We are living in the age of the entrepreneur — more people are starting up, and it's ever important to stand out in the crowd. We spoke to a handful of venture capitalists and startup entrepreneurs to get their top tips on how to put together the ideal startup pitch. There's plenty of material out there on what exactly an entrepreneur should include in a pitch, and for the most part it comes down to a list of nuts and bolts that should all be there, says David Teten, ff Venture Capital partner and founder and chairman of the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York.
To put it short, the pitch should include details on the company overview, team, market, solution, business model, customers, competition, financial overview, funding, vision and of course, a demo — or at least a mockup — should be available for viewing. He evaluates about 700 pitches per year, he says, mostly via email, with less than 5% graduating to a phone call or meeting.
RxAnalytics CEO Deepak Gopalakrishna hasn't seen quite as many pitches as Teten, but in the past two years, he's judged a few dozen in the Carolina Challenge and the Duke Startup Challenge and sees pitches weekly through his roles as an Entrepreneurs Network Fellow at Blackstone and as a .406 Ventures fellow. Furthermore, Gopalakrishna advises startups to very narrowly identify their core secret sauce. Allyson Downey, founder and CEO of weeSpring, says she gives her startup's pitch at least half a dozen times per day.
Your honesty and thoughtfulness will only take you so far, and that's where preparation comes in. While you're at it, make sure you've done thorough research on the people you're pitching to, says Howery. For all of the investors and entrepreneurs in the crowd, share your advice on how startup entrepreneurs should go about crafting their pitches. A modern social media presentation designed for an Social Media agency, Social Media Researcher, Social Media Marketer or any type of business related on Social Media.
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When pitching investors, then, it's crucial that entrepreneurs do their research, understand what's expected of them and pitch accordingly. Do whatever you can to convey that your team, your product and your approach are all the best out there. It can get tiresome, but it's critically important to bring the same level of energy and passion to the sixth pitch as you bring to the first one, she says. It's not about throwing glitter in the air and using 5,000 Keynote or PowerPoint animations. You want to display your business in the best light possible, but a good investor will do diligence and uncover anything you might have strategically left out. What we look for in a leader is someone that can think for themselves and makes rational decisions with the information they have available to them," says Housri. What resources do you recommend first-time founders check out to make the most of their pitches? Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content for its dedicated and influential audience around the globe.
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The founder of physician-finding tool ZocDoc, Cyrus Massoumi, started the company based on a personal experience — he burst his eardrum while travelling and it took him days to find a doctor. In an email exchange with Gopalakrishna, I got an entire rundown on what he thinks should be included in a pitch, but I was most intrigued by his thoughts on how much (or little) technology speak should be included. Pick one." And while you're at it, know that your financial projections are always wrong, he says. Downey also confesses that she's had to become more comfortable with public speaking over time. Remember that trust is still the goal here, so be honest and thoughtful when pitching and answering questions, says Samir Housri, principal at Rho Ventures.
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He says that many entrepreneurs go heavy on the technology and how it works, taking up about half of their pitch with those details and only leaving a smidgen of time for competition and market details. Otherwise, investors might see a red flag — either that you will take money from anyone, or you are trying to create a bidding war — neither is a good situation on the investor's end. The template proposal includes a smartPhone and a tablet mockup slides and well organized with slide master.
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Getting an investment from the wrong person can be a decision you'll later regret, as not every investor offers equal value.

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