Transcript Slide 1

The Plan, Powerpoint, Elevator Speech: Pitching Your Ideas

I2V Workshop ATMC, UMass Dartmouth October 20, 2006 Lee Hower

Always in Pitch Mode

Great Entrepreneurs are Constantly Selling

• Selling yourself as a business partner and leader to prospective team members • Selling your idea and team to potential investors and financing sources • Selling your products and services to customers and distribution partners • Selling your enterprise to eventual acquirers 2

Entrepreneurs’ Arsenal for Pitching

Pitching Tools

• Executive summary • Business plan • Powerpoint slide show • Elevator speech


• Investors / financing • Customers • Hiring / recruiting • Strategic partners

Consider audience and context carefully, pick the right tool for the job


Executive Summary

What is it?

• 2-5 page document which highlights a full business plan • Needs to be useful as a “standalone” piece of info • Often excludes highly sensitive information, permits wider distribution

When you use one?

• Snapshot for a potential investor – often first impression • Written intro to team members, customers, or partners to your company

What’s critical to include?

• Market opportunity, product description, key innovation(s), team • How to get a hold of you 4

Business Plan

What is it?

• 10-40 page document which serves as a longer term road map • More complete and detailed information about company history, current status, and future strategy

When you use one?

• Financing partner w/ some familiarity requests more information

What’s critical to include?

• Deeper analysis and supporting data for contents of exec summary • Info on IP, sales & marketing strategy, projected financial model, competition, possible exit strategy • Funding needs, both today and in the future 5

Business Plan – The Nitty Gritty

• • • • • • • • •

Market Opportunity

 What’s the pain point you can help solve?

Product / Service

 What can you offer and how does it address the pain?


 What are the key innovations in technology or business model than enable your solution? What IP or other barriers to replication exist?

Market Sizing

 What’s the scope of the market? How fast is it growing? How is it segmented?

Sales & Marketing Approach

 pricing structure and profit margins?

How will you reach customers? What’s the

Financial Model

 Any historical financials? What are the projected revenues and expenses for the next 3-5 years?


 Bios of key members. What’s the hiring plan for additional staff?

Funding Needs

 What money has gone in thus far? How much do you need today and what will you achieve with it? What might you need in the future?

Exit Strategy

 What are likely scenarios and why? What similar companies have been acquired, gone public, etc recently?


Slide Show

What is it?

• Deck of 10-15 slides as a call to action (invest in our company, buy our stuff) • Often used in the context of presenting to a group of several people

When you use one?

• Pitching a group of investors, usually further along in the process • Selling to customers and partners

What’s critical to include?

• Relevant appendices • Graphical elements • Time for Q&A 7

Elevator Speech

What is it?

• 30-60 second verbal pitch about your company • A “teaser” to prompt some type of follow-up

When you use one?

• Providing a verbal intro to a range of audiences • Always a first impression • Usually presented one-on-one to a busy person

What’s critical to include?

• Drop a compelling “nugget” • How to follow-up (usually action on your part) 8

Case Study – The “Tube”

Backyard BBQ


The VC Process – PJC Example

• • • • • • • •

Sourcing Investment Opportunities

 Elevator speech

Initial Screening

 Exec summary

First Meeting

 Powerpoint slides

Request Additional Information

 Business plan

Present to Full Partnership

 Powerpoint slides

Due Diligence Negotiate Investment Terms Closing


Suggestions for Successful Pitching

Be Prepared

 You never know when pitch opportunities will arise

Be Assertive

 Take your opportunities when they present themselves

Be Focused

 Get the info across that’s important and identify next steps

Be Honest

 Optimism and energy is essential, unrealistic messages unhelpful

Leverage Yourself

 Solicit feedback and input from others on your pitches, use your network to expand the opportunities to pitch 11