the prospective investor. Just make sure you are in context. Our next point stills revolve around
3. Here, you still need to align your pitch with the investment thesis of your projected investor. For the sake of everyone, an investment thesis is the desired achievement or end goal for any business venture out there. Hence as you anticipate to get a partnership deal with a projected investor in the field, make sure that you fit in their business goals so that you become more competent to be selected.
After getting enough background information for your projected partner, it’s important that you now understand the nighty gritty techniques of practically stealing the moment while on stage. And that s why our next stage comes in.
4. Know how to ask for your cheque. For example, if you are asking 1 million dollars and above as an investment, make sure that such a start-up is heavily involved in high-level technological innovations that can scalable on a global level in a short time. Do not ask for thousands of a hundred dollars when you know that your start-up is only applicable to a specific region and cannot be replicated.
More money is usually prioritized to innovations that go beyond communal borders. Again does it mean that you should only ask for money as an investment? What if you have other investment needs that are not money related can you still go ahead and make a pitch? Well, let’s move to the next point in order to dissect this point even better.
5. The truth is that investors don’t just concentrate on the idea alone, they are in fact pretty much interested in the people implementing the innovative idea. And for that matter, if you tactfully express the notion that you wish to be empowered with better start-up management skills in the specific field that your in, then chances are that your pitch might be successful in being shortlisted for a full investment award that includes the money and a chance to be mentored on how to use the same investment money in the start-up.
6. Another key point is to express how your innovative idea makes business sense in the ever-changing and unpredictable business ecosystem. The truth is that the reason why we have investors listening to your pitch in the first place is that they have seen a need themselves to ‘shop’ for new ideas that will keep them relevant in the competitive business world through forming partnerships with innovative start-ups. Hence the moment you showcase through your pitch on how your start-up stands to help the investor navigate the rapidly changing business sector, then to secure get a deal after the pitch.
7. Lastly, don’t just speak about how innovative your pitch idea is and stop there. Please be smart enough by further explaining how you will grow and scale up to other geographic regions one you receive the investment. Investors want to see your growth plan with the same curiosity they expect your start-up to have an innovative edge.
They say that if you have a map, then it becomes easy to know where you are heading. However, without one, it doesn’t matter how much skill you possess in traveling for longer distances. The truth remains that you will still get lost. Equally, no matter how good and innovative your start-up idea is, you are bound to fail in securing a deal if you have no clear picture of what your potential investors that you plan to pitch to look like.