Startup Idea Pitches – Can we Make Them Better?

In the past few weeks, I listened to over 50 pitches in 5 different events. Most of the pitches have too much information in them.

Make sure that your presentation answers these questions:

  1. What is the problem you are trying to solve?
  2. Why is it a problem?
  3. What is your solution? How is your solution different from other existing solutions?
  4. How big is the market and what niche do you plan to target?
  5. What is your business model?

Here are a few things I learned:

  • When left to themselves, presenters want to throw in the kitchen sink into their presentations – lots of text, pictures, diagrams and even videos.
  • They have so much to say and they want to say it all.  I don’t blame them. I used to be exactly the same. The eagerness to share all my research and finding with the audience and educate them is very compelling.
  • It is difficult to teach people to listen to questions carefully and give relevant answers. They seem eager and read too much into questions.

Some suggestions:

  • Use a format where each slide has pictures or simple diagram and little text
  • 5-7 slides describing how you plan to create value
  • Keep a set of backup slides to use during the question hour (shows your level of preparation)
  • Finish the presentation earlier than the allotted time so that you can get a lot of questions
  • Keep your answers short and relevant.

Questions show gaps in your presentation. So note down (or record) the questions and think about them and refine your presentation.

It is difficult to talk less. Practice helps.

Inspired by – The Promises and Pitfalls of Pitching News Startup Ideas

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