In a pitch, you usually only have a couple of minutes in order to get a potential investor interested in your invention. You will stand in front of people who don’t share your interest for technical details and who don’t have your knowhow regarding that area.
– In order to get an invention out on the market, the existing technical information needs to be transformed to communication that the market and potential financiers understand and get excited about, says Ulrika Wahlström, strategic communicator at IMCG and innovation manager in the EU-project InspireWater.
IMCG act as partner in many international projects where small and medium-sized companies (SME) develops innovative technologies that have a major market potential. The SMEs have deep technical knowhow and are experienced when it comes to speaking in technical terms. Therefore, it feels natural to continue speaking the way one has always done and speak in such technical manner with potential investors as well. Maybe you have also used technical information when you have pitched your idea and afterwards you have had the feeling that the information got out, but it didn’t really get in?
– In a pitch, you often only have a minute or two to get the investor’s attention. The potential investor doesn’t share your interest in technical details and doesn’t have your knowhow in the area either. Therefore, you should rather focus on revenue and profit, says Ulrika Wahlström, IMCG.
Investors are primarily interested in information that can be expressed in terms of revenue and profit.
Four tips that will increase your chances to win a pitch
Ulrika Wahlström shares four simple tips, that will, if followed, increase your chances of winning a pitch when meeting investors.
- Don’t waste time on technical details
Start off with what is the most important. You have so much to say, but so little time. Your invention may be a technical solution. But do the investors really have the technical background required to understand a technical description of your idea? Presume that the investors don’t share your interest for details concerning your invention. Needless to say, to use your old power-point slides will not do you a favour. And it’s questionable if a power-point presentation is to be used at all.
- Emphasize how your idea can generate profit and revenue
Investors are impatient listeners and you only have a short time to describe your business model. Describe the market and how you attend to reach it. Investors are primarily interested in information expressed in terms of revenue and profit. Tell them about what’s unique about your idea and what competitive advantages it has. To offer the best product on the market isn’t good enough if there isn’t a market willing to buy it.
- Presume that the investor will spot your idea’s weaknesses
You are there to pitch your idea and to highlight its strengths, but you can count on that you will get questions regarding its weaknesses. Therefore, it’s important that you are aware of those weaknesses, that you can indicate what experiences you have gained from failures you might have done in the past and how those have made you able to develop a more elaborated business plan.
- And in the end, repeat your three unique selling points
Towards the end of the few minutes you have, you should seize the opportunity to repeat the most important things about your idea. And as you now know, it shouldn’t be about what’s most important for you, but for the investor. These unique selling points will be about what the investor can gain from getting involved in your idea. What’s in it for the investor? Think in terms of revenue and profit. The investor isn’t there for you, but to earn money.
When you need external communication expertise
If your company lack time or knowhow regarding how to transform your presentation of your invention, so that you will reach the target group investors and financiers, it might be time to consider getting external communication expertise. Two of IMCG’s focus areas, innovation management and strategic communication, are strongly linked to one another since an invention will not reach its full potential if it doesn’t reach the market.
At the InspireWater Consortium meeting in October, IMCG took the opportunity to talk about pitching with Lex van Dijk from BLUE-tec. Hear his thoughts in the video below.