Over the next few weeks we will be giving you the lowdown on angel investors: how to find them, how best to pitch and what they are looking for in your startup to help you determine if seeking angel investment for your startup is the best way to go.
Last week, we talked about how you find an angel investor. This week we discuss how to pitch to an angel investor.
You received the call to pitch
So, after researching the right investors, you’ve sent off your deck to a number of angel investors that look like the right fit for your company, and one responds and wants to hear more!
This is your chance to show off your company and seek investment to facilitate further growth. The thought of this probably instills fear into the best of us but here are some tips to nail the pitch and hopefully get to the next stage of your funding journey.
Share your personal story
An angel investor is investing in you as much as your business. As we heard in the last article, angels invest their time to the growth of your business so they want to ensure you can both work together. Research the investor and design the story around their interests, while staying true to yourself and exhibiting the passion that has gotten you to where you are so far.
What problem is your company trying to solve?
Interlinked with your personal story is how the company came to be and your successes so far. An angel investor is waiting to hear what problem your company is trying to solve and how your offer is unique; your competitors and how big the possible market is; and finally how you intend to make money. These are the nuts and bolts of your pitch – try to weave these answers into your presentation, but also be prepared for additional questions from the angel.
Depending on the complexity of your offer, and the familiarity of the angel investor with your sector, look to incorporate data and simplify the opportunity. But remember, don’t bombard your angel with confusing data and excessive slides. Death by PowerPoint is a thing!
How much money do you want?
It’s a conversation no-one likes to have but it’s the reason you’re there pitching to an angel investor so ensure you’re clear on how much money you need and cover what that money will assist you in doing and where you project it will get you and your team. Highlight you have the skills in house, or identify what skills your will bring in, in order to achieve successful growth.
What is your potential exit strategy?
To end your pitch strongly, finish by outlining an exit strategy to show how your angel will get their investment back. Research possible routes for future acquisition or going public which can be included to end the pitch. Thinking of the whole potential journey shows you and your team have looked at all angles and reflect positively on you.
Practice makes perfect
You are inevitably going to be nervous walking into the meeting room so the more you have practised your pitch, the better it will be. Create a matrix of everything that needs to be in the pitch to help those watching tick off as you go. Then run through with friends, family, colleagues and peers, building in feedback as you go, while keeping your personality in there for all to see!
What happens next?
Immediately after the pitch send your presentation deck, a more detailed deck and an executive summary to ensure the angel investor has everything they need to review your pitch after the meeting.
Whatever the outcome, it’s useful to request feedback from your presentation and incorporate it into future pitches or follow on meetings. Learning and improving from feedback is essential to secure future funding.