Interview with Phillip Reinig, Founder of SIPHINITI
22. April 2017
Prices worth more than 5.000 €
28. April 2017

All about your Pitch

One of the essential parts of Start & Found is the elevator pitch. So on Friday our attendees will pitch in 60 seconds their idea and convince others to join their mission. They will pitch again briefly on Saturday in front of the mentors. And finally the teams will pitch on Sunday for the last time in front of our judges and the award show audience. So it´s pitching, pitching and pitching. In the following we will give some insights how to structure the pitch to make it as successful as possible.

First for the 60 seconds idea pitches:

The components are easy to describe, but even harder to define for the actual idea.

1) Who are you?

2) What problem do you want to solve and who has it?

3) What is your solution? What is the (temporary) name for your idea? Why is it unique?

4) Who do you need in your team to execute your idea?

So now the tips for the more detailed pitch, when you are able to use a pitch deck. Consider the following content for your pitch deck:

1. Problem

You saw a problem and wanted to develop a solution for it. Usually this is why most people start a startup business. If you don‘t solve a problem that your potential customer has, you dont have a viable business. Answer the question: What problem are you solving and who has this problem?

Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of starting immediately with their solution, without showing what problem they are actually solving.

Be smart and start with the problem in your pitch. Ideally you should try to tell a story and draw a picture in the head of your audience. Try to catch their emotions. This is where you get their attention. Show some data – how many people have this problem? But keep it short. One or two sentences should be enough to describe the problem.

2. Solution

The problem is a great way to get to your solution. This is where you can show screenshots of your product.Don‘t try to solve several problems with your solution. One problem at a time, one product at a time. Focus on the key problem and the key solution. Your solution should be also sketchy and shortly describable. If you think you need more than few words, you should start over and try to get to the point where you are able to describe it shortly and without too many complicated words. Less is sometimes more.

3. Validation & Target Market

On these slides you should speak about your target group. Try to divide your target market into different groups – small group of people you are planning to win as customers. So who has this problem and needs your solution? How many people did you talk to about this issue (this shows that you really know your customers and you know what you are talking about)? Everyone can tell a market size, but few are able to tell that people are thinking.

4. Go to Market Plan

Since you now defined your market, how will you get into it? Do you have any special connections or competitive advantages? Are there sales and marketing expertise in your team? What distribution channels are you aiming for?

5. Competition

You are in the market now, but most of the time you are not alone in the market. Even if your solution is an innovation, your customers are probably using already something to solve their problem. Even if it is not a perfect solution.

So do you know who you are competing with? Talk briefly about them, just to show that you did your homework. The best way to visualize your competition is in a matrix, since it shows easily where you and your competition differentiate from each other.

6. Business Model

Don´t push to hard and make a 10 years forecast for your business. More important is your business model. How are you making money with your solution? What kind of revenue streams do you have? Average revenue per user and customer acquisition costs are metrics you should figure out.

7. Financials

Revenue, Costs, EBIT and don’t forget to include your staff and your own salary.

8. Milestones & Vision

What’s next? What are your next milestones you are aiming for? If there are already some milestones you reached surely talk about those as well. Why is it the right time for your product? And finally what is your big vision (here is the part where you can dream big)?

9. Team

So many people have great ideas. And a lot did have the idea of Facebook. But eventually it depends on the execution and not on the idea. Which brings us to the team. Without a great team there is no successful execution. So here you are telling why you and your partners are the right people to execute the idea and vision into reality. It’s mandatory that you point out that your team has the skills, which are needed to execute.

And don‘t forget to practice, practice and practice. Only through practice you will be the master of your pitch instead of the other way around.

Hopefully these insights will help you with your first or next pitch.

Serhat Kaya
Serhat Kaya
Serhat Kaya is Founder & Managing Director at XPERIENTS – a digital communication agency in Hamburg. He is also one of the great minds behind the Start & Found. Additionally he is facilitating events around the globe. Formerly he worked in several digital companies like D-Level, Toptranslation and Hanse Ventures. Trained as IT-specialist and studied Business Psychology, he is passionate about startups and innovation.