In the past few months, I have met many entrepreneurs and startups so passionate about what they are doing, I could feel it. When it comes to explaining what they are up to however, it’s another story — from entrepreneurs who take ten minutes to share their ideas, to startuppers who don’t even share the name of their startups. Ultimately, the worst would be if your audience just doesn’t get what you are doing. It’s really simple to make something complicated, but very complicated to make something simple.
I am not going to share with you a process for a five to ten minutes pitch with slides in front of a jury, but a way to make sure that anyone can understand the essence of what you do in thirty seconds. (For tips on a longer pitch, check out our earlier blog article — ‘How to Make a Kick-ass Pitch.’)
Let’s get back to the basics. Break your pitch into four parts:
You know how: Convey the problem. Put your audience in the shoes of your users to make them understand the pain. Share a typical example of your target audience’s journey while facing the problem you are attempting to solve.
What we do: Show the solution. Explain your value proposition and how your solution is the best to solve the problem you mentioned before.
In fact: Display credibility. Share achievements and KPIs. You can share your number of users, paid customers, name them if they are well known, share your growth rate, etc.
What we are looking for: You always need something. Understand who you are talking to and try to see how they can help you. If it’s an investor, you can say that you are looking for a seed round of X €; if it’s an expert in your industry, you need connections; if it’s a fellow entrepreneur, ask for feedback.
Let’s take you through a concrete example: three months ago, I went on a Roadshow in India to promote NUMA Bengaluru’s Acceleration Program. I attended several events and visited a myriad of coworking spaces to meet the ecosystem and discover talented startups.
My 30 Seconds Pitch during networking:
“Hi, my name is Pierre and I’m the Startup Manager at NUMA Bengaluru.”
“Nice to meet you Pierre, I’m Vivek from X. So what do you do?”
“You know how it can be difficult as an early stage startup to get access to a great network and skilled resources as well as seed funding.
What we do at NUMA Bengaluru is surround our startups with in-house resources like a Growth Hacker, an Entrepreneur in Residence, a Visual Designer and even Mentors, in a free office space to fast track their access to seed funding.
In fact in the past 16 years, we have helped more than 300 startups around the world to grow faster.
Today, I’m looking for early stage startups for our Season 3 Acceleration Program, which will start in June for 5 months. If you have any recommendations, let me know.”
Stop yourself from losing your audience’s attention by meandering into useless topics. To get the most out of each event, you need to stay focused and be efficient. Moreover, don’t forget to listen. I’m an evangelist of “Give before asking”, the more you give, the more positive outcomes you’ll receive in return.
One last thing: practice! You should be able to pitch your startup smoothly to anyone, anytime, and anywhere.
If you liked it, you can share it! 🙂
-Pierre GUILBAUD, Startup Manager at NUMA Bengaluru.
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