The “Pitching Workshop”, organized by Bandwagon ended successfully on 15th March 2017. This workshop was aimed at Sri Lankan founders and entrepreneurs who wanted to improve and refine their startup pitches. Chalinda Abeykoon from crowdisland (Sri Lanka’s first equity based crowdfunding platform) was the mentor for the day.
We limited the participation for 15 so that mentors could pay individual attention to participants. Objective of the workshop was to teach them how to do an elevator pitch (a 20 sec. handshake pitch for any networking event) and creating a “pitch deck” for a lengthy startup pitch. Following are the insights we drilled down from the workshop.
An elevator pitch is a conversation, or an ice breaker, that will (hopefully) lead into a deeper dialogue about the functionality, and specialty, of what you and your company can offer. It’s about creating curiosity among investors to have an extended meeting. Participants were given the opportunity to draft their elevator pitch and present it to the mentors. They were given a guideline on what to include in an elevator pitch.
Knowing how to explain your business can be one of the biggest advantages when it comes to startup success. It’s about creating curiosity among listeners and getting them to hear more about your startup. Explaining your business with clarity and confidence will affect your next business opportunity or securing that investment you’ve been waiting for.
Word usage is also key when it comes to elevator pitches. You need to use words that create curiosity and inspire your listener to pay more attention. So work around words to optimize your pitch into something beautiful.
Also if you’re already in business, dropping stats and numbers, mentioning about happy clients can be a great way to grab the attention for your pitch. It increases credibility and reduces the risk of investors.
A pitch deck is a presentation that you use to explain your business to an investor. Even though there are so many templates available online, your pitch deck has to be customized based on the situation.
Participants got the opportunity to go through a template that covers important elements in a pitch deck. Then they had to pitch it again to mentors. Participants got firsthand individual feedback on their pitches along with the opportunity to mock a real “pitch.”
According to Chalinda, one of the best ways to frame your pitch deck is based on Why, How and What.
Why – This is where you address the problem. “Why” is the reason for the existence of your startup.
How – This covers your plan or how you’re trying to solve the “problem.”
What – This is where actually explain what your product/offering is
In most cases, we first explain “what” our product is rather than focusing on the “why.”
Different backgrounds and industries of participants gave additional flare to the workshop and enhanced the learning experience. Apart from advice to improve their pitch, participants got some great business insights too.
Don’t worry if you couldn’t make it to the March workshop. Sign up for our next workshop here.