Startup Pitch Tips (Part 2)


Last week I posted Startup Pitch Tips (Part 1). Hopefully they were helpful. Here are 6-10.

6) Don’t read your slides.

In fact, your slides shouldn’t be readable. They should have bullet points, or product pictures, or charts & graphs. If you read your slides, you’ll come off as unprepared. Moreover, slides with lots of text on them result in investors reading their own handouts, and not paying attention to you. You’re the show, not your slides.

7) Don’t have boring slides.

One of the best pitches I’ve seen was from a seasoned entrepreneur with a successful exit on his resume already. He brought only 4 slides for a 10-minute pitch and just talked. The slides were a combination of timelines and graphs that perfectly complimented his story. But the story came from him. He covered everything he needed to (including his team) and generated a lot of interest.

8) Be mindful of over-stating your team.

If your team built Paypal, or Twitter, then let’s see them upfront. Otherwise, hook investors on your idea, and then show them your team to reassure them at the end. In the end, you’re still only selling yourself.

9) Be mindful of over-stating your board/advisors.

If your board/advisors run big VCs or are well known entrepreneurs, let’s hear about them. Otherwise, a brief bio slide at the end will suffice. We all know successful people, and it really doesn’t take much to get them to agree to a paragraph on a slide. But having a VP of XYZ Fortune 500 company as your advisor doesn’t really do much to push your idea. There should be a logical connection between your advisors and what they can do to help your company.

10) Practice.

If your mirror/dog hasn’t heard your pitch 5 times, then you’re not ready. This is an easy one. Practice really does make close to perfect.

Posted in: Pitching/Decks

About the Author(s)

Kevin Vela

Kevin is the managing partner at Vela Wood. He focuses his practice in the areas of venture financing, M&A, fund representation, and gaming law.

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