The ubi i/o team is thrilled to present you a new series of articles to be released throughout the entirety of the application period. We’ll be covering many topics and share with you our expertise. We’ll start off with the first skill you’ll sharpen if you’re selected for ubi i/o 2016: The art of pitching.
One of the fundamental differences between France and the United States when it comes to presenting your business and pitching your idea is timing.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to pitching 101.
When pitching in front of a VC panel, the average duration of your pitch will be between one and three minutes. Now this may come as a shock to lots of French entrepreneurs but this is conventional in the United States. Within those three minutes, you should be able to address the following critical points that make for a complete pitch:
1 – The problem:
Any good business model relies upon tackling a real problem that is worth solving. You should be able to thoroughly explain the problem you’re addressing in less than 30 seconds. Be quick and accurate as this is truly the foundation of all your operations. You should put forward a concrete example, storytelling is an appreciated skill when describing a typical client or scenario.
2 – The solution:
Once again, your solution whether it is a product or a service should respond to a problem that a market is experiencing. While pitching it, highlighting your key differentiators is a must as they will ultimately underline your value proposition. It’s your value proposition that will set you apart from your competitors, so be thorough and make sure to include your metrics. You should be able to break it down to a few sentences or bullet points.
3 – Business Model:
Simply put, breakdown your financial viability. In just a few sentences, the investors listening to your pitch should know how you make money: what you’re selling, to whom, how and for how much.
4 – Target Market / Market size:
At the end of the day, it will always be a numbers game. One of the first questions that will pop up in the mind of an investor is: how many potential customers / buyers? Of course, you should have done a thorough research upon each segment in your target market & know your numbers by heart. These numbers are critical to evaluate a company’s potential and must be included in your pitch.
5 – Your team / references:
You may have a great product in hand with lots of potential, but if you don’t have the right team members to execute the company’s vision you will most likely fail. Picking the right co-founders is just as important as your product, market size or investors. Make sure to pick wisely and showcase your team’s expertise. This is also the right time to introduce your key references, this establishes your credibility and your market validation.
6 – Road Map:
What does the future hold? You should be able to describe with enthusiasm and conviction your company’s future goals and milestones and how you plan on achieving them. Most VCs will also want to know how you’ve funded your operations until now, how much money you’re looking for and last but not least, what’s in it for them? What kind of return could they expect, and a detailed roadmap in terms of timeline.
“While it’s true that the audience will likely remember less than 10 percent of what you say orally, you must give them exciting and powerful words to hang onto. If they only remember a few, make them great”
by Peter Coughter
All these components are key to delivering a good presentation. But keep in mind that there are many other aspects that you should consider and practice before pitching in front of investors such as: body language, voice tone, stage presence etc.