Every startup needs money to run and at Tech Collective, we’re fully aware of that. This is our chance to shout out to the team that supports us and the backers who have donated their hard-earned dollars and in some cases their valuable time to help us grow and build a brand.
To help the community, we sat down with a few VCs, entrepreneurs, and non-institutional investors to understand how a startup can effectively pitch their business for funding or even a grant.
There is more than one way to pitch venture capitalists
You can pitch an idea to someone at a party and walk away with a cheque if you’re lucky. However, the best way is to probably is to establish a relationship with a potential investor. This can be done through a trusted friend referral.
Business models mean nothing when you’re starting out
Business models can change over time. What’s most important is to understand how an entrepreneur thinks about his or her business.
Therefore when pitching an early stage startup, there usually aren’t meaningful metrics so provide traction with an existing customer base as a way to show growth. It’s important to prove that a startup has momentum and it can be shown to some extent through anecdotal evidence.
Know whom you’re speaking to
By understanding whom you’re speaking to and what they want out of this meeting, you can stand out. Most investors and VCs speak to hundreds of people every week, so staying top of mind is crucial.
Be ready to sell yourself and team
Include the toughest thing you’ve ever done, on the job or otherwise. Show that you are averse to hard work over long periods. Pretty showcase you can work hard and sustain it for long periods of time.
Pitch with professional confidence, mostly about your successes. Failure isn’t taboo, but use it only if it is relevant.
Know your numbers, I mean seriously, know them
Know the answers to these questions:
- Do you know what you should be tracking?
- Are you actually tracking it?
- Are the numbers you have exceptionally good relative to the amount of time you have been working?
Really know the answers.
How your prototype quickly
You’ve only got a few minutes of attention.
You rarely have to explain how to use every feature of the software. Instead, focus on the most impressive interaction or feature.
Some companies can’t reasonably demonstrate a prototype – say B2B services or non-consumer focused technology. If you have a physical product, consider video or photos of it. If you are too early stage to have a functioning software, mockups will at least let you show that you have good design and product sense.
To find out more great startup tips or contribute something yourself, drop us a message here.