We would like to raise money from a specific company backed venture fund. (Details cannot be given for anonymity). 1. We would like to practice our pitch in front of other Angel investors. How can we do that? 2. Any one in this group willing to listen to our pitch for 20 mins and willing to give us feedback? 3. What should we keep in mind before the pitch?
Try local Meetups and local chapters of Startup Grind and Founder Institute. Many of the ones I attend here in Orange County start with pitches from the floor, and there are often several events a week.
Bear in mind that all investors are looking to eliminate the following so make sure you address all of them proactively:
1) Market risk
2) Product risk
3) Execution risk
These typically map to your deck slides as follows:
• Market Size
• Competitive Advantages
• Business Model
• Go to Market
Most pitches fail to address two fundamental issues faced by angel investors. In order of importance they are:
1. can these founders build this business so it becomes profitable; and
2. how and when will my capital be returned and how large a return is offered?
I suggest you not pitch anyone. Instead obtain a Critical Factors assessment of your business as the basis for inviting angels to discuss and shape the opportunity with you. Learn what they can contribute. Is it what you need and want?
In parallel, get some third party assessments such as the HBDI profile of each team member, sales aptitude and sales knowledge etc. How do the profiles stack up against the demands of the role they are expected to fill? The CEO role is critical: the wrong person will almost assure failure of the business.Most firms fail because of the people issues so tackle them systematically from the beginning.
There is more on this pitch replacement approach at www.thekemballgroup.com The Dog's Bark.
I would be more than happy to address this question, I actually had a really interesting talk with someone on Clarity yesterday about pitching B2B to angels.
I would say the biggest mistake I see in SaaS B2B is over pitching the product. Or simply 'pitching the product and it's features', rather than the benefit to it's users.
Also, another massive turn-off for investors is hiding behind jargon and acronyms. Often entrepreneurs worry that by being clear and to the point and daring to draw simple analogies they are underselling their product. However, you are being judged just as much on your ability to sell, you are selling your investment - how you do this (in the eyes of an investors) will reflect how you sell your product.
I've helped raise money for about 125 companies at AIN in my time. When we've pitched B2B we will often lead with social proof over product.
- Client Testimonials
- The Team delivering the product
- The Advisory board backing it
If you're clients are Mercedes Benz, AT&T and Disney - an investor will automatically assume those companies have done more diligence than he'll ever do. For them to take a punt on you trumps any technical understanding of your product.
This is the same for client testimonials - often they will highlight the exact point of pain you are fixing and can be the best sales tool. It says 'this product is working'.
With the team, if you were ex-Google and PayPal well we've all heard of the PayPayl Mafia and we saw how well those guys did, plus you would have dozens of connections.
You probably get the point. Basically the points above will earn you time. The average deck (we track opens and page views) gets about 3 minutes with our investors. The investors stop on the team section, the client list and anything with big images (on the first comb through).
Drilling down a bit deeper, this is where I would want to understand a bit more about the product, the IP, contract lengths, anticipated churn and sales cycles.
I hope this helps, more than happy to hear your pitch or give any feedback. Just DON'T bore people, we managed to generate 6 leads for a waste collection comparison site (so anything can be polished).
Angel Investment Network.
Hi, what about recording a short 2"30 video with your pitch. It would be an ideal exercise for brevity and also for crowdfunding. An associated brief Powerpoint presentation would be great too.
My advice would be
1. keep it simple and straightforward, no jargon
2. 1 idea per slide, talk in short "tweetable" sentences
3. Outline suggestion would be
a) describe in simple terms the business problem you solve for your potential customers "we found out that businesses had problems doing such and such"
b) how your solution (B2B SaaS portal) is proposing to solve this issue for businesses
c) what benefit for potential business clients
d) what benefit for your investors (if businesses buy into that and you fund my business, this is what you get in return)
e) how you propose (strategy) to reach that market by using assumptions (1 low assulmption, 1 medium, 1 optimistic) showing for all 3 that there is a benefit in terms of ROI for investors.
I suppose that if you wanted to go further, a short Clarity consulting call would be recommended. After all this is what it was made for.
Hi. We coach pitches.
Use this video as a starting point. Refine your pitch and then give us a call, if you want to finalize the pitch with us.
We can also help you establish a preliminary list of investors for your business.
First of all I would read with great attention all the comments made so far... And take the few pointers you are missing.
Then I would practice, practice and practice some more. Be ruthless with on another, ask really difficult and annoying questions to eachother.
Finally, guys, you are telling a story, your story... So don't forget to enjoy the moment.