Why Participate in a Pitching Event?

By September 18, 2012Fundraising
pitching event

The immediate response is obvious: to facilitate the fundraising process.  But what other benefits can you expect to gain from participating in a pitching event?  How about these for starters:

  • Your 3-5 Minute Story

    Before your first formal pitching event you probably had only two modes of responding to interested parties: the 30 sec elevator pitch (see related article titled “Your Elevator Pitch Only Needs to Accomplish One Thing“) and the 30-45 minute interrogation by an interested investor (mostly Q&A format).  Preparing for a pitching event forces you to tell the most important elements of your story in 3-5 minutes.  And you get to do it without interruption, which also means you are forced to connect your points in logical fashion.

  • A Collection of Concise Responses

    You will rehearse your pitch so many times that it will forever be committed to memory.  That’s great because during future meetings with interested investors, when they ask you how big your market is your mental reaction will be “that’s slide 3” and when they ask how you plan to make money your mental reaction will be “that’s slide 7”.  The ideal responses are already on the tip of your tongue.

  • An Updated Briefing Deck

    Who has time to work on their briefing deck when there’s real work to be done?  The truth is that having a fresh and perfect briefing deck is always valuable, no matter how big your company gets.  Preparing for a pitching event forces you to whip it into shape.  And since it’s only a deck for a 3-5 minute pitch, you can always add another dozen slides to it for a more comprehensive version of your presentation but with the pitch deck slides serving as the key foundation.  For helpful hints on the typical flow of topics for your pitch deck, see my related article titled “Pitch Deck Flow (Topic Order)“.

  • Immediate Feedback

    During the mixer immediately after the pitches are complete, you’ll either have nobody approach you, a couple/few or you’ll get mobbed.  Very telling.  If you don’t get approached, you must find out why.  Proactively introduce yourself to some investors during the mixer and ask them what they thought of your pitch.  Then get specific.  Is it clear what we do and what problem we solve?  Is our opportunity compelling?  What concerns would you have about funding our startup?

  • Stage Practice

    If you don’t already have a lot of experience presenting to an audience, it’s time to get it.  The more the better.

  • The Start of a Business Plan

    The pitch deck you put together has the core elements that the 30-50 page written business plans of yesteryear had.  You don’t need to waste your time creating such a huge document but you do need to think through the important elements of your business and strategy.  Expanding on your pitch deck to make it more comprehensive gives you something that can be used as your business plan.  For more guidance on this, see my related article titled ‘Don’t Waste Time on Your Business Plan’ Doesn’t Mean Don’t Plan.

If you actually decide to participate in a pitching event, read my related article titled “Preparing for a Pitching Event” and if you need help with your elevator pitch, see my article titled “Your Elevator Pitch Only Needs to Accomplish One Thing“.

blank line

Don’t binge read my whole blog, just order the book!!!

Dramatically improve your odds of fundraising success by reading my book titled Startup Success: Funding the Early Stages of Your Venture. It leverages my knowledge from making more than 200 early stage investments and from raising more than $80M in private and venture capital.

Learn More

“Startup Success is so actionable that I immediately started applying the concepts as I read. After reading the book, I now have a plan of attack with a very high level of confidence and certainty.” (Ramon Berrios, CEO, Trend)

“Whether you’re a first-time founder or have already raised millions from VCs, Startup Success is a book you want close by before hitting the fundraising trail!” (Andy O’Hara, Founder & CEO, Chiron Health)

Want Notifications When I Post New Material?

Either select the preferred method on the top-right side of this page or complete the form below.

4 Comments

Leave a Reply