This is becoming pain full. He lost my attention when he mentioned he is the founder, CEO and CFO of his startup. The jury members of this pitch competition clearly felt the same, as I saw them wandering off while mumbling and and looking and the clock.
This 23 year old guy who just graduated launched his startup 2 months ago and wasn’t making any revenue. Yet he felt obliged to proudly mention he is the most important person in the company, before he even explained what his startup is doing.
Many startup founders are extremely excited about their startup love to mention their importance to the company. Although it’s a good thing to be proud about your startup, you should be care full. Investors, especially informal investors, don’t like startup founders who are a little bit too fond of themselves. This article discusses the 4 types of startup pitchers which are unpopular with investors or startup competitions.
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#1 The ‘I am super important’ founder
I just mentioned this one, he (or she) loves to talk about job titles. He acts as the founder, CEO and CFO, and his buddy will be the CTO and CMO.
Don’t. Ever. Do. This. Just tell investors you’ll be doing the financials, and your friend will be developing the tech and the marketing. And yes, when people ask you can tell them you’re the one with the final say in the company.
Let’s face it, you’re a startup founder and (most likely) didn’t generate millions of revenue yet. It’s quite ambitious to use these types of job titles until your startup experienced significant growth.
#2 The ‘I love details’ founder
‘My name is Tony, I am the founder of Tony Ltd. and today I want to discuss my business with you. I invented a smartwatch which has great specifications. It has a white bracelet with black leather, it has 8.2 gigahertz batteries and works on a intel 5 processor.’
I’m sorry for being rude. But I figured it’s better to hear this from me than from potential clients or investors.
When you do a startup pitch, it’s all about making investors (or jury members) excited. You’re trying to get people excited about you and your company. Your goal should NEVER be to disclose all it’s features or its technical specifications.
#3 The Reader
I kind of feel sympathy to the reader. The reader is usually an intelligent person who understands the power of words to the fullest. The reader writes his text weeks in advance and keeps on rewriting until everything is perfect. I love it.
However, this is only 50% of the work. After you’ve written your text it’s time to prepare to do the best startup pitch you’ll ever do. A good startup pitch should ALWAYS be done without reading your text. Investors and jury members of startup pitch competitions won’t ever take you seriously if you don’t even take the effort to prepare and practice.
#4 The Freestyler
‘I know everything about my startup, I’ll just figure out what to say on the spot’. Or ‘I am an easy talker, I don’t need to prepare my startup pitch’.
I can’t believe these people still exist. Yes, it helps if you’re an easy talker, but the content of your pitch is extremely important. Relying on your small talk skills to do the work is lazy and ignorant.
Whenever you’re pitching your startup, you should know what you’re going to say and have practiced it at least 50 times.
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PS: Did your startup already raise funding? Check out The Ultimate Pitch Guide, it will prevent you from making expensive mistakes when pitching to investors.