Demo Day brainfreeze? 7 tips to make your investor pitch a no-brainer

Demo Day brainfreeze? 7 tips to make your investor pitch a no-brainer

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That is it: Demo day. The day you’ve been ready for, and the day each second in your incubator was getting ready you for. Are you prepared?

For those who’re something like most founders, you in all probability don’t really feel prepared. In the event you did, you wouldn’t be studying this text. Don’t fear, I’ve been there, and the nerves are pure.

In any case, that is solely an important pitch of your life. No strain.

So what does it take to crush Demo Day and make your self unforgettable within the eyes of your mentors, buyers, and friends? In a nutshell, Demo Day success depends on three issues: Your product, your pitch, and your viewers.

For those who’ve made it thus far in an incubator, I’m gonna assume you’ve already obtained a tremendous product; so let’s concentrate on the opposite two elements: Delivering a compelling pitch and profitable over potential buyers.

And if you wish to take your startup gross sales expertise to the subsequent degree, we have got a whole course for you—click here to get started (free).

four tricks to ship a mesmerizing Demo Day pitch

Some individuals say product is king. They’re incorrect.

At the very least within the context of Demo Day, gross sales is king; and make no mistake: Your Demo Day presentation is a sales pitch.

Let’s check out 4 methods to craft a pitch that’ll impress your mentors, friends, and, most significantly, your future buyers.

1. Get to the purpose

Your product may need 100+ superb options, however you’ve solely received Three-5 minutes on stage. As an alternative of making an attempt to cowl every thing your product does, focus on the 2-3 things that really set it apart.

Keep in mind: Your objective is to intrigue, not inform. On Demo Day, your potential buyers care extra concerning the worth your product offers than the aim of each button in your UI.

2. Demand the eye you deserve

Three-5 minutes of undivided consideration won't appear to be a lot to ask for, however the fact is, you’re in all probability not gonna get it. By the point you're taking the stage, your viewers has in all probability already sat via 15+ different pitches and their brains are fried.

As an alternative of hoping to seize their consideration in your whole presentation, demand it at an important elements. For instance:

  • “That is crucial a part of our presentation.”
  • “In case you overlook every little thing else, keep in mind this one factor.”
  • “These are the three issues you must keep in mind about our product.”

You don’t need to overdo it, however verbal calls-to-action like these may be a good way to shortly interact an in any other case unengaged viewers.

Three. Concentrate on the large image

To benefit from your presentation, it is advisable to perceive your home inside the larger context of Demo Day. For instance:

  • Do you're taking the stage initially, center, or finish of the day?
  • What startups instantly precede or comply with you?
  • What do their shows seem like?

This larger context permits you to craft a pitch extra more likely to make an influence on buyers. For instance: In case your presentation is on the finish of the day, after quite a few metric-heavy shows, you’d in all probability stand out with a dramatic story-driven pitch.

four. Stand out in any respect prices

If the tip above didn’t give it away, Demo Day is not the day to slot in. Quite the opposite, you need to do every thing you possibly can to face out. Listed here are 3 ways to do exactly that:

  • Showcase your numbers: Received nice traction? Concentrate on that. The easiest way to impress potential buyers is with the standard of your metrics.
  • Personalize your pitch: Each founder on Demo Day is presenting their startup as “the most effective, most disruptive concept ever.” And perhaps yours actually is, however saying the identical factor as everybody else isn’t going to persuade anybody.
  • Enlarge your character: Deliver the most important model of your self to Demo Day. Be authentic, sure, however discover what character traits make you distinctive and crank them as much as ten.

By standing out, you in all probability gained’t impress everybody. However by becoming in, you gained’t impress anybody.

Three tricks to win over Demo Day buyers

The idea of Demo Day is nice: Permit a bunch of startups to current to a ton of buyers, creating a direct marketplace for their funding spherical. However as these occasions turn into increasingly widespread, the signal-to-noise ratio skews closely towards noise.

In different phrases: There are going to be loads of buyers solely casually focused on your startup. They could say all the suitable issues, however they’re by no means gonna make investments a dime.

You don’t have time to waste on these individuals, so that you want techniques in place to weed them out as shortly as attainable. Listed here are three methods to chop via the noise:

1. Don’t attempt to attraction to everybody

It doesn’t matter how nice your product or how fascinating your pitch; you aren’t gonna attraction to each investor within the room, so that you’re higher off focusing your efforts on a small handful of high-value targets. Right here’s a three-step course of to ensure you’re impressing the proper individuals on Demo Day:

  • Create a top-ten listing: Out of all of the buyers attending Demo Day, determine the ten you consider are the perfect match in your startup. Not simply these most certainly to take a position, however these whose imaginative and prescient and monitor report align with your personal.
  • Pitch to your top-ten record: Whereas on stage, tailor your pitch to your prime ten buyers. And don’t fear if you find yourself excluding a few of the viewers within the course of. It’s higher to impress a small variety of buyers than to go away all of them equally detached.
  • Join together with your top-ten listing: As soon as the presentation a part of Demo Day has wrapped, proactively join together with your prime ten record in individual. In case you miss the prospect, attain out with a follow-up e-mail.

On the finish of the day, you aren’t proper for each investor and each investor isn’t best for you, so don’t be afraid to take a stand; even when it means alienating a few of your viewers.

2. Know your phrases (and aggressively pursue them)

Need to shortly discover out which buyers are really and that are simply losing your time? Introduce particular and aggressive funding phrases. Let me illustrate this level with a narrative from our personal Demo Day (I’ve shared it once before in a separate blog post, however right here’s the cliffnotes model):

The night time after our pitch, we acquired about 40 emails from buyers claiming they have been occupied with funding us. As thrilling as that was, I knew nearly all of them in all probability wouldn’t find yourself investing. To seek out the needles within the haystack, I responded with an e-mail like this:

“I’m so honored that you simply’re . We’re planning to shut the spherical of funding in about two weeks with phrases X, Y, and Z. If that works for you, let’s hop on a name and speak additional. If not, that’s wonderful. Let’s keep in contact and perhaps join once more for a later spherical.”

Proper off the bat, our strict phrases received a bunch of unfavorable replies and I keep in mind considering I’d screwed up Demo Day. The truth is, by the top all however about six buyers turned us down over these phrases.

However these six buyers actually believed in our product. They ended up connecting us with different high-quality buyers and we closed our spherical in document time.

This strategy labored for us as a result of we’re highly-aggressive by nature. If it doesn’t really feel best for you, that’s wonderful. Simply ensure you’ve obtained some strategy to separate the sign from the noise.

Three. Leverage backchannel communication

You may depart Demo Day with a ton of buyers, however these alternatives have a really brief shelf life. In any case, your potential buyers noticed 25+ different pitches that day and may even see 25 extra tomorrow.

They’ve solely obtained a lot time, cash, and a spotlight, and are solely going to take a position what they've into these startups which might be a precedence to them. So after Demo Day, your #1 precedence must be turning into their #1 precedence.

Probably the greatest methods I do know to do that is leveraging your mentors, advisors, and peers for backchannel communication. Let me illustrate this idea with a narrative.

It was after Demo Day and we’d secured nearly all of our funding. We have been making an attempt to shut the spherical in two weeks, however one of many final companies we would have liked wasn’t out there to satisfy for an additional month.

That timeline didn’t work for us, so I sat down with Paul Graham and requested for a backchannel communication favor: I needed to know if he’d be prepared to succeed in out to this agency on our behalf and get them to prioritize our assembly.

He agreed, and I utilized the power of Right the Fuck Now, pulled out my laptop computer, and stated, “Nice! Let’s do it!”

Pg despatched the e-mail proper then and there and, lower than 12 hours later, we had a response from the agency informing us a few “sudden” opening on their calendar in simply two days.

The help of your mentors and advisors doesn’t finish if you stroll off the stage. Use them as a conduit for backchannel communication and also you’ll improve the speed and effectiveness of your fundraising 10x.

Make it or break it

As a younger startup, Demo Day is among the most necessary days of your life. In some ways, it’s your first actual “make it or break it” second. That’s numerous strain.

However right here’s the excellent news: Should you undertake the seven ideas above, you’re gonna do much more than simply “make” it: You’re gonna crush it.

And when you do crush it, keep in mind: Demo Day’s necessary, however it’s simply the beginning. In any case, you haven’t raised shit until cash hits the bank.

Need extra tricks to win the startup recreation? Get began with our free startup gross sales success course.

Join the free Startup Sales Success Course today