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WOW The Art of The Pitch

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This presentation provides a how-to model for preparing, refining and giving a pitch that makes your audience go "WOW".

WOW The Art of The Pitch

  1. 1. WOW!The Art of The Pitch Adam Lorant alorant@bctia.org Photo: Tauron32 Centre4Growth
  2. 2. My Background 1998-2000 2001-2004
  3. 3. Enough about me… So what do you do?
  4. 4. 4 Agenda1. Know Your Audience2. Build Substance • The 5 T’s3. Package Style • The Pitch Pyramid Source: Pennstatelive WOW !!!
  5. 5. 5Tune your pitch for your audience• Co-founders• Employees Source: KaffeeTrauma• Professionals• Partners• Customers• Investors• Media• Your mother
  6. 6. 6Know Your AudiencePLEASE. Before you prepare a pitch or a presentationor a web site. 1.Understand who you’re talking to; 2.What questions they want answered; and 3.What you want to get out of the meeting.
  7. 7. People buy in to a Great Story. 7 Source: Rapid City Public Library
  8. 8. 8 Source: Rapid City Public LibraryStorytelling is an Art, not a Science.
  9. 9. 9 Source: Rapid City Public LibraryTelling a Great Story: Substance, Style.
  10. 10. Substance
  11. 11. 11Creating Substance: The 5 T ’s Trouble Technology Team Traction Treasure
  12. 12. 12Creating Substance: The 5 T ’sT rouble • What problem are you solving forT echnology your customer? • How big of a pain is it for them? • What’s the cost to switch fromT eam their current solution?T ractionT reasure Risk vs. WOW
  13. 13. 13Creating Substance: The 5 T ’sT rouble • What’s your secret sauce?T echnology • Why do I care? • What’s new, original and different about your product?T eam • First/Best/Only • How easy is it for a competitor to replicate?T raction • Know-how or PatentsT reasure Risk vs. WOW
  14. 14. 14Creating Substance: The 5 T ’sT roubleT echnology • What domain expertise does the management team have? • Where are the experience andT eam expertise gaps? • Who are the advisors & board ofT directors? ractionT reasure Risk vs. WOW
  15. 15. 15Creating Substance: The 5 T ’sT rouble • How well do you understand your customer? • How many customers do youT echnology have and what’s your growth rate? • What do customers say aboutT eam you/your product? • What is your customer acquisition strategy and cost to acquireT raction customers? • What’s the customer’s cost/benefit?T reasure Risk vs. WOW
  16. 16. 16Creating Substance: The 5 T ’sT rouble • How big is the market?T echnology • How much money do you need to raise?T eam • How fast are you going to get to revenue & profitability?T raction • What’s your pricing strategy like?T reasure Risk vs. WOW
  17. 17. 17 Investment Return Graph Break Even Q11 Revenue 4,000,000 2,000 Customers $1,000 per customer 3,000,000 Alpha Beta Rel 1 Revenue Q3 $2M spend Q4 $2.5M spend Q5 $3.5 M spend 2,000,000 Profit 1,000,000 $5M investment-1,000,000-2,000,000 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9 Q10 Q11 Q12
  18. 18. 18 Investment Return Graph Seed Angel A - Round Round Round Break Even Q11 4,000,000 2,000 Customers Revenue $1,000 per customer 3,000,000 Alpha Beta Rel 1 Revenue Q3 $2M spend Q4 $2.5M spend Q5 $3.5 M spend 2,000,000 Profit 1,000,000 $5M investment-1,000,000 Friends & Family High Net Worth VCs fund concept fund traction fund growth-2,000,000 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9 Q10 Q11 Q12 < $100K < $500K $2M+ < 9 months < 18 months 18M+ months
  19. 19. Substance
  20. 20. Style
  21. 21. 21Putting it all together: A Great Story Concept • 3 - 5 words Stand-up • 100 seconds “Get a Meeting” • 100 words Investor • 10 slide deck
  22. 22. Concept • 3 - 5 words Stand-up • 100 seconds “Get a Meeting” • 100 words Investor • 10 slide deckThe Concept PitchSay it in 3-5 words…
  23. 23. 23The Concept Pitch NOT your Tagline
  24. 24. 24The Concept Pitch NOT your Vision or Mission Statement
  25. 25. 25The Concept Pitch Simple, memorable description of your business, using analogies to paint a metaphor. ”Flickr for video” “Amazon for rare, collectable, out-of-print books” ”AT&T for the Internet” ”Classified Ads for the Internet” ”Encyclopaedia Britannica for the Internet”
  26. 26. Concept • 3 - 5 words Stand-up • 100 seconds “Get a Meeting” • 100 words Investor • 10 slide deckThe Stand Up PitchYour elevator pitch.Cocktail party conversation.The 100 second story.
  27. 27. 27
  28. 28. 28The Stand Up Pitch “Tell me about your company!” Source: n.macca Make it a short, engaging description of your business.
  29. 29. 29What you need to cover: a Trouble  a Technology  a Team  a Traction  a Treasure 
  30. 30. 30Sample Stand Up PitchPetPlay is introducing a line of gourmet canned cat foods with the brand name PetiteCuisine. These products look good, smell great, and taste great because they are peoplefood for cats! You may not want to, but you could eat it!Research shows consumers love the products for their refreshing look and pleasantsmell—and cats devour them. Petite Cuisine is 100% nutritionally complete for cats andis made from products you would buy at the meat and fish counter. The line currentlyhas eight items including whole tuna, red snapper filets, baby shrimp, and rock crab.I launched and ran Fancy Feast, the largest competitor in this space nationally and ranone of Nestles international pet food divisions. I know this market well.Orders are in from Ralphs grocery chain with additional distribution commitmentstotalling 500 stores.Capital is being raised in two stages—$500,000 in initial launch capital for 500 storesand then a round of expansion capital of $3 to $5 million for 3,000+ stores. Tech Coast Angels, 2007
  31. 31. 31 Breaking down the Pitch ProblemPetPlay is introducing a line of gourmet canned cat T you’re solvingfoods with the brand name Petite Cuisine. Theseproducts look good, smell great, and taste great because Catchy conceptthey are people food for cats! You may not want to, but pitchyou could eat it!Research shows consumers love the products for theirrefreshing look and pleasant smell—and cats devour Understandsthem. industry and consumersPetite Cuisine is 100% nutritionally complete for catsand is made from products you would buy at the meatand fish counter. The line currently has eight items Differentiatedincluding whole tuna, red snapper filets, baby T productshrimp, and rock crab.
  32. 32. 32 Breaking down the PitchI launched and ran Fancy Feast, the largest competitor in BIG experiencethis space nationally and ran one Tof Nestles international pet food divisions. I know thismarket well. Good tractionOrders are in from Ralph’s grocery chain with additional Tdistribution commitments totalling 500 stores.Capital is being raised in two stages—$500,000 in initiallaunch capital for 500 stores and then a round of Understands what it willexpansion capital of $3 to $5 million for 3,000+ stores T take
  33. 33. Concept • 3 - 5 words Stand-up • 100 seconds “Get a Meeting” • 100 words Investor • 10 slide deckThe “Get a Meeting” Pitch
  34. 34. 34The “Get a Meeting” Pitch• NOT an executive summary• NOT a product description• High level concept description + team + traction• Can be formatted as an email• Target 100 words or less• Delivery measured in seconds, not minutes
  35. 35. 35Subject: Introducing Ning to Blue Shirt CapitalHi Nivi, Thanks for offering to introduce us to Blue Shirt Capital. Ive attached a short presentation about our company, Ning. Briefly, Ning lets you create your own social network for anything. For free. In 2 minutes. Its as easy as starting a blog. Try it at http://ning.com Ning unlocks the great ideas from people all over the world who want to use this amazing medium in their lives. We have over 115,000 user-created networks and our page views are growing 10% per week. We previously raised $44M from Legg Mason and others, including myself. Before Ning, I started Netscape (acquired by AOL for $4.2B) and Opsware (acquired by HP for $1.6B). Ive admired Blue Shirts investments from afar. Were starting meetings with investors next week and I would love to show Blue Shirt what were building at Ning.Best,Marc Andreessenxyz@ning.com415.555.1212 Source: Pitching Hacks, 2009
  36. 36. 36Subject: Introducing Ning to Blue Shirt Capital Simple & conciseHi Nivi, email Thanks for offering to introduce us to Blue Shirt Capital. Ive attached a short presentation about our company, Ning. Problem you’re Briefly, Ning lets you create your own social network for anything. solving For free. In 2 minutes. Its as easy as starting a blog. Try it at http://ning.com Good metaphor Ning unlocks the great ideas from people all over the world who pitch phrase want to use this amazing medium in their lives. We have over 115,000 user-created networks and our page views Good customer are growing 10% per week. We previously raised $44M from Legg engagement Mason and others, including myself. Before Ning, I started Netscape (acquired by AOL for $4.2B) and Opsware (acquired by HP for $1.6B). Good experience Ive admired Blue Shirts investments from afar. Were starting meetings with investors next week and I would love to show Blue Shirt what were building at Ning. Call to actionBest,Marc Andreessenxyz@ning.com415.555.1212 Pitching Hacks, 2009
  37. 37. Concept • 3 - 5 words Stand-up • 100 seconds “Get a Meeting” • 100 words Investor • 10 slide deckThe Investor Pitch
  38. 38. 38The Investor Pitch• NOT a description• NOT a business plan in PowerPoint• NOT about explaining, its about SELLINGAn illustratedstory about the opportunity.
  39. 39. 39 Guy Kawasakis 10/20/30 Rule10 20 30 Slides Minutes Point FontTarget: 3 bullets, 20 words per slide. Lots of graphics.
  40. 40. 40Clean, Simple, Visual, Powerful, Memorable
  41. 41. 41The sequence of slides tells a story:We have a mission and a team that is taking us there. Why?We discovered this large problem and solved it with aproduct that has this amazing technology inside. We’regoing to market and sell it to these customers, with theseadvantages that competitors simply cannot match. Inparticular, we’re working towards these milestones over thenext few quarters. In conclusion, this financing is a greatinvestment opportunity.
  42. 42. 42Contents of an Investor Pitch 1. Problem 2. Your solution 3. Business model 4. Underlying magic/technology 5. Marketing and sales 6. Competition 7. Team 8. Status and timeline 9. Projections and milestones 10. Summary and call to action
  43. 43. 43 The Problem• Describe the customer, market, and problem you address, without getting into your product.• Current state and seriousness of the problem.• E.g. How you came up with the idea.
  44. 44. 44 Solution• Introduce your product and its benefits and describe how it addresses the problem you just described.• Include a demo such as a screencast, a link to working software, or pictures.• Make it visual. Make it real for your audience.
  45. 45. 45 Business Model• Explain how you are going to make money.• If you have sales, describe the value to customers.• Describe the economics that turn the business into $X kajillion per year.• Use microeconomics (each user is worth $1/year) rather than macroeconomics (i.e. if we can get 1% of a $10B market…).
  46. 46. 46 Underlying Magic or Technology• Describe the technology behind your solution.• Focus on how the technology enables the differentiated aspects of your solution.• If applicable, mention patent status.
  47. 47. 47 Marketing and Sales• Who are the customers? How big is the market?• You summarized this in your Problem slide and this is your opportunity to elaborate.• How are you going to acquire customers?• What customers have you already acquired?
  48. 48. 48 Competition• Describe why customers use your product instead of the competition’s.• Describe any competitive advantages that remain after the competition decides to copy• Never deny that you have competitors — its okay to compete. Against anyone.
  49. 49. 49 Team• Highlight the past accomplishments of the team.• Include directors or advisors who bring something special to the company.• Don’t include positions you intend to fill — save that for the milestones slide.
  50. 50. 50Status and Timeline• Looking back, what have you done so far.• Dates, amounts, and sources of money raised.• Include hires, customers, revenues, technical milestones.
  51. 51. 51 Projections and Milestones• A timeline chart that overlays significant milestone dates - funding, product development, custome r delivery, markets and revenue, expense profit/loss projections.
  52. 52. 52 Summary• Summarize the key, compelling facts of the company. Make sure you cover all the topics that are in your elevator pitch.• Finish with a call to action.• Include your complete contact information.
  53. 53. 53 Concept The Art of the Pitch Stand-up “Get a Meeting” Technology Investor Treasure Traction SUBSTAN STYLETeam CETrouble AUDIENC E Who They You $ WOW! $
  54. 54. 54Storytelling is an ongoing process of continuous improvement Apply Critique Test
  55. 55. 55 YOUR HOMEWORK• Email me your concept and stand-up pitches. (Oct 28)  alorant@bctia.org• Prepare your Investor Pitch.  1 hour, one-on-one pitch coaching.  alorant@bctia.org
  56. 56. 56The End Source: Rapid City Public LibraryAnd they lived happily ever after…
  57. 57. Backup
  58. 58. 58Contacts, References andAcknowledgements • BCTIA alorant@bctia.org and swear@bctia.org • www.centre4growth.com;http://twitter.com/centre4growth • http://venturehacks.com/pitching • http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2005/12/the_102030_rule.html# axzz1DWuDlhhM • http://www.startupblender.com/posts/004-your-pitch-sucks • “30 seconds to pitch your company”, Steve Bayle • http://www.pitchtheangels.com/ • http://www.flickr.com/
  59. 59. Why Don’t VC’s Believea Word You Say?• What’s wrong with a business plan? • Hypothesis are untested • Execution Oriented  Assumes hypothesis are facts • Static  No change upon contact with customer and marketCustomer 59
  60. 60. What Are Early Stage Investors Really Asking? • Are you going to: • Blow my initial investment? • Or are you going to make me a ton of money? • Are there customers? • How many? Now? Later? • Is there a profitable business model? • Can it scale?Customer 60
  61. 61. “Lessons Learned” Drives Funding Business Test LessonsConcept Plan Hypotheses Series A Learned Do this first instead of fund raising Customer 61
  62. 62. Credibility Increases Valuation• Customer Development and the Business Plan • Extract the hypotheses from the plan • Leave the building to test the hypothesis • Present the results as: “Lessons Learned from our customers” • Iterate PlanCustomer 62
  63. 63. The Customer Development Presentation • Answer the implicit questions about the viability of the business • Tell the Discovery & Validation story • Lessons Learned & “Our Customers Told Us” • Graph some important upward trendCustomer 63

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