Pitch Stinks? You Won’t Get Funded
Sandy Wollman, Westchester, NY
October 21st, 2016
You are excited about your new business! You are so jacked that you are putting in 20 hour days, can’t sleep because your brain will not stop working and you are confident that large dollar signs will be in your future.
After hitting your folks up for the initial bucks to get you started you then tapped Uncle Fred and Aunt Mary who invested money for no other reason than they love you.
You have now reached a point where you need more money to get your business really going and your family and friends are tapped out. After careful consideration you correctly decide to get funding from Angel Groups!
Angel Groups traditionally are the next step in funding after family and friends and before the VC’s. Angel Groups traditionally not only provide funding but also provide much needed mentorship to help startups and to protect their investment.
You spend some time putting together a PP presentation on your company and what it does. You throw some revenue projections together that you really believe in and Voila-you are ready to make a pitch to get hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Then you make your pitch to a screening committee of a local angel group knowing deep down inside that your business idea is so compelling that Angel Investors will jump all over it (most all angel groups will screen start-ups prior to their investor meeting to ensure they get the most compelling business stories to present to their membership).
After your pitch, you look at the experienced angel investors that are screening you and are puzzled why they aren’t as excited as you are! The blank look on their faces screams to you loud and clear that something has gone terribly wrong.
If you are fortunate to get feedback on your pitch (many angel groups provide no feedback-just a yes or no) you go home sad and depressed and without “getting to the next conversation” with this angel group.
You have just learned the hard way that no matter how great your business idea is:
“IF YOUR PITCH STINKS, YOU WILL NOT GET FUNDED!”
Having sat on countless investor panels as a judge and listening to hundreds of pitches, I am constantly amazed how terrible so many pitches are. In fact, most bad pitches suffer from the same mistakes and approaches. From basic presentation techniques like, not standing in front of the screen or using too small a font; to only presenting your product or service without any mention how your audience can make money by investing.
Creating an effective pitch is not an easy task, especially when you only have 4 to 8 minutes to tell your story. You have to hit upon many key topics in an easy way for your audience to understand. Remember your investing audience may not understand the nitty gritty technical stuff but they do understand how to make money.
So before you blow your big opportunity to get the big bucks from Angel Groups, take a deep breath and start learning how to make an effective pitch. Go to pitch events and contests to learn how to do it right from the good pitches and how NOT TO MAKE A PITCH from the pitches that stink! If necessary, engage a professional to help you (presentation coaches, start-up consultants etc).
Remember you only have one shot to make an effective pitch to each angel group; listen, learn and practice. Then practice again and again until you are ready to nail it!