Your first meeting with an investor is akin to your first date with a prospective romantic partner – filled with anxiety, anticipation, and apprehension. How can you attract their attention? What should you talk about? When do you move on from a conversation topic? The winning formula varies according to your personality and delivery style, but here is a guide to get you started on how to maximise that precious five minutes with your investor.
First Impression Matters – 30 seconds
Open with an introduction of yourself, your team, and your company. The elevator pitch should concisely summarise your business model and startup vision.
As you walk the investor through the key content to be covered, sound enthusiastic and be passionate. Surprise them with interesting and little-known facts about your industry or company so that they are intrigued and want to continue listening to you.
A rule of thumb is to remain relatable throughout the pitch as investors may not be familiar with jargons used in your industry.
The Problem – 70 seconds
After setting the stage, highlight the gap in the market and justify to investors why this problem is worth tackling. Draw them in with a story detailing how your target market persona is affected by the problem at hand. Help them understand the complexity of the problem, and the urgency to take action and fulfill customers’ needs. This also sets the prelude for you to demonstrate the sustainability of your solution.
The Solution – 90 seconds
This is the time for you to highlight your product’s unique selling proposition and show how you’ll rise above your competitors. Your investor needs to know that your solution is not only innovative, but also feasible and lucrative.
You can further support your case with findings from needs analysis and user tests. Favourable market sentiments and a realistic estimate of your market share are strong evidence of your company’s growth potential.
Pro-tip: Visual aids and prototype demos reinforces your product’s benefits and helps the investor better visualise how it works.
Money Matters – 50 seconds
Ultimately, investors invest to earn returns. They’ll be interested in understanding more about your revenue streams and pricing strategy.
You don’t have to be too specific at this juncture, but you need to convince investors that you have a profitable business model. Essentially, draw a timeline that outlines the broad steps you will take to achieve a profit-making outcome. Let them know how much capital is required and the specific help you’ll need from them.
Wrap Up – 30 + 30 seconds
As you draw to a close, send investors a call to action. Reiterate two most significant points from your pitch to achieve impact. Emphasise that NOW is the golden time for change. Also, be prepared to take questions from here on. Strive to impress investors with your answers so that they’ll arrange follow-up meetings with you.
Also, allocate a safety buffer of 30 seconds to accommodate any interruptions or to troubleshoot unexpected problems during the pitch.
If you have concluded your pitch smoothly with remaining time to spare, ask investors for feedback. It’s a great opportunity to leverage on their experience to refine your pitch, business model, and even get advice on how to improve your product.