Investor Pitch Tips: Data Beats Design

During The Pitcher event, every entrepreneur/startup team has 5 minutes guaranteed to present their businesses in front of the investors along with 5 more minutes for a Q&A session. Many entrepreneurs feel intimidated by the timer and often forget that in the world of startup pitching five minutes count as a whole eternity. But only when the pitchers know what they are doing!

Crafting outstanding pitch deck is not very simple, yet it is not a rocket science. In order to create successful pitch deck, you need to have a clear view of your business. The truth is that there isn’t one universal pitch that can always do the job. It doesn’t matter how outstanding the pitch is, it may not be that successful in certain situations.

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Of course, there are some essential elements of the successful startup pitch such as company information, business model and business purpose, problem, solution, team, market size, and competition. Yet, many entrepreneurs tend to focus solely on these basics and forget to align their pitch decks with the purpose of the specific meeting.

Know your audience and don’t forget that investors are investors!

Different investors may look for different elements of the pitch, yet there is one element that they all are interested in: the financials. Of course! This is how an investor makes a decision to support a given project – by knowing exactly not just how they will have their money back, but also how they will make a profit.

Investors bring not just money to the table, but also mentorship, advice, connections, legal support and so on. But they won’t support your project if they don’t see the real potential for the idea to become a sustainable business. And the best way to prove the potential of your business is to back your words with real data.

Design matters but data always wins

Some of the most successful pitch decks that we have seen actually look pretty simple. Sometimes just a screen shot will do the job if it shows the right information. Of course, your presentation should not be sloppy or ugly. But overdesigning can easily backfire – it may confuse or distract the investors and, believe me, this is the last thing you want them to feel once it is time to begin with the Q&A.

Tell a story with numbers

Telling a story is very compelling. It is a great way to engage your audience and grab their attention. But two minutes into the pitch the investors become impatient. It is very important along with the story to give a real proof that your product works and brings real value. The perfect pitch happens when both elements – storytelling and data – collide and form a perfect one.

Tell a story that actually can be backed with real numbers – if your product has changed the lives of many, include a slide that gives information how the impact was measured.

The numbers give a sense of transparency and this is what the investors look for – an entrepreneur, whom they can trust and who is not afraid to call the essentials of their businesses by their true names. Remember, data is important, but keep in mind that you don’t have to serve it all on a silver plate – find out what is just enough for the moment and go for it!

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