As part of Seed Sprint, the 4 week investment readiness sprint we’re hosting with SeedLegals, 6 founders live pitched to Joyeeta Das, techie, former founder, investor at SuperSeed VC, and founder of minorities investment platform SuperPitch.co.uk.
Joyeeta’s advice was practical, relevant, and applicable to most early stage founders.
Here are 10 of our favourite tips from her session.
Think about the narrative. Remember that when pitching, you’re telling a story, and it’s got to be compelling and authentic. Think about your flow and narrative. Want to use a structure? Check out the hero’s journey, a powerful storytelling technique for your deck.
Begin with the most exciting thing about your business. There are many templates that tell you the order of your deck, but given the 11 second rule (that you have 11 seconds before someone decides whether they like or dislike what you’re saying, and then spend the rest of the time convincing themselves of their opinion) begin with the most exciting thing. It may be your total addressable market, it might be your traction, whatever you feel is the thing that makes the best impact.
Compound your problem exploration. Rather than just saying something is a problem, show that the problem is real and make it deeper. Show a workflow of the situation your user/customer has, where the problem is happening, and the frustration caused so investors really see why your solution is needed.
Use visuals. Already talking to customers, or have you worked with big brands before? Logos are powerful visually, and people are conditioned to be impacted by them. Talking about a problem? Rather than just writing what it is, find a newspaper cutting or a visual to demonstrate the problem, and bring it to life.
Got an amazing team? Don’t wait for the team slide to show them off. Put soundbites in your pitch, and interject your experience into your pitch. So, if talking about the problem, mention your industry experience, if talking about the tech solution, mention a tech co-founder who has experience building something similar, etc.
Traction. If you have traction, mention traction, but also remember to add a timeframe around it, either in the slide or when talking through your deck. Fast traction and growth can be very attractive to investors.
Got a technical business, or serving a niche market? Make the problem relatable. If you’ve got a business that’s dealing with a problem most consumers don’t face, use case studies to bring the problem to life. Start by setting the scene with an example. Use personas / names / visuals to help bring it to life and get investors empathising with the problem holder, then start talking about the market opportunity, and your solution.
Make it timely. Part of what you’re pitching is the ‘why now’. Take the time to explain why this is the right time to make this happen. Is the market growing? Is there a lot of attention on this subject right now? Why?
Leave off valuation in the first deck. There is a lot of mixed advice on this, but it could happen that an investor values your business higher than you initially expected, and valuations at the early stage make a big difference later down the line. A lot of investors will ask, and prepare to have the answer, but to give yourself the most flexibility to react, leave it off the deck.
Remember that the goal is to get to the next meeting. Use it to pique enough interest to secure the next meeting, but don’t give everything away. Think about the two most interesting things about your market and elaborate on that. Growth / size of the market / what you can access etc. Putting too much on each slide is not necessary.