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March - 2013 - issue > Entrepreneur's Corner

Awesome Pitch: 4KTA

Naveen Bisht
Board Member and Chair, Programs-TiE Silicon Valley
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Naveen Bisht
How do you make an awesome pitch to investors and mesmerize them with your story? You may have already heard it many times that your slide deck should not consist more than 10-12 slides. This deck must have key elements of your business plan such as market opportunity, team, innovative technology solution, unique selling point, your creative go-to-market strategy and plan, business model to make money, and funding requirements. Essentially, to win over the hearts and minds of investors, your pitch has to be able to narrate a clear, exciting and impactful story to awe your investors so you can walk away with a term sheet for investment in your company. The story must have the following four key take away (4KTA) points in an awesome pitch.

1.Team – Many entrepreneurs talk about team in one of the last slides. My suggestion is to talk about it right in the beginning because for an early stage company, the team is a major factor that investors are betting on. Make it crisp, relevant and focus on one or two related accomplishments of each team member showing that you have a winning team. Don’t waste time in sharing everyone’s life story. You have to be able to convince them that you have a team which can execute on exploiting this market opportunity. The investors must believe that you have assembled a core group of brilliant and world-class talent that can execute the next set of milestones. You must also be able to convey this team can attract next set of A+ talent with complementary skills and domain expertise and help you fill any gaps that exist in the current team.

2.Market – In my view, market opportunity is another significant element. It better be a huge market opportunity so you can excite the investors. Explain how it can help the investors make tons of money and create a hugely successful company. Create your story so exciting, compelling, and captivating that investors are glued listening to you intently while you are pitching to them. Combine it with facts and figures while exhibiting your in-depth knowledge. Articulate boldly that there is gigantic problem already there now or it is emerging due to arrival of various factors globally or technologically or whatever it may be. You are absolutely passionate about solving it since it represents a massive and once in a life time market opportunity. Explain clearly that you understand the market nuances and dynamics surrounding it precisely. Elaborate on how this problem has become suddenly so gigantic and why it is the right time and further, it can be solved. You and your team are capable of exploiting its full potential and turning it into a hugely successful company. Large and disruptive markets are extremely appealing to the venture capitalist (VC) community since these can help them create sustainable and large companies and make home runs for their investment. Make sure to collect market opportunity data from ground up validating your comprehensive understanding and knowledge about the customer prospects. Avoid your analysis merely from the analyst reports. Showing a pipeline of customers and strategic partners interested in your solution can make your story even more compelling. Focus on disruptive elements of your go-to-market strategy. Any unfair advantages that you already have such as a large leading vendor interested in making strategic investment and being a distributor of your product would be a real plus.

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