Knowing exactly what investors want from your pitch is difficult, particularly when you’ve only got 90 seconds (or less) to present a convincing case.
We’ve highlighted three key sections that investors will expect you to cover and the information to include in each one.
Traction is essential. Anyone can have an idea, but traction validates it. While some audiences might be swayed by a great story or charismatic pitch, most of the time your success will hinge on cold hard facts.
If your business hasn’t launched or is still brand new, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can’t mention traction either. Every business should be able to demonstrate that people want what they’re offering.
Traction can be shown by:
- Meetings with key partners or suppliers
- Social followers or email subscribers
- A pilot or successful demo
- Customers or users
Your team proves that you have the right people to make your business a success. In 90 seconds, you don’t have the time to deep dive into the background of every person. A sentence or two is all you need to let the audience know you’ve got the required skills and experience.
If you’re a solo founder, talk about why you’re equipped to take on the challenge. Mention any experienced mentors that are providing advice and direction. Investors will be considering whether you have the skills to achieve what you’re planning. In a short pitch, you may be limited to outlining the founding team.
Here’s the approach two The Pitch finalists took. Both answers succinctly say why the skill set of the founding team suits the challenge.
“My background is in content and sustainability. My co-founder’s is in product, sales and machine learning,” said BizGive co-founder Louise Downing.
“We have strength and depth in the team. I previously worked at an accelerator and my COO previously worked at a dating app that successfully exited,” said dating app CLiKD founder Mike Blakeley
3. Market and competition
What’s the current market size for your product? How is it changing each year? Answering these questions helps give audiences a sense of how big the opportunity is.
Avoid using numbers that are grand but vague, which can undermine your credibility. If your company creates healthy snacks, don’t quote the entire health food segment as your addressable market size. Instead find research that more closely matches your target audience.
Once you’ve identified your main market, find smaller, niche markets you could reasonably succeed in.
When you’re talking about the market, you need to mention competition too. They’re the elephant in the room, particularly if you’re going up against big companies. Talk directly about why your business is different and how you can seize market share. The level of detail you cover in this section will depend on the length of your pitch.
To learn about other key parts of your pitch and the questions investors are likely to ask, download our guide to creating a winning 90-second pitch.
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To learn about other key parts of your pitch and the questions investors are likely to ask, download our guide on how to create a winning 90-second pitch.
For this guide, we’ve talked to founders and investors about how to structure a 90-second pitch and the key elements that matter. There’s also information on how The Pitch scoring criteria works and questions you might get asked after your pitch.
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