Tell your story and be bold is my motto.
As entrepreneurs, innovators, and simply ideators, you must keep pushing the envelope. Perseverance and creativity are the name of the game. A recent Wall Street Journal study and article, "Women Executives Make Venture-backed Companies More Successful," finds that "Venture-backed companies that include females as senior executives are more likely to succeed than companies where only males are in charge."
Whether you are bootstrapping or pitching to get VC/angel investors, you must keep in mind two things about your business pitch: keep your story simple and sweet. I've been asked lately about what the top "must haves" for women are when pitching their businesses and/or ideas. There have to be some formulas for success, right? As women in a male-dominated industry, we should be sharing these trade secrets with each other!
Do women pitch differently than men? What makes our style different from men? The answer would be there are no gender differences in pitching your idea to an investor. Bottom line: whether you are men or women, you must do your due diligence in understanding your product and services. Only then can you know how your VCs/audience will see or react to your pitch, and you can effectively make persuasive arguments to cater to them.
One thing to understand is that you will undoubtedly get the door shut in your face. In fact, I've chatted with one entrepreneur who said, "I've pitched to over 25 VCs and they all said no." I would say to do your homework! Learn about who the VCs you're pitching to are. One size doesn't fit all! You must know who they are and if they'll even give your business model a glance so that you can strategize. Lastly, never give up!
With that in mind, here are my top 5 must-haves.
How to Pitch Your Ideas
1. What is your idea? Explain and elaborate about your concept
2. Why will this idea work? Explain your inspiration and the data to back it up
3. Who are your competitors? Or is there a similar concept?
4. How would this idea make your consumer's life easier over your competitors? The next question would be how you get your Return of Investment(ROI)--you have to explain the benefits!
5. When will this launch? Explain your launch milestones and strategy behind them
I would love to hear your stories of your successful pitches! Tell me about your top advice to all of the entrepreneurs out there who are ready to tell their story in the comment section.
Check out the full study here by Dow Jones VentureSource