A StartUp Pitch should be no longer than 7 minutes! Not even 11 minutes! Has to be the magic, infinite number 7! I say infinite because in some cultures, including my own the number 7 conceptualizes somehow an infinity. You might as well relate the number to some myths you might have heard of like th 7 lives of a cat, 700 hundred concubins of king Solomon, 777 as the number of God or as the number of Access Permissions on Unix!
Making a presentation in 7, seemed actually quite a challenge. I sat down with my partner and created 7 slides. When you present something you love, you can wither present it in one sentence (they call it elevator pitch which I dislike the begging cannotation it has), or you will need a time needed for longing-smile to your enthusiasm which might take from a few minutes up to let’s say an evening in the Pub. But as it seems, you can deliver a #pitch in 7 minutes and here is how. This is what I learned in the process of doing a 7 minute presentation with my partner for a new startup!
Rule 1: Forget the technology!
This is really hard if you are betting on a solution which is solved in an alternative technology solution and competing traditional methods. You know the vision, you know the advantages and it all starts with the technology. You expect yourself to discuss technology advantages… Wrong! There are many business or trendy people raising funds out there. They know nothing of technology, someof them cannot even create a team of developers because are so shallow and yet they can raise millions. Technology is not fundamental in a pitch, it is an adjective!
Rule 2: Focus on the problem!
Everyone you will meet coming from the business world, might this be the University Professor who know only theory, up to the banker will give you one and one advice again! Go out and do some market research, ask people for their problems. Know the problems but more important, know how to express them in proper form. The best approach is to be yourself the consumer of your solution. Personally I prefer to solve a problem concerning me. This way I will find motivation to work on the solution. I believe most enthusias young entepreneurs do the same. It is not the neccessary approach though. End-line, investors invest in a solution to a problem which affects a large “market”.
Rule 3: Numbers are all that count
I mentioned Market in Rule 2. If you want to attract the attention of investors, show them the money. Your startup is as good as the potential revenue it can make. Seems like the best you can do in 7 minutes is to convince someone that you are targeting a real problem, affecting a large market. Look at the AirBnB presentations, the only focus of the presentation is the potential revenue they will be making.
Rule 4: Competitive Advantage
This is also critical to show … how you will enter the market. Actually I thought it is about the advantages, but since Rule 1 says no technology talk, then focus on distinct aspects which you can use to show a contrast with compettors from a market perspective. The advantage that technology or your solution will give without too much focus on technology itself.
Rule 5: People are also part of the package
You cannot focus on the technology, but you can “sell” the people! Who your partners are, what makes them extraordinary people to work with, what benefits will your startup from the people in your team is all you have to convince that your solution can solve the problem you are mentioning and can challenge the competitors you are facing.
The rest is cliché.