Sunday, February 03, 2013

Focus when pitching for investment . . .

London is buzzing with new activity, and keeping up is fun but hectic.  The UKTI Mission to NY in November went very well indeed, as did a much more recent days with organisations like

Between the two, I've done much else, and there are videos on my site that show some of it.

Perhaps the most salient similarity among the groups is a tendency to cram too much into a 1-3-minute investment pitch. 

Two points worth making:

1. Be careful to keep an investment pitch entirely investor-focused-- it's not a marketing pitch.  If you combine marketing and investor information, the result tends to be a muddle for your listeners.  Know how your audience hears, and keep the data specific to what the room is listening for.

2. Slides should be used to support your story, not to lead it.  If you can make a point effectively without the use of a slide, get rid of the slide.  Certainly don't make your listeners read text.  It's distracting and, again, dilutes focus from the point you're making.

3. Don't try to be exhaustive when giving a pitch -- you win if you find a way NOT to have the last word.  The real business is done in another room, after the last slide is shown.  So get your audience to ask questions, leave room for curiosity, and just show a little leg.

4. For all you incubators and accelerators wanting to do the best for your companies, avoid VC whiplash.  Throwing lots of pitch advice at those pitching can be confusing.  And whether you choose me or someone else, it's helpful to learners to have a standard to which they're working consistently.  Any extra advice is fine, but have one person who is in charge of Best Practices to help companies sort through what's the best choice of content and behavior for them.