Ask The Expert

How do I make a great business pitch to potential venture capital investors? Part 2

...continued from last week

Our Advisory Board member, Founder/Managing Director of Sankore Investments and venture capitalist, Mrs. Titi Odunfa Adeoye, answers this week’s question:

Product/Solution (Demo of Product)

Having laid out the problems faced by your target market, fully discuss your product (high level) – product differentiation, market demand for your product. Show the physical product if available, i.e., let them experience it first-hand.

Business Strategy

The next line of action is a high-level breakdown of your business model and modalities for your product deployment. At this phase, a clear demonstration should be made on how to roll out your product and penetrate your target market/market demand.

Financials/Projections

You should be firm and confident in your numbers; show potential profits, market size, non-financial benefits. Statistics are extremely important during a pitch. It is important to use percentages to explain success potential and the importance of the business idea by showing possible outcomes of the solution to the problem the business is trying to solve or the expected financial return within a financial horizon.

Team

Investors always want to know the calibre of the team in which they are investing – background, work experience if any. Highlight the team’s strengths and their commitment to delivering on the product.

Passion

No one will invest in a dull business owner. Let your personality represent your product and service. Show the roadmap to success and where their funding fits in (i.e., what it will be used for) and provide a possible exit opportunity for investors if available.


While a business plan is important, it is worth noting that venture capitalists may be swayed by passion, an impressionable personality, knowledge displayed by the entrepreneur as well as an engaging pitch. It is imperative that business owners equally know their numbers and can connect with prospective investors on a personal and professional level.
 
Below is a summary checklist of necessary items for a successful pitch:

  • Introduction – Who you are/ What you can do
  • Problem statement – Existing problem and opportunity 
  • Value proposition – Solution to problem statement
  • Demo of product – Sample of product
  • Market analysis – Customers/users, competition
  • Business model – Business cycle and mode of operation
  • Financial analysis – Revenue, break-even, expenses
  • Funding and milestones – Intended use of funds
  • The team – Members of your team