7 ways to be successful in a virtual pitch for an investor

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7 ways to be successful in a virtual pitch for an investor
7 ways to be successful in a virtual pitch for an investor

As managing partner of a global accelerator Startups In Hawaii and as an active angel investor, I’ve heard hundreds of virtual slots since the world changed in March, and I’ve seen entrepreneurs keep making the same mistakes.

I understand that virtual calls can be stressful. You finally have the opportunity to speak to an investor and they do their best to deliver an unforgettable speech … and then the screen freezes or the interruptions distract him or the WiFi is turned off. It has to be really exhausting.

In reality, entrepreneurship is about solving problems. If you can’t make a virtual call, I’m concerned about your ability to solve other more critical problems in your company. Here are seven tips to grab an investor’s attention and keep them on during a virtual launch.

1. Warm up your presentation

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The crisis has not changed this old rule: Regardless of the situation, it almost never works to reach investors coldly. And I get hundreds of cold emails every day!

Just because your meeting is likely to be online doesn’t mean that your first interaction should be a cold email. There are many ways to get a warm introduction. it just takes a little more preparatory work. First, search your network to see if you have a direct connection to the partner you want to target. If it is there, search the partner’s portfolio companies and contact your fellow entrepreneurs. Your colleagues in the company trenches are often more willing to help you with a presentation.

2. Make sure that the investor is currently issuing checks

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Not all investors are currently writing checks. Have this conversation in advance and ask if they are currently investing in startups.

I recently discussed this new reality with another investor. Many investors say this is the case as always, but in reality they have to keep the capital in their current portfolio and will therefore not make any new investments. In addition, new investment decisions are likely to take much longer. This investor informed me that a one-month due diligence process typically took two months or more on their last transaction.

3. Do your homework with the investor

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This step is universal, whether you are in person or online. Research the person you are talking to. A little personal note can show that you are paying attention to the real person on the other end of the line, and this is very helpful. Listen to interviews, search for profiles, get to know the other companies in the portfolio, check the company’s history and much more.

I personally love it when an entrepreneur mentions a company in our portfolio that he really admires. Our portfolio companies are like our children; We are proud of them. To flatter them means to flatter ourselves. In addition, every investor would like to know that you have taken the time to find out about his investment history.

4. Review your team and learn about the software that you will use in the meeting

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This should go without saying, but it’s surprising how many moderators will register Zoom Starting for the first time without being familiar with the platform. Spending valuable minutes studying along the way doesn’t make a good first impression. in the Blue startupsWe call this “Technology IQ Test”. When an entrepreneur fails, we usually miss the opportunity.

For example, at a startup meeting last week, a new company didn’t know how to share their screen in zoom. While this may seem small, it is inevitable that we extrapolate from this small thing to bigger assumptions. Is this person technologically intelligent? Do you pay attention to details? Do you take the time to prepare thoroughly?

5. Turn on your video

Photo: Harry Cunningham via Unsplash

In an environment where we cannot meet in person, the video experience is important. Much of the communication is non-verbal and we learn a lot from each other by turning on the video. If this means that you have to get up a little earlier to dry your hair and put on a tie, then be it. At least you have to skip the trip to the office!

It is also important that you look professional on these calls. We had a businessman who introduced us from his closet with his clothes hanging behind him. We laugh about it, but the bottom line was that this businessman didn’t pay enough attention to the presentation to find a more suitable environment.

6. Do everything live

Photo: Joey Huang on Unsplash

Don’t make your pitch. It just doesn’t work to attract the public, and it’s full of complications. Similarly, skip the embedded videos in your presentation. Since the audio input is different in every meeting software, there is a high probability of failure.

In a virtual pitch competition that I judged last month, entrepreneurs had three minutes to pitch. The clock started running as soon as they were on the screen. For this reason, many participants came with recorded publications that met the time limit. However, the recorded sound requires a different audio input, so we couldn’t hear it. In most cases, the businessman either had to talk about the video or stop and restart, which wasted valuable time. They often only had about a minute to start. These teams were rated very poorly by the field judges.

7. Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up

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Another universal tip, but now more important. It’s easier for your communication to get lost in the online swamp. So be tireless in your follow-up to get to the next level of communication.

I always give my entrepreneurs the same advice about the scope of follow-up they should do: get in touch with investors until they tell you to stop. You cannot communicate excessively. Don’t take silence as no, because most investors are just too busy to pay attention to any communication or take the time to respond. Do not assume that you are not interested. just keep trying. Although it may seem uncomfortable, I’m always much more impressed with the entrepreneur who follows too long than the one who gives up too easily. Persistence is a trait that you need to succeed and there is no better way to demonstrate it than with constant and enthusiastic follow-up.

Our new reality makes it more important than ever to take the best step in a world that is as competitive as that of startups. Online communication errors are not tolerated and there are probably no second chances. When investors buckle their belts around the world, they want to give themselves the best chance of success and give them no reason to fire you or your company.

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