Pitching to investors is one of the most important skills an entrepreneur must learn.
Investors can unlock the capital you need to really grow your business. A typical VC will look at hundreds if not thousands of pitches in a year, so how do you create a pitch that stands out and impacts the VC?
At Atlantic Bridge, we look for companies with IMPACTS: seven simple criteria that you can use to hone your message and communicate your message effectively.
What does your company do and why is it so important to customers that they will pay you for it? Use simple language and avoid overly technical terms. Make sure it is understandable to someone who knows nothing about your business.
What market are you targeting, how big is it and how fast can your company grow and scale within that market? Speak about the structure of the market and if you will be creating a new market or disrupting an existing one. What are the barriers to entry and how do you plan on overcoming them?
The people in your team are very important, especially at an early stage. We want to see that you have a strong and credible management team behind you. Do you have the applicable skills, expertise and relevant experience needed? Mention the mix of technical and commercial expertise that exists and how you are going to overcome any skill gaps that may exist.
It is paramount that your company is aligned with the investors strategies and themes. Research what companies they have invested in in the past and if they invest in your sector and stage. If your company secures investment, will you and your investors be aligned on the future direction of the company?
Investors will want to know what makes you different and how you stand out in comparison to competition. Be sure to make your unique selling points clear to investors and also speak about what barriers to entry you can create to make it difficult for a new entrant to take customers from you. Dont make the mistake of saying there is no competition; no competition usually means no market!
Investors want to see what traction you have to date and what customers you are already engaged with. This is the best way to show you have something of value. Have metrics most relevant to your business to prove that you are going to grow rapidly. This could be revenue, number of users, number of trials, etc.
Investors are interested in companies that can scale and grow rapidly. Highlight your route to market and how you will gain future customers as well as speaking about your business model, sales cycle and how these may allow for rapid growth and accumulation of customers. Investors will also want to see a financial plan that realistically funds this growth.
So there you have it: seven key points to remember when pitching to investors. Just remember what IMPACTS!