Startup Pitch Tips (Part 2)
December 18, 2013 | By Kevin Vela
Last week I posted Startup Pitch Tips (Part 1). Hopefully they were helpful. Here are 6-10.
6) Don’t read your slides.
In fact, your slides shouldn’t be readable. They should have bullet points, or product pictures, or charts & graphs. If you read your slides you’ll come off as unprepared. Moreover, slides with lots of text on them result in investors reading their own handouts, and not paying attention to you.
You’re the show, not your slides.
7) Don’t have boring slides.
One of the best pitches I’ve seen was from a seasoned entrepreneur with a successful exit one his resume already. He brought only 4 slides for a 10 minute pitch and just talked. The slides were a combination of timelines and graphs which perfectly complimented his story. But the story came from him. He covered everything he needed to (including team) and generated a lot of interest.
Don’t have slides that suck.
8) Be mindful of over-stating your team. If your team built Paypal, or Twitter, then let’s see them upfront. Otherwise, hook investors on your idea, and then show them on your team to reassure them at the end.
In the end, you’re still only selling yourself.
9) Be mindful of over-stating your board/advisors.
If your board/advisors run big VCs, or are well known entrepreneurs, let’s hear about them. Otherwise, a brief bio slide at the end will suffice. We all know successful people, and it really doesn’t take much to get them to agree to a paragraph on a slide. But having a VP of XYZ Fortune 500 company as your advisor doesn’t really do much to push your idea.
There should be a logical connection between your advisors and what they can do to help your company.
If you’re mirror/dog hasn’t heard your pitch 5 times, then you’re not ready. This is an easy one.
Practice really does make close to perfect.
Kevin Vela is a managing partner at Vela | Wood and focuses his practice on startups, corporate law, and capital raises. You can contact Kevin by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.