Top Tips for the Perfect Pitch from Leading Venture Capitalists in the Philippines
By now, you've probably watched and rewatched countless episodes of Shark Tank and The Final Pitch, hunting for clues as to the secret ingredients of a perfect pitch. Rarely can you fake it till you make it. More than confidence, you need a good business model and a precise game plan to get investors' attention.
Reality business shows have shown us plenty of examples of making a pitch, but what about the investors' side? What do seasoned venture capitalists look for in a perfect pitch? Here are four top tips from leading venture capitalists in the country:
1| Don't spend too much time on your mission and vision.
Entrepreneurs typically only have five minutes to capture and convince investors, who'll understand your mission and vision quickly enough. With that said, don't spend too much time on this part and focus on the facts, numbers, and details.
"You need to instead show them why you are the team that will succeed. You will do this by demonstrating that you understand your business model—how what you do is scalable and has a path to profitability—and show you have found product-market fit," said James Lette, executive director at Manila Angel Investors Network, in Foxmont Capital's Philippine Venture Capital Report.
2| Be precise and concise.
Avoid flowery words, jargon, motherhood statements, and essentially talking like a motivational speaker. Your job might be to convince investors, but do that with clear-cut numbers, plain English, and key takeaways. Here's a quick checklist on everything you need to accomplish in a brief pitch:
"Focus on providing evidence to back up your pitch. Prove that your solution solves a market pain point with a quantification of the benefit provided versus the status quo alternative," said Matthew Kolling, head of venture investments at Aboitiz Group of Companies and chairman of the investment committee at UBX Philippines.
"Prove that you are the right team to solve the underlying problem with an audience-friendly story about your relevant domain expertise and personal attachment. Be clear with the investment size and what it will be used for."
3| Treat equity like gold.
The perfect pitch is curated to fit the investor. Different elements of your startup will attract different types of investors, so be sure to know who exactly you're pitching to. And when an investment is offered, don't grab it too eagerly. Make a decision that's the best for your vision.
“Do your homework on who you are pitching to and be prepared to tailor it accordingly. Always try and raise from a position of strength (not when you are one month till cash-out date), and remember to treat your equity like gold," said Jeffrey Chua, senior associate at Golden Gate Venture.
4| Prove your mettle as a founder.
After proving that your solution can fix a problem and you have the right market fit, you'll need to also prove your mettle as the founder. The big idea is crucial, but so is the team behind it and whether they have the talent to make it happen.
"We look for the founder and his or her team to demonstrate that they have both the conviction and mental strength to execute on this vision," said RJ Balmater, senior investment analyst at Monk’s Hill Venture. "As a founders-first firm investing in the early stage, we believe that a founder needs to be mission driven and will play an integral role as the anchor of any good company."
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