Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching Your Company?

Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching Your Company?

I was guest Judge for at an event two nights ago for the Northwest Entrepreneur Network NWEN, called Pub Night.  There were five companies there at the event and they were provided three minutes for a pitch, plus Q&A from me and the audience.

There was a Founder Institute Grad, Cadence MD, formerly Cech Systems. And a Founder Institute Intern, Jeremy Luby, pitching “Talk to the Manager”.

There were also three other companies that pitched, most in the idea stage – and not a live product or site. Which leads to the question: When and Why should you pitch your company?

When and Why to pitch?

  • Validate your Idea: let’s face it if you have a bad idea you want to learn that as early in the process as possible:
    • Is it a big Idea?
    • Ist it a big market?
  • Looking for customers
  • Looking for Co-Founders
  • Raising investment – Soon or NOW
    • Don’t pitch too early – Companies that get out too early will get stale to investors. Think about it like a house that’s been on the market too long – there must be something wrong with it to have not sold. Investors think the same way.

Be Prepared to Pitch:

  • Have a coherent  – i.e. DON’T WING IT
  • Have a repeatable message – if you’re the only one that can repeat your message because it has too many buzz word, made up words of complexity – don’t bother pitching.
  • Be concrete – too many company pitches have “implied intelligence”, my audience is smart enough to connect the dots, so I won’t do it for them – BAD IDEA – they don’t know your market and in three minutes aren’t going to learn in. Be explicit.
  • Have a clear ASK – you’re in front of a group of people who want to support startups. Don’t make them guess. Have a clear ask that they can take action on and help you.

Need more resources on Pitching? Go to Founder Institute Videos

Following some of these guideline will keep you from hurting yourself in pitching.

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