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20 Questions Investors Ask Entrepreneurs at Pitching Events

Questions-investors-ask

Attending pitching and networking events is a big deal for entrepreneurs, who are interested in raising capital for their ventures, popularizing their startup and expanding their current network. The opportunities are many but the competition is relentless. Pitching events are crowded by ambitious entrepreneurs who have a lot to put on the table and are ready to hustle and compete for the attention of the investors.

All entrepreneurs must have clear strategy and well-prepared action plan when it comes to pitching investors. Here is important to remember that investors have specific goals and look for specific traits of a company, which will define its potential and future success. The stake is high so the performance should be even higher. Investors will ask you many questions, which is a good sign – this mean they are interested in you and your business. The way you respond to these questions will determine the outcome of the whole situation. So, to help you feel more prepared, here we have put together 20 questions, which you are most likely to be asked at every pitching event.

  1. What is your background? The investors are always interested in the founder’s experience and expertise.
  2. What inspired you to start this business? Passion and motivation are key ingredients of startup success and every experienced investor is interested in the driving powers of an entrepreneur.
  3. What kind of problem you are solving? By giving a solution to a problem you are making a difference and bringing value to the customers.
  4. Is your product unique? The product/service that you offer should be different (and better!) from everything else available in the market.
  5. Do you have a patent pending? It is important to know if you can protect your idea.
  6. What are your sales? And the number that you have better be good…
  7. Who is your biggest competition? Knowing your competition is not enough. You should know how exactly you are going to compete with them and eventually outrun them.
  8. What is your market share? Critical question emphasizing on the potential of the company to grow.
  9. What are your costs?
  10. Have you raised any money yet? The investors are very likely to ask how much money you have raised, how did you spend it and who are your early stage investors.
  11. Why you are raising XXX amount of money? Investors want to know that you have clear strategy and plan to spend their money effectively.
  12. Who are the team members and what is their background? Investors trust strong teams of highly-qualified and experienced people, who have proven that they can effectively work together.
  13. What are your biggest challenges? Know your strengths, know your weaknesses so you can face them and not pretend like they don’t exist.
  14. What is your customer acquisition cost? CAC is very important metric because it is very likely to determine the future of your company.
  15. What is your traction? Having a good traction is what makes a startup interesting. Many startups die very early because they don’t get enough traction, which is why investors really care about those numbers.
  16. How do you plan to grow the business? Achieving sustainable growth must be priority for a startup and having a strong growth strategy is essential.
  17. What is your exit strategy? Knowing how they will get their money back is good enough reason for investors to care about your exit strategy.
  18. Are you all in? Many investors want to know if the founders still have their “daily jobs” and if they have put their own money in the business. If you are not all in why they should be?
  19. Have you joined an accelerator program? Joining an accelerator is a major decision for every early stage company. There are many pros and cons and the investors will be interested in hearing more about your experience.
  20. How can I help? Angel investors offer to the startups much more than their money. They offer their expertise, advice and connections. Investors must know if the entrepreneurs look for support and guidance as much as they look for cash.

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