Bure Valley Group is an investment introducer platform which links successful investors with exciting, innovative UK startups seeking funding. This content is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial or investment advice.
Choosing startup investments for your portfolio is a multi-step process, going far beyond simply listening to a pitch (as Dragon’s Den may lead viewers to believe). Yet a founder’s pitch is still a very important part of this process. It gives you a chance to hear the business model and grasp some of the founder’s vision. It allows you the opportunity to ask him/her questions directly to their face, so you can test their business acumen and identify strengths and weak points in the plan. However, what makes a good startup pitch?
Below, our investment team here at Bure Valley Group offers eight characteristics that typically define a great startup pitch. We hope you find this helpful. Find out more about our EIS and other investment opportunities by visiting our portfolio page here. To enquire regarding our latest projects and funding, you can reach us via:
+44 160 334 0827
#1 Short and sweet
As an angel investor, you are busy. A savvy startup founder will understand this and ensure the presentation is not too long. Durations vary, but it is common for a pitch to last 1-5 minutes (and certainly no longer than 15). In future meetings, however, you will likely want to drill down into more details. The second and third, therefore, could be an hour or much longer.
#2 Not rushed
Whilst the pitch should be short, it is key that the founder does not skip on necessary details at this stage. As an investor, you will want to know about revenues, market share and what makes the product(s) different. However, there is a lot of ground that founders often want to cover, and this can lead them to rush through their presentation – losing the audience in the process. Take note if the founder provides a steady pace of content that you can follow.
#3 Clear visualisation
Some startup propositions can be hard for founders to explain, particularly if sophisticated tech is involved. A great pitch will enable investors to easily visualise what the customer problem is, and how the startup’s proposition can fix it better than other solutions on the market. Look out for storytelling, precision and other aspects of the presentation that make it easy to understand.
#4 Obvious leadership
The founders of your potential startup investment will, if successful, be steering a ship through a rapid pace of growth in the coming years – adding suppliers, customers and team members on the way. As such, they need to have considerable mettle and leadership qualities. These can be often identified quickly in a pitch through the way the person talks and carries him/herself.
#5 Competitive knowledge
Is the founder aware of their rivals in the marketplace, their price-points and market share? Can they clearly show how their idea beats these competitors (in a sustainable way)? Do they know how considerable the barriers to entry are for new entrants? A strong pitch will mention these details, whilst a weak one typically skips over them.
A founder can be amazingly confident, know their product and market well and have excellent oratory skills. Yet their presentation will be held back without visual aids for investors to look at. This could be as simple as a PowerPoint slideshow or animated video to illustrate how a new software product works. For physical products, examples/tasters should be readily available for the audience to try.
#7 Solid, clear figures
Anyone can stand up and make grant claims in front of others. What truly gives their words weight is demonstrable evidence. Can the founder tell you, immediately, how many sales they made within a given time period? Are they able to articulate their expenses and, therefore, what their profits and losses were? Can they cite reliable figures (e.g. secondary research from UK government sources) showing how large their marketplace is, and how much market share they can reasonably expect to attain within 12 months – perhaps by referring to a competitor?
#8 Great question responses
The initial pitch is important. Even more important will be the follow-up questions which are then posed to the founder by investors. If you’ve watched Dragon’s Den, you’ll know that this is the point where viewers often squirm – as an initially confident presenter quickly falls apart as they discover they cannot answer fair questions from the investor audience. A great presentation will feature a founder who can address these questions directly, confidently and without needing to apologise for having insufficient knowledge. Their answers, moreover, should make you feel more confident and excited about the startup and its potential.
Conclusion & invitation
Startup pitches can be a nerve-racking experience – especially for founders. Yet they can also be hugely exciting for investors when they come across a promising startup idea, with strong leaders at the helm. Here at Bure Valley Group, we can offer you a network of projects like this which could be perfect for your portfolio.
Interested in finding out more about the exciting startup projects we have on offer to investors here at Bure Valley Group? Get in touch today to start a conversation with our team and discuss some of the great investment memorandums we have available here:
+44 160 334 0827