What a winning pitch to investors should contain is a question that many startups agonize upon. Let me share with you a rather frank and unpopular perspective.
I receive many emails daily that I regularly delete without opening them. I do a MOOC course from Harvard and receive emails about their courses. I still do not open them. I ignore them even though they come from one of the premier educational institutions in the world. I need to change my toothbrush. I receive an offer to deliver the toothbrush home. I am more likely to open that email and order one.
These are common everyday examples that we encounter but rarely notice. Pitching an idea to an investor is no different. The investor is the buyer, and you are the seller. Even if you create a killer pitch, a summary, an elevator pitch, or use any of the gimmicks experts recommend, you are unlikely to succeed.
Please stick to the basics of marketing. Segment your investors, target the right segment and position your product sensibly, and you will likely get a response. Every day on the many job platforms, you find startup founders posting job posts that seek to hire a business writer to help them create the magic pitch that will interest the investor. It doesn’t happen like this in real life.
Don’t waste your time and money. Get a marketing expert to do a standard customer (investor) profiling. Target the right investor market segment now with a simple mail. The investor will invest in you if he finds your business idea attractive. When given an opportunity, it would be best to convince him that you have the energy, dedication, and desire to build a great business.
You can create a three or four-slide Information Memorandum in which you describe your business idea. Include a few lines on the nature and details of your project, the customer segments you target, and the performance and response you have received from customers. Half a page can include a high-level cost and revenue projections table. Finally, create a slide on the profile of the Founder team.
You can enclose this Information Memorandum in your email pitch to investors. There are platforms on which you can place the IM. Brokers and investors regularly visit these platforms looking for an attractive idea or project to invest in.
I would rather invest in running a marketing campaign on what I bring to the target than create winning pitches for investors.
Brian Chesky and his two other colleagues did not know how to create a PowerPoint presentation, but they made Airbnb. They had the silver bullet in them. It was dedication, persistence, and the desire to win. The winning pitch of Airbnb was this dedication and persistence.