A startup pitch is usually your 5 minutes of glory that can help you attract investors (or potential customers). The investors hear a lot of pitches and don’t have much time to do any further research on your company. Therefore, the pitch is usually what gives you an opportunity to present your startup to the investors.
I’ve seen many startup pitches. Most of them, especially the ones from first-time founders, usually repeat the same mistakes over and over. They don’t realize how much could they lower their chances to attract anyone. Even though their product is really good and has a good potential, they need to show that they understand it. In order to do so, they need to avoid the following mistakes when they pitch:
1 – No validation with potential customers.
They consider themselves (and maybe friends and family) as a good sample group and believe that if they like something, everyone else would. The mistake is that the startup pitch is mostly about the customers, their problems and a solution to it.
2 – Speaking too much about the solution instead of the problem that the startup is solving.
Instead of focusing on the problem that they are solving and the value they are providing to the customers, they speak about the product and it’s features. Think of something like “we allow people to quickly and easily find a ride or taxi” instead of “we have a mobile app that tracks your location, allows you to enter a place where you want to go and then pick a car that takes you there”.
3 – Not understanding the industry and business case.
Many people are starting startups in industries that they don’t know anything about. Many don’t even bother to find advisors or mentors who help them. Because they are focused on their particular solution, they don’t do almost any research on what the potential customers really need and therefore what are they going to pay for.
BONUS: Not practicing the startup pitch well enough.
This is a bonus one, because so many founder pitch so poorly that you get bored after 30 seconds of listening to them, even when you really want to pay attention.
I was guilty of each of them before. How about you?