Joy Fairbanks shares a guide for startup founders designed to help improve the pitch.
5 minutes are so over.
Founders, you have thirty seconds to explain why the venture you work on day and night is worth someone’s attention. You are innovative, your technology sizzles, and you have a talented team. You even have traction. You get so excited that you dive right into the technology. Time’s up. You didn’t clearly identify a problem, you didn’t mention how your solution is different than the competition, and you didn’t get a chance to explain who and how many would care enough to pay for this solution. The listener has no idea whether 12 people would pay for this or 12 million. Try again.
Let us be clear about one thing. It does not matter whether you have 30 seconds or 15 minutes in the spotlight. The person you are addressing will only have a mental pocket of about 30 seconds to capture the key elements of your venture. Your goal is to enable this person to convince others to get you what you want: money, customers, or strategic partners.
What is likely to get someone’s attention regardless of what industry they are in? Answer: An opportunity to make stacks of cash because a whole bunch of people have an unmet need for which you have a scalable solution. Please go on. Your prey is curious and is bound to know someone that can help you. What do you say next not to ruin the mojo you have created?
Talk about how your solution is unlike or better than competitive alternatives by features of customer choice. Very cool! Next tell your engaged listener about the stage of your company and your competitive positioning as a team. Done? Nope.
Tell the listener what you seek. Is it money, customer introductions, partnerships? If it is money, summarize how you have raised funds so far, what you have done with these funds, and how you will deploy new funds. Fundraising is based on milestones. Show them.
You have got this now. Squeeze more time from your target audience to talk about how you are actually going to execute. Summarize your technology in terms that are not too technical or too vague. Always focus on the value the customer will derive. Comment briefly on how you have validated your business model. End strong and make plans to continue the conversation.
Looking for the plug and play version? See below. You have 30 seconds to shine!
Key points include:
- Conveying the offering
- What drives the solution
- Articulating the ask
Read the full article, 30 Seconds of Fame: A Guide for Founders, on FairbanksVentureAdvisors.com.