As we go through the regional Roadshow for Accelerating Asia, promoting the program, I thought it would be useful to provide a few tips on pitching.
At each of our Roadshow events we have a pitch competition, with the winner gaining automatic entry to the second round of the application process. Since our program typically receives well over 200 applications this can mean the startup gets a pass to leap past at least 150 other applications!
The pitch format is really basic: A 1-minute pitch with no slides. Here’s some tips on how to ace your pitch.
Seriously. Your product may be awesome and save millions of dollars per year for companies or even thousands of lives per year, but if you cannot effectively communicate your vision, your passion and attract people to engage with your startup then you will probably miss the chance to see it through. You will require many other people to join your startup, as either investors, customers, employees or mentors. In order to get them to join your team you will need to inspire them, and that’s what pitching is all about.
A lot of startups say to me, “But Craig, 1 minute isn’t nearly enough time for me to explain my startup to someone!”
I think the perspective of this question is wrong.
The pitch, whether 1 minute, 3 minutes or 5 minutes, isn’t supposed to convey every detail of your business. It is meant to inspire someone to follow up with you and learn more. So focus on 2-3 key points that you want the audience to remember and talk about those.
Figure out what the most pressing current need for your startup is and tailor your pitch to that audience. Is it fundraising? Then focus on tailoring your pitch to investors. If someone gives you feedback who isn’t an investor think twice about implementing it if it won’t help you connect with the investors in the audience.
Ensure that the audience knows why you are telling them about your business. What do you need? During your close be explicit with the audience so that the ones that could help you know that you are looking for them. It’s as easy as “We’re currently looking for USD100,000 in Seed capital to expand our team and get to $20,000 ARR, so please connect with us afterward if you are as passionate about XYZ as we are.”
Why do you care about this? The best pitches are from founders who are truly passionate about their startups. This comes across to the audience and is contagious. Almost every founder can identify why they are passionate about their startup, but many do not communicate this effectively... And if you can’t identify your passion, then perhaps you aren’t doing the right thing…
Good luck and I hope to see you pitching at one of our upcoming events!
Accelerating Asia invests in startups with scalable technology solutions and revenue generating business models that combine purpose with profit.
In making an investment decision, investors must rely on their own examination of startups and the terms of the investment including the merits and risks involved. Prospective investors should not construe this content as legal, tax, investment, financial or accounting advice.