If there is one piece of advice that entrepreneurs and start-ups should heed when they are making that vital pitch for investment, it’s this: “Explain what it is you do and what it is you are asking for.”
Now, it’s not rocket science and many entrepreneurs may be reading this thinking ‘of course I do that’. But the problem is, you may think you do that but the reality may be very different. You will have spent hours – years even – thinking about your innovation, working out all of the intricacies and problem solving to get you to a position where you have a prototype or a model to put before investors. You’ve been living and breathing your project and this closeness can mean that you take for granted the level of understanding that others may have. This can lead to you walking away from the critical investment pitch empty-handed.
We recently sponsored the Pitchfest at Digital Health Rewired, where start-ups had the opportunity to pitch their solutions to a judging panel of digital health experts and investors. Speaking at the event, Julie Bretland, CEO of OurMobileHealth and one of the judges on the panel, said: “You have to say what it is you do and make it clear what you are pitching.” Dr Jonathan Bloor, clinical director of System C and co-founder of Careflow Connect added: “The biggest mistake that start-ups make when pitching to potential funders is that they lack focus.”
At Silver Buck, we have helped several start-ups to develop the core messaging that will not only help them when they are pitching for investment, but that also when they are pitching for contracts with potential clients and even to the media. We work with them to identify what sets them apart from the competition, what their unique selling points are and we help them to tell their story.
We don’t have an ‘off the shelf’ model for doing this, as we know that each company is different, with its own unique challenges and opportunities. We also know that money is in short supply for new businesses and so we view the collaboration as a journey where we grow with you by identifying the areas where we can offer maximum support and benefit at a cost that is realistic and achievable.
So, maybe you have stood before a panel and been turned away. Was that simply because your pitch didn’t use clear messaging to tell your story? Did you lack the punchy evidence-based soundbites to back-up your claims? If the answer is yes, then get in touch because we can help.