How to pitch your startup idea
This post originally appeared on blog.up.co
During the first day of the event, after arriving at the venue and connecting with fellow startuppers, you will be given the opportunity to line up and support your business idea in a short verbal presentation, commonly referred to as the pitch. Within only 2 minutes of time you will be asked to efficiently deliver your startup pitch in a compelling, succinct and effective way, like you would to potential investors. The feedback received afterwards based on your performance, will determine your collaborators and influence the potential of your business idea as a competitive candidate for the final presentation.
As hair-raising as it might sound, delivering a startup pitch is a pivotal aspect of a young entrepreneur’s trajectory and a unique moment when an aspiring individual is asked to pinpoint precisely what their business is supposed to do, how’s that different between competitors and where they plan to take it next. Showcasing your idea not only facilitates in attracting investor capital but also sharing your vision and helps forging solid collaborations with like-minded, hard-working cofounders. Both of the aforementioned elements are crucial to your success, hence sufficient preparation for a business pitch is only guaranteed to yield better results for any ambitious venture.
One proven, rather useful rule of thumb is to stick to the four-point method of pitching; problem-solution-market-business, in order to organize your arguments better and deliver them more coherently.
First, you have to address the problem using simple, common terms and give context to a viable solution that your product or service is supposed to offer. This way, you orient your audience on how your business idea will fulfill a given need by invoking their natural problem-solution thought process. Typically, future customers deal with high costs, inconvenience or inability to achieve certain goals and you have to state those in the most explicit and understandable way. If you cannot identify a very specific problem, think about trends to set the premise for your solution. Reflect on the iPod, a disruptive device that flowed from a social trend; the need to carry digital music everywhere in a fast and inexpensive way. Problems and trends are not mutually exclusive and the latter can be found in technology and economy not just social habits.
Keep in mind that coming up with a solution to a problem doesn’t conclude a business pitch. Ideas are meant to be capitalized and provide value to the ones who execute them (founders), as well as the parties that fund them (investors). Knowing the market that you attempt to enter, you should describe what an average customer looks like (age, gender, lifestyle, daily activities), estimate your market size (how many customers could possibly buy your product or service and how many of them you can reach at any given stage of growth) and also your capability to go after the market and differentiate yourself from competitors by offering unique qualities such as features, services or pricing. Finally, after you identify a market it’s time to describe how to capture it by explaining the business plan to get, keep and grow customers and discuss marketing, distribution channels and partnerships. Bringing a product to a market also entails a viable, long-term scheme of monetizing known as the revenue model. Make sure to emphasize on at least one, primary source of sales and elaborate on the costs that come with it, along with your pricing proposal.
Remember that many audiences including investors hear business pitches all the time, that’s why you have to demonstrate a genuine interest in your idea and communicate your points with fervent passion. Being brutally honest about several key metrics of your business, like market share, profit margins and expected growth rate will boost your credibility and convince the audience about you serious you take your startup journey. Keep in mind that brilliant ideas are pointless without equally exciting teams who would be required to execute them, so make sure to explain your personal dedication to the project and why you are the perfect person for the task.
At any case remember to sit back and relax, enjoying the process is the most notable part of the whole experience, especially the memorable moments you’ll spent at the event along with the new acquaintances you will make. Good luck on your startup pitch!