Raising money has always been an uphill task. Not only do you need to have an amazing product or service, you need a great team, traction in the business, possibly be profitable and on top of all this, you need to compete with other similar businesses. Venture capitalists see thousands of pitches a year however only select a handful few who show absolute promise of returns on their investment.
It’s no wonder, newer formats are being used to reduce the time spent on each pitch. Polar Bear Pitching is the perfect example. As part of the event, entrepreneurs stand waist-deep in icy cold Baltic sea and pitch to the investors. Quite an effective way to ensure pitches end quickly.
And this is why elevator pitches do wonderfully. They are short, precise and effective enough to get the attention of an investor. Since time is crucial, the visual representation of data becomes a key tool to ensure that the information is comprehended quickly and in the manner intended.
Infographics to the rescue
Infographics have been around for quite some time. Pinterest is full of them. Infographics work since most people are visual learners and illustrated text i.e. data encased in visuals are comprehended 83% more than regular text.
Let’s take a look at a sample infographic. In the examples shown below, we have created an infographic for a fictional Startup ‘Bikidido’
The introduction is a simple, short statement with clear details about your business.
The section contains the most important part of your business i.e. Logo, Name and the Tagline. A tagline that anybody can understand in one go yet one that clearly explains everything about your business in one single statement is a clear winner. Ideally, this is what takes the most time to figure out as this is the central proposition of your business.
The Tagline ‘On-demand bike based Ride Share Service that is cheaper, faster and hassle-free’ is a clear and concise statement that shows everything the business is about.
While creating one for yourself, you need to be equally creative for your business’s tagline. Always remember to avoid any Jargon and use the most basic terms to ensure clarity of vision.
This section is crucial as it explains the basic problem your business is trying to solve. A well-defined problem that resonates immediately with the investors and the audience is a winning formula for sure. A typical investor would only invest when they know that the problem is big enough and that as the business grows, they would be able to get a large return on their investment. Hence, 2 or 3 main pain points that your business is trying to solve should be clearly mentioned as shown in the infographic above as reference.
Here you explain how your business aims to solve the problem. It could be via one simple statement or even a few points.
Everyone wants a solution to their problems but if the solution is neither effective nor simple, customers would not do business with you. Investors over the years of mentoring other startups understand this aspect really well. If your business is not able to provide a simple solution to the problems listed in your pitch, in all likelihood investors would see that as a Red-Flag. Hence, it is critical that you offer a solution that is most effective yet very simple to implement.
Remember: Try to avoid mentioning more than 3 points. Beyond that, you risk losing interest or attention of the audience as the solution would not seem simple enough.
Depending upon what stage of funding you are at, a working prototype of an app or software, will be required to showcase that you are on the right track. Many times, the startup network that the investor is already vested in, might also be able to help in building or developing the app or the software, that’s why a prototype is required as it helps investors identify what areas of the business or the product they would be able to support.
For the purpose of an elevator pitch, Images of your product and app are great here. You could also add a one-line testimonial from a customer to add value.
This section is purely about the market. Don’t talk about what it could be in the future, share information that directly impacts your business. Direct numbers that help investors be better informed about your business make more sense than potential market size which almost everyone quotes when actual numbers are not available or enough research has not been done.
Again, in keeping with the theme of the purpose which is an elevator pitch, ensure to keep minimal text and points up to maximum 3 or 4.
Share anything that is part of your business model currently and avoid everything that is not necessary. Remember, this is an elevator pitch in an infographic. Be creative and use the least number of words to explain all that you need to.
In the example given, monthly pass and single rides costs have been shared for visual representation and then a reiteration that its an app-based business to remind the Investors of possible future applications.
Notice how the information has been clearly laid out for a quick view and understanding without any clutter.
We believe that this is the most important section of the infographic. How much business you have done so far and customers gained is where the game actually starts. This is proof that you are going in the right direction and that there is potential in the business to be a successful venture for all parties involved.
Typically, one would have a lot of information to share, hence as a startup entrepreneur you need to cull the unnecessary and cut overall information down to maximum 3 or 4 points again or layout information better for fast comprehension.
Roadmap to the Future
A clearly laid out roadmap to the future shows clarity in thought and vision, great planning skills and execution as well. Of course, this is just a roadmap and not a guarantee but this is where an investor or a VC knows what role they can play for your business besides just investing in your business.
Every startup worth its name boasts of a great team. You need to highlight what sets your team apart from the competition. Showcase key skills directly related to the role they play in the business and milestones achieved so far in their career.
Remember: Everyone claims to have the best team. You need to showcase why your team is the perfect team to run this business and make it a success.
Did you find this to be interesting? Think you too need this for your next pitch. Let us know.
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