If you have a big vision for your company, chances are you will need outside capital. The deeper the tech, the deeper the pockets you will need. While it is a beautiful part of being a founder, you are not aware of all the challenges. It will cost you a lot more than anticipated. Learn the perfect investment pitch.
Nobody likes raising money. It costs money, and you will most likely get a lot of rejection. EX VENTURE
If you are in deep tech, forget about driving innovation or growing your company. Raising funds is a more than full-time job. I remember once asking one of our lead investors for additional funds, and he denied. I did ask if he was aware that fundraising effectively removes me from growing the company internationally. At that point, we had a professional team with a decade of fundraising experience. When the moment comes, investors invest in the management, so there is no way around you.
We are all actors in this Business Situation
My early life was being a singer on stage. At an early age, I was given acting lessons, among others, in likeability. Being an arrogant young German in New York City, my school ordered well-needed classes for me. I had to invest in my communication skills. No matter what I thought I was communicating, my audience did not get it. You might not think of yourself as an actor, but we all are.
Only the outstanding ones seem authentic while you are asking for a multi-million dollar check. It is not a natural environment, not even for a seasoned investment banker.
No, it is not all about the product you are designing!
Every time an investor gets asked what matters most, its the team! They invest in you, so you invest in yourself the same way you invest in your product design. A great product or idea might even get you in the door with a top investor. Ba assured that every mistake you make puts doubt into their mind if they can trust you with investment.
What are investors looking for in a leader?
They want someone others will follow, support, and invest in. Think of a snowball; you will only grow if you pick up more snow along the way. In the best-case scenario, they have to be able to envision you ringing the Nasdaq Bell and holding massive Press Events. So be confident! Be ready to change the world but not too arrogant, and advise adverse. They will need you to steer the ship with full conviction but open to suggestions.
Be Authentic, likable, charming, aggressive, ambitious. You get the picture- you can never fulfill all aspects of what investors are looking for and not all of it you can control, but you can prepare.
When asked what annoys me the most about company pitches, it is the lack of understanding. I need to get what you are doing in the first minute. If I cannot, I start questioning your readiness and my menta capabilities, which is not helpful.
There is nothing that complicated that you cannot sum it up in one minute. In my company, we work on low-temperature plasma gasification to convert solid carbons into synthesis gas. This gas is used for power generation in an engine, for example.
Suppose I did my homework and know that the investor across from me has a science background, a good chance he or she will get excited. If it’s an analyst, I lost my time, money, and opportunity to grow my business. He needs his perfect investment pitch.
Remember that it is on you to create enough traction to close the deal. Investors want to wait as long as possible to invest in your company. The later you invest, the better are the chances that you might succeed. You need the money now! The only reason an investor has to invest now is the risk of not investing at all. Nobody wants to be that guy who passed on a Facebook Seed Round.
Be memorable and precise and build the perfect investment pitch
Pitching to a larger group, I started bringing my Starbucks Cup on Stage and drinking my coffee. I did get everyone’s attention because I behaved like an ass. Look at this cup! Paper, Plastic Coffee Ground far too valuable to throw away. That is why we designed a system that converts waste into clean power, anywhere globally, without harmful emissions.
Condensing down the essence of your company into a single sentence is so effective, and still, so few CEO’s take the time to clarify their vision. If no one understands and resonates with you, no one will follow you. It is that simple. When you want to connect with someone, even for a one night stand, you look them in the eye and not mutter to the ceiling.
One investor might stay with you for a decade, at least look at them when you ask for cash.
Be clear and consistent in your communication. Be an Authentic, Strong but approachable leader—focus on solving problems for others. Your Customer Benefit is what matters; nobody cares about you in this situation. It´s not about the Perfect Investment Pitch, but the package has to be right.
The advice I give Entrepreneurs now is to invest in themself the same way they invest in the product or marketing campaign. If you cannot communicate your vision under pressure, if you think a nice product shot will get you the funds you need, you are in for a big surprise.
At EX VENTURE we work to get Leadership ready for fundraising and ready to inspire.
These days working together online has become so much easier. At the same time benefits of meeting in person are less. If you meet someone for a relaxed coffee in their favorite place, they might be inclined to give you more time
to tell your story.
The new normal is faster. Nobody is wasting time looking at a low-resolution video stream of you with a mediocre microphone and lighting one minute longer than necessary. So how about learning the Perfect Investment Pitch?
Prepare and stop wasting time, money, and nerves.