A venture capitalist who chooses to invest in your startup can be the difference between an immediate shot of success and wallowing in obscurity for years. It’s not enough just to have a great business concept to convince a VC to take a chance on you. New business consultants will advise you that crafting the right pitch is imperative to pique interest and turn a VC into your new best friend. Here are four strategies to help you nail your meeting.
Know the VC You’re Pitching
A successful pitch starts well before you walk into the VC’s office. It’s important to do your homework and find the right VC to approach about helping you grow your startup. Find one that has funded companies in similar fields and tends to grant amounts that are in the ballpark of what you will ask for. Once you find a good fit, do some more research so you can pull out examples of successes they’ve had in the past and how you measure up to these other companies.
Don’t Waste Their Time
A busy investor doesn’t have the time to listen to your stories of inspiration or your struggles to become an entrepreneur. They want you to get to the point quickly. Startup consultants suggest the best way to do this is to start your pitch by asking them what they want to see included. That way, you’ll be sure to address their questions and won’t bore them with irrelevant information.
Know Your Own Strengths
Any good business owner knows that one of the primary startup tips is to focus on your strengths. This also applies to VC pitches. Are your metrics strong and will they impress the investor? If so, include them front and center. If they aren’t, skip over this part of the pitch and instead focus on the problem or ‘pain point’ your new business will solve for customers. In either case, you should also highlight the potential market for your product or service and how you intend to capitalize on it.
Close with Authority
The way you walk out of the room is just as important as how you walk into it. To make a memorable exit, give a brief summary of what you discussed in your pitch and highlight key metrics or other powerful selling points. Answer any questions the investors have, always bringing the point back to your core values. Finish up with a strong call to action and your tagline. Part of a strong startup development plan is sticking to a timeline, so make sure to ask when you can follow up or what the next steps are.
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