When it comes to pitching to a venture capitalist who may be interested in the products or services that you provide, it is still primarily an art form that combines facts, potential and persuasion. However, there are still effective guidelines that you can follow which will maximize your chances to impress and get the financial support of someone who might change your business for the better.
The first step is preparing your pitch so that it is short and gets straight to the point. In fact, many successful pitches to venture capitalists have been made in 15 minutes or less. You will need to tighten your pitch so that it gets straight to the heart of why the venture capitalist should invest. With that in mind, here are a few ways to spice up your pitch to maximize its effectiveness.
There are good ideas and then there are ideas that produce substantial results. You will want to emphasize the potential of what you are presenting so that the capitalist can see what the end goal will be for their investment. Every good venture capitalist understands that risks are involved, so the potential must be substantial for them to go forward. Asking them to invest for twice in return is hardly worth their attention, but ten times their return will peak their interest.
Change the Game
Basically, a venture capitalist understands that ideas which change the market are the ones to invest. A product or service that makes people look at an industry in an entirely new way is the ultimate goal. A company like PayPal for example changed the way people think about banks. So too must your idea be large enough that it will cause customers and then competitors to follow.
Big Market Potential
This is a basic guideline, but the bigger the market potential, the more interest your idea will generate. So, you will want to be talking about something that millions of people may have an interest in buying or using for a venture capitalist to really see the potential. This is because they understand that the results may only be a fraction of the potential. So, the bigger the potential, the bigger the profits will be.
Problem Solving, Target Market, & Uniqueness
Most of the questions that venture capitalist will ask revolve around the problem that your idea will solve, the size and nature of the target market and the unique nature of your product as compared to the competition. You must be prepared to address each of these questions in your presentation. Otherwise, you might have the capitalist walk out of your meeting unimpressed.
Of the three, solving the problem is going to be the most powerful and persuasive part. So, you’ll need to emphasize the size of the quandary and how many people are affected and then how your product or service will address it. That approach will definitely impress the venture capitalist to listen and if they see the problem the same way you do, the battle is mostly won.
The more you can prepare, the better your pitch will be. Remember to keep it short, simple to understand and emphasize the potential which is your main goal.
The writer is Carmit Oron, VP Marketing at Brooks- Keret Financial Management , www.brooks-keret.co.il .