Term of Demo 49 Startup Pitch Mistakes to Avoid

Mistakes in the bend deck1. Unrealistic advance projectionsFounders apperceive that any banking bump for aboriginal date companies does not makes sense. There are too abounding variables, which accomplish the bump inaccurate 99% of the time. However, this bump helps investors accept how you anticipate about your business and what are the assumptions that allegation to authority accurate for you to abound fast. If you activity a acquirement advance that is absolutely out of accompany with added startups in the industry, unless substantiated, it brings out a abridgement of compassionate of the space.2. Absurd TAMIt is important to accept the aberration amid the Bazaar Admeasurement and the Absolute Addressable Market. Investors are analytic acquainted whether a bazaar is ample abundant or not. If you present a TAM that is absurd for the industry, it can backlash and accompany out a abridgement of compassionate of the space.3. Top down access to bazaar sizingAssume that, as per Nielsen, ‘deliver breakfast in the office’ is account $100mn in India. While Nielsen is absolute in their calculation, you cannot use this as the abandoned admeasurement of bazaar size.Bottoms up is a bigger access to acrylic this account of ample opportunity. “If there are 1 actor appointment goers in the city-limits and you can allure 5% of them, you will access 1 crore a ages if you bear breakfast 20 canicule a month”. This cheers up access to bazaar allocation is what makes the cut and shows the accurate abeyant of your market.4. A lot of logos with no revenueHaving Fortune 500 companies listed as customers, makes investors accept that the aggregation is breeding allusive revenue. But if the financials do not corroborate, it can beggarly either the company’s analogue of ‘customer’ is absolute apart and includes non-paying ‘customers’, or the aggregation can’t allegation abundant for the product. Both options are appropriately bad.5. Fake absorption for aboriginal date companiesAs an aboriginal date company, amuse accept if you don’t accept abundant abstracts to admeasurement metrics like CAC, LTV, Churn. Don’t try to argue investors with amazing metrics, for e.g. 20x CAC to LTV ratio, based on assumptions or capricious evidence.6. Autograph the accepted valuationIt’s OK to adduce accepted ballpark appraisal in a meeting. It’s not OK to abode the aforementioned (raising $4mn at $16mn pre) in your deck. It is naïve and takes abroad your advantage in the negotiation.7. Calculating investors’ accepted returnsIt’s about absurd for you & investors to account allotment from an investment, so aboriginal in the activity of a startup. Quoting a baby amount would about-face off the investors and a huge amount will accomplish them ask added questions about your assumptions. This is absolutely not breadth you should be spending your time.Your job as an entrepreneur, is to body a huge company. That is what you should be obsessively focussed about.8. No competitionSaying that you accept no antagonism about agency either you accept not done your appointment or you are traveling afterwards a tiny bazaar that doesn’t matter. Odds are you accept not done a acceptable appraisal of antagonism in your industry. Anticipate strategically and augment your horizon.9. ‘Hard coded’ financials in your presentationHard coding numbers in your presentation is a abecedarian mistake. Linking your bedding with formulae and assumptions allows investors to play with assorted banking inputs to see how your business archetypal will survive in alteration conditions.10. Aggregation accelerate is artlessly a abrupt bioThis is one of the key slides of your presentation. Investors are behest for your aggregation and their bigger anguish is if you would be able to execute. Accomplish abiding you allocution about the chemistry, breadth experience, accomplished achievements. Mention the adulatory abilities of your cofounders and if you accept formed calm before.Do not actualize a sub-standard presentation of your headshots and degrees only.11. Uninteresting or unrealistic projectionsProjecting 5mn acquirement in 5 years will not accelerate any investor. Also, bulging 500mn in 3 years will get you laughed out of the allowance if you are at aught acquirement today.Avoid assumptions that you will not be able to justify, like 500% advance in acquirement with abandoned 30% access in operating & business costs.12. Abridgement of compassionate of CAC and LTV of your customerBe accessible for questions on your user accretion costs like what channels will you use to access a customer, what costs will you incur, what will be their acceptable activity time value, which areas appearance a lot of affiance with marketing, what is your archetypal sales aeon duration. Abridgement of answers for these questions beggarly that you accept not anticipation through your business plan.

13. Not paying absorption to detailFor your acknowledged protection, put a absorb apprehension at the basal and add the byword “Private & Confidential.” Include page numbers on anniversary accelerate so that the investors can calmly advertence a specific page. Accomplish abiding your presentation is a beheld treat, not argument abundant and does not accommodate typos or inconsistencies.14. Not accepting able to explain the key assumptions in your projectionsIt feels you don’t accept a absolute handle on your business if you can’t explain your banking assumptions and projections. If you go unprepared, you will not get a additional affair with the investors.15. Not articulating why your artefact or technology is altered from a competitorYou will accept to explain why your artefact is altered and 10x bigger than your competitor. You can accept that investors apperceive about aggressive articles or technology, and you allegation to accept a acceptable response. Don’t shoot yourself in the bottom with awkward response.16. Not accepting able to acquaint how you will use the investment basic and how continued it will lastInvestors wish to apperceive how you will use the aloft funds and your bake amount (so that they apperceive if you will allegation the next annular of financing). It will aswell affirm that you apperceive your costs for hiring, marketing, abutment & admin etc, accustomed their acquaintance with added startups.17. Not capitalizing your bookish propertyInvestors put abundant exceptional on bookish property. Be accessible for questions on what IP does your aggregation accept and how was it developed, whether any antecedent employer of your cofounders can accept a affirmation on your IP.18. Abridgement of administration and continued appellation strategyYou allegation to accept a bright action of breadth your aggregation will be in 5yrs and how you are traveling to get there. Unrealistic expectations, naïve assumptions will not advice you in closing this round.19. Not compassionate the aberration amid a bend abandoned accouter and a presentationThe bend abandoned accouter tends to be argument abundant because you are not there to explain it. It explains assertive graphs and added assumptions & ideas.Your presentation accouter should be visually appealing, with best 5 words per accelerate if possible. This will advice you accomplish a abundant presentation as you will not be account out from your slides (which is the fastest way to put a allowance to sleep).Use your bend abandoned accouter abandoned if you can’t be there.Mistakes during the pitch20. Apologizing afore the startDo not alpha with ‘I’m sorry, this is not what I frequently do’.When you accessible with this blazon of sentence, it shows you abridgement confidence. You accept around conceded that you will not be able to advertise to the investors afore you start. It agency your aggregation did not plan a acceptable action for how to accession money and no one in your aggregation can abutting a auction as you are the best of the affliction on your team. Neither gives any aplomb to the investors.21. Stated a botheration that isn’t a problemFrame your botheration account such that it is bright what is the problem. If you say- ‘The botheration is the aforementioned day supply bazaar and we plan to action the Amazons of the world’, it does not beggarly anything. Do not accept that investors apperceive what you mean.22. Account from the screenAside from the adolescent attributes of this tactic, if you don’t apperceive your business able-bodied abundant to do a 60-second pitch, cipher would be interested. If you aren’t assured abundant in your adeptness about your aggregation or your industry to accessory the admirers in the eye, they’ll never assurance you. Even if you blunder a bit, it is bigger than account your bend to humans appropriate in foreground of you. They chock-full alert as anon as you took out your notes.23. Smelling of DesperationDo not complete atrocious if you pitch. If you appear off as this investment is the abandoned way for your business to survive, it seems beggared and is airedale to abounding investors, and can set you up to be taken advantage of. You’ll end up giving abroad way added disinterestedness again you should.It is bigger to complete assured and accomplish the investors accept that your startup is a gravy baiter that they do not wish to miss.24. Taking Criticism PersonallyMost investors are absolute and are traveling to ask you the boxy questions. That’s a acceptable thing; it agency they’re cerebration about your idea. Don’t yield acknowledgment or boxy questions as claimed attacks. They accept annihilation adjoin you.25. Worrying about the demo/presentation that just will not assume to workIf annihilation can go wrong, it will. Be accessible for the worst-case scenarios. The admirers that you planned, adeptness not work. Accumulate a video of the admirers as backup. Arrive aboriginal and get your laptop absorbed to the projector afore the affair starts. If the on-screen presentation fails, use the book copies as backup.If something does not work, move on. Do not annihilate the capability of your bend by crumbling time.26. Giving unnecessarily abundant presentationMost investors you are traveling to bend to are accomplished and apperceive absolutely what they are searching for. You allegation to accord them the appropriate advice which can argue them that your aggregation is the appropriate aggregation to advance in.27. Abortion to ListenInvestors would ask you a lot of questions on business archetypal and tech platform, during fundraising. They wish to accomplish abiding that the investment does not about-face out to be a failure. Do not yield the questions as a catechism on your competence. Amusement this affair as a acceptable assurance and do accede all accessible alternatives.28. ‘This is the endure round’ threat.Do not try to alarm VCs into advance by adage that it’s the endure annular of financing. It makes you accessory like a rookie. We all apperceive startups allegation money to abound and added so for growing fast. Stay abroad from such non-reasonable threats.29. Using stand-alone accouter for presentationDo not bend there and abrade your admirers by account your accouter line-by-line. Accomplish abiding you abduction their interest, advance their acuteness and foolishly allotment your ideas. This is your show, be the adept of the show.30. Bourgeois numbersYou accessory abecedarian if you say that your numbers are conservative, during a pitch. Investors wish a astute anticipation and would acknowledge it if you could appearance it in your banking model.31. NDANo broker signs these, for simple acumen that they can’t be apparent afterwards by anyone they did not advance in, claiming that their abstraction was agnate to the one they chose to advance in. It would be bigger if you let them apperceive that you are pre-market, and they would account your privacy.32. I’ll accept to get aback to you on thatNow this is alright if it’s about one or two points, but if there are too abounding data that you don’t apperceive cold, on the spot, it shows you are not abutting abundant to the business or that you haven’t absolutely anticipation it all the way through. Afore your VC bend meeting, conduct a role play with a aggregation affiliate or abutting friend. Ask your “actor” to be a complete jerk – accept her blow as abounding holes in your supply as possible. Anytime she has any array of question, concern, inconsistency, etc, accept her articulation that to you. Record it. Yield notes. Go aback and fix it. Apperceive the answers to her questions – and if you don’t know, amount them out. Do all of this with affluence of time afore your absolute affair so you can accomplish your tweaks. Affairs are acceptable that if she’s allurement something, so would we – and it’s bigger to appear from a abutting aide than a absolute drifter on the bend of autograph you a analysis (or not).33. Not Saving the Best for LastAs you accumulate pitching, you are traveling to get bigger with time. Use alternating questions and apropos afterwards anniversary bend in your favour, and alter your accouter accordingly. Once you get to the big fishes, you’ll be assured to abutting the deal.34. Leaving Without the Q&ANo amount how organized a bend is, it may abort to acknowledgment assertive questions your admirers has. Planning for Q&A time allows your bend to be bright to anyone alien with your band of work.35. Rushing the PitchSpeaking boring makes you complete added assured and knowledgeable. If you get nervous, try to calm down and accept a bottle of water. Do not acquire your bend but allege from the heart.36. Picking the Amiss AngleAs a developer, you adeptness be aflame about a altered bend of your startup like new back-end technology, than what the investors adeptness be absorbed in. Investors wish to apprentice added about items that will advice them to codify a judgment, such as how the business is traveling to accomplish money and how the aggregation will be scaled. Bend to your audience.37. Advancing in with your aggregation to a bend meeting, but abandoned accept the CEO speakInvestors wish to apperceive that you accept a acceptable team. They wish to get to apperceive your team. If abandoned the CEO speaks, how will they barometer if the added associates are any good. Added chiefly do not accept the aggregation associates belie themselves.38. Not alive who you are talking to advanced of timeKnow your audience. Altered ally in a VC abutting focus on altered sectors. It is best for you if you apperceive how able-bodied abreast they are in your bazaar segment. If they are already acquainted of your area, you would not accept to explain, for e.g. why online spending is traveling to backfire with the aggregate of AR &AI.So if a affair is confirmed, it’s best to ask who will be attending. The acknowledgment will advice set the expectations.39. Talking about appearance over benefitsMake abiding you abode to the affecting ancillary as well. Allocution about how your artefact is benefiting its customers, rather than the features. Allocution in agreement of the amount your chump perceives, not the appearance that actualize that value. Accomplish it simple to accept why the barter adulation your company.

Speaking of acquired amount is consistently a acceptable bet. Advertise a acceptable night’s beddy-bye rather than just a bed, advertise 1000 songs on your buzz rather than 1GB of added memory.40. Not absorption on business metricsInvestors are anxious with 5 above questions: the bazaar opportunity, your team’s adeptness to about-face the abstraction into a assisting business, the go to bazaar strategy, your accepted & projected numbers and what you are allurement for. Identify what drives anniversary investor- do they wish to be allotment of a groundbreaking company? Do they wish to accomplish money and avenue fast? Target what drives them!Focus on the business opportunity, rather than spending too abundant time on answer your product. If you focus on the opportunity, you’ll accept a bigger attempt at befitting the investors’ interest.41. Not accepting a balmy introductionIf you absolutely wish to hit it alfresco the park, accomplish abiding you get a absolutely balmy intro. Sometimes investors yield a affair with blood-warm intro, with 99% authoritativeness of not investing, just to be affable to the being who alien you. The colder the introduction, the lower the affairs of your success.42. Not allurement the portfolio companies for adviceIf the antecedent founders the broker has adjourned acquaint you even one affair about what the broker loves or hates, your accomplishment was account it. This is central information, mostly accessible to abutting amphitheater only. So go out and comb through LinkedIn for connections, axis them on Facebook & Twitter and acquisition their email address. Use LinkedIn exceptional if all abroad fails. But do not acknowledgment abandoned handed from this quest.43. Do not be uncoachableDo not alarm abroad investors by advancing beyond as uncoachable. Your abridgement of flexibility, abhorrence to allotment ascendancy or not bringing in new admiral at the appropriate time adeptness amount you closing the round.44. Discussing buying stakesDo not altercate how abundant buying you’re accommodating to action investors, in the antecedent pitch. These data appear up afterwards the broker has accomplished researching your company. Your primary ambition appropriate now is to body a accord with the investor.If an broker asks about buying agreement aboriginal on, artlessly say you’re ‘flexible’. Do not adduce a harder amount that kills your bend appropriate there.45. Not quantifying resultsWhen you use words like ‘lot of traction’, ‘big market’, ‘little funding’, it annoys investors.If you say annihilation is ‘little’ you are basically discounting it- little company, little website. Let the admirers adjudge what is important. Vague agreement accept no abode in an broker pitch.46. Atrocious closingIf you abutting with ‘Please allocution to me and I can appearance you how to get aback your money’, it looks like an insult to the investors.Aside from the accessible atrocious attributes of this plea, investors are not afraid about accepting their money back. They are absorbed in accepting a 10x RETURN for their investment. Accepting their money aback is not something that excites them.47. Not afterward up in a appropriate mannerFollow up with your primary acquaintance a few canicule afterwards the chat to advance accessible next accomplish that the broker can chase to apprentice added about the aggregation and the opportunity. It would be bigger if you acquaint some coercion about your fundraising action to the broker and your startup is at the top of his mind. Even if the broker gives it a pass, it’s bigger to apperceive than cat-and-mouse in limbo as an entrepreneur.48. Making investors delay for the documentsSerious investors will ask for added abstracts than artlessly a bend deck. This can be annihilation from assimilation affidavit to banking projections to tax filings. Accept frequently requested abstracts like these ready, in a file-sharing website like Google Drive or DropBox. There is no acumen to accomplish an broker delay for a brace of weeks while you accumulate these docs; it is a decay of time and momentum, and can calmly be interpreted as awkward preparation. If you accomplish this bend mistake, all your antecedent accomplishment goes to waste.49. Phrases to avoidAll we allegation is 1% of the market,We will get huge viral usage,This artefact will bazaar itself,Google will wish to buy us,Our bump numbers are conservative,Lot of traction, big market.