How to Help Your Startup Stand Out to Investors

Every year VCs are flooded with offers to invest in global startups but only select those special few to fund. Throw in economic instability and uncertainty, and now startup entrepreneurs have an even steeper hill to climb to secure funds to move their project forward. Helping your pitch stand out to investors could be the first step towards realizing your dream of getting your business to the next phase of success.

In this article, we discuss major factors investors take into account before making the final decision.

1. Does Your Project Match VCs’ Current Portfolios or Fit Their Interests?

First, doing background research on your audience before making the pitch helps you avoid wasting time. Some startup owners waste precious time looking for venture capital from the wrong investors. You must know the business interests of the people you’re pitching to. If you’re pitching to a venture capital firm, you can easily know their business interests by checking their website or browsing social profiles.

2. Who Are Your Partners?

Relationships are a core part of business. Investors like to know who they are working with first before making the decision to invest. If you have partners or are working with a team, you should share their details and why they are the right people to work with. Do you have a success story to highlight? Is someone on your team a killer digital expert? Demonstrate the different values and skill sets your team members bring onboard to differentiate your business from other competitors.

3. Do You Have A Customer Base?

Having real customers is important in attracting venture capital. One of the reasons startups fail to secure the funding they need is that they don’t have defined customers. Ideally, before you make your pitch, it would be best to build a customer base first. This helps you to back up your claims and proves that your business idea actually works. Furthermore, if you have returning customers, the feedback you get helps you improve your business.
For startups in the ideation stage that need funding to build the idea or don’t yet have customers, we recommend providing rock solid market research to at least identify and show that the customer base exists, and try your best to project the value of those markets.

4. Does Your Presentation Properly Sell Your Story?

Visualizing your ideas in a thoughtful (and not thrown together) presentation increases the chances of securing funding for your startups. We recommend preparing both short and long versions of your presentation. The short version should last for approximately ten minutes, but give investors all the information they need. The order of information and the style or design of the presentation will communicate your savviness and preparedness to investors.

5. What Is Your Marketing Strategy?

Talking about marketing strategies to be used is a step most startup owners ignore. By showing potential investors how you will reach your customers, the cost of advertising, and the mechanisms you will use to measure success, you’ll help them paint a better picture about how their money will be used and how effective you will be in managing the work. We recommend mentioning the channels you’ll use to reach customers and providing examples of the key messaging that will attract these customers.

Last but not least, communicating your ideas with competence and confidence is important – investors can only see you and your ideas. Take the time to practice your pitch in front of others or record the pitch and analyze it yourself to make improvements. Taking the time to finesse your pitch will communicate to investors the potential of your business succeeding.