Getting to ‘yes’ when asking for money
“Other people’s money fundamentally changes everything.” – Peter Evans, Founder and CEO, Speakerfile says of seeking outside investment for your company.
At last week’s final Entrepreneurship 101 lecture of the year, pitch master Peter Evans divulged the secrets to creating and delivering an effective investor pitch.
The paradox that startups face when seeking investment is that entrepreneurs and investors are looking for different outcomes: one group is trying to get to a ‘yes’ while the other is looking for a ‘no.’ Your biggest advantage for getting to ‘yes’ with an investor is to come well prepared:
- The first step is to do your research: investors all want different things, so it is essential to do your research and find the right investor to approach with your pitch. This means somebody with a relevant portfolio, capacity to invest and no directly competitive investments.
- Next, tell your story like a narrative and hit investors on all three levels of engagement: emotionally, rationally and financially. Think of your pitch as a storyboard and relate to the team’s personal experiences when possible. Don’t be afraid to include graphics and images when relevant, but avoid overdoing it with the details – sometimes less is more.
- Furthermore, focus on the following four components and sell them to your audience in 12 minutes: real problem, attractive market, unique advantage and compelling investment. See Peter’s slides for a suggested framework on putting together a 12-minute pitch.
- Finally, Peter summarized his presentation with these 11 key signals that investors look for:
To hear more about why these are so important, watch the quick hits video below, or click here for the full lecture video.
Join us on May 30, 2012 for the annual Entrepreneurship 101 Up-Start! Competition where our 10 finalists will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win $10,000, along with a pitch video production package from MaRS Media with a retail value of $4,000. Click here for more information.
The Entrepreneurship 101 series will begin again in September 2012. In the meantime, catch up on previous lecture videos here.
- Article: Preparing for your investor presentation
- Article: Elements of a pitch deck
- Article: Building a strong presentation
- Workbook: Financing Workbook 4: Developing and Delivering a Winning Investor Presentation
- Video: Raising Money from VCs
- Video: Business Communication Tools
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- Introducing bizsmarts.ca: A new financial resource for Ontario entrepreneurs