Top 5 pitch mistakes to avoid at startup events
sTARTUp Day 2020 last week featured some truly inspiring technology that convinced us that the future of the startup ecosystem in Estonia and the world looks very bright.
It was great to see so many new initiatives at sTARTUp Day 2020. As part of the event, emerging startups had an opportunity to present their ideas to potential investors and win significant prizes.
Proekspert is ready to support and invest in innovative initiatives and talent, which is why we keep a close eye on events like this. However, we’ve noticed repeating patterns among some pitchers. Hence, we decided to share the top pitch mistakes that we identified during the event. Perhaps this will help startups be more successful in their search for customers and investors.
These are some of the most frequently-occurring pitch mistakes we noticed during sTARTUp Day 2020.
Top 5 pitch mistakes at Tartu Startup Days
1. The pitch doesn’t stand out.
Most of the pitches presented at the startup days were structured very similarly. Since the technology is exciting, the presentation of it should be as well. Stand out. Don’t follow a template. Tailor the pitch to your product and/or service. Yes, there are things you need to cover in your pitch, regardless of the nature of the product and/or service, but how are you different? The way in which you address the obvious questions should be unique to you.
2. Too complicated
Some explanations of the products and their technology were too advanced for everyone in the audience. Make it simpler. Make it minimal and very understandable. Experience shows people don’t trust what they don’t understand. They’re scared of it. Take into consideration whom you’re pitching, and make sure you communicate your message clearly.
3. Lack of focus on customer and business value
Many startups could only present wishful thinking with no tangible evidence backing up their ideas. Be precise. Give us numbers, predictions, and proof that your solution works and is needed. In a pitch, you have very little time to showcase and explain something you have been working on for an extended period of time. To you and your team, it is understandable that the solution is important, useful and profitable, given your attachment to it. But the audience doesn’t have the benefit of your background, so proving the relevance, need, and profitability of your idea is critical.
4. Introduction of the teams and the co-founders was too formal.
Startups are about passion. You work in small teams, and all of you are hopefully driven by a single idea. The way you refer and introduce your co-founder matters. Saying that your co-founder is your friend first, before introducing him/her as the CTO/CFO/CEO, etc., really wins hearts and shows yours is truly a partnership that goes beyond you buying the most expensive specialist on the market to secure investments.
5. The person pitching didn’t suit the role.
In the end, it comes down to you and the way you present your idea. This is what makes you win. We seek human connection and when we can empathize with the person pitching, we establish trust with you and your company. Choose carefully the person to pitch your product and/or service. They should have charisma, excellent knowledge of the product and/or service, and be good at public speaking.