LECTURE 3. The 10 key elements of investor pitch
In essence, pitching is presenting your business idea/model or your product or service verbally. Pitches differ in purpose and format, there is no one-way of doing them, so you should always learn first what is expected from you during the pitch.

Mainly you might pitch to find funding for your business idea or sell your product or service to your customers. These pitches might be very short (so called ‘elevator pitches’) of 1-2 minutes, to longer presentations of 3-5 or even longer. The main aim of a pitch is not really to receive the funding or sell your product (because the pitch itself will never be enough to close the deal), but to create enough interest to get more time with a potential investor to explain the details of your business.

Therefore, the three critical aspects investors are looking for in a pitch, are:

· Do I remember you after the pitch?

· Do I remember your idea, product or service after the pitch?

· Do I want to know more and meet you later?

The sales pitch for investors include key elements that should be practices many times before and every second of your pitch should be used effectively and smartly. Not every pitch follows the exact same model and you don’t have to include all the aspects every time. It also depends on what exactly do you want from the audience – money, business partners, additional team members. It also depends on where are you in your development phase.

Sometimes people think that I will go in front of the audience or investors and start improvising. There is no room for improvising during the pitch. Pitch is very short and there are rules you need to follow, so every sentence need to be carefully planned. So please prepare in advance and practice, practice, practice!

Here are the key elements of investor pitch:

1. TEASER - start with memorable story or a surprising fact that instantly makes your audience listen carefully.

2. PROBLEM – identify the problem that your audience understands and feels connected to.

3. SOLUTION - offer a solution, how your idea solves the identified problem. This is really important, because if the listener or investor doesn’t quickly understand here what is your business idea about, the rest of the pitch will be waste of time. Be very, very clear.

4. MARKET - describe the market, i.e. is it developed market or new market, what is the size of the market in terms of customers and/or turnover.

5. BUSINESS MODEL - explain your business model (essentially – how do you plan to earn money) and your growth perspectives.

6. COMPETITION – who else is operating on the market and how do you differ from your competitors.

7. CHANNELS - show how you will reach your audience and customers.

8. TEAM - introduce your team and its competences.

9. MONEY - explain your expectations, how much money you need from investors, and what do you want to do with the investment.

10. MILESTONES – finally explain, what are the next steps for your company, what have you already achieved and what are next milestones in your development.

After the pitch, there is a chance for the investors to ask additional questions. Use that time to explain the details and introduce more specific facts and figures.

Again, you only have very short time (3 to 7 minutes depending on the format), so focus only on the most important messages and leave everything else for additional information.

Internet is full of great examples of pitches, take some time to see how some of the best companies are doing it and learn from them. And finally, often the investors say, that two most critical things they are looking for in a pitch are (1) unique idea and (2) passionate and experienced team. All the rest can be supported and brought in by investor.

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