We tried counting the number of pitches our team has given feedback on and the number of founders we met in 2022 but lost count. We are always looking for ways to give back to the startup community and to all the amazing founders we meet. More than often we take our time to feedback, have follow up meetings and share our network with the companies we do not end up investing in. This is to all you out there looking to raise in 2023.
Here is something for all you founders looking to raise capital in 2023
Not only did we ask our Investment Manager Pontus Lund and our Fund Manager Jessica Rameau to share their best advice for how to build and deliver a pitch. We have also put down a list with the 15 slides you’ll need for your pitch and the questions you need to answer. You find a link to them in the bottom of this page.
Q: How do you prepare to pitch?
“Except for what to include and answer in your pitch, my advice is to research the investor you will pitch beforehand. Then you know what slides to skip - ie if they have invested in your industry already or understand the tech already - you know what to focus on and can spend more time on that during the pitch”. “If an investor offers to do an intro about them first, before you go into the pitch, always accept. You will get so much insight for the pitch afterwards instead of going in blind”.
“Really think about what the core message is that you want to deliver. Then make sure that you deliver that throughout your pitch deck.”
Q: What is important to think about when delivering a pitch?
“Always pick up on small reactions, so you can deal with potential objections or concerns on the spot. Always ask at the end what the investors' reflections are, or if they have any concerns or red flags”.
“Don't pitch for 30 minutes without interruption. Preferably, keep the pitch short, and then try to make it a discussion about the topics that are of most importance for both parties.”
Q: What are some of the most common pitch mistakes?
“When you don’t know who you are talking to, you focus the time they have on the wrong things. You should always ask first if the investor has reviewed the pitch deck beforehand and if there are particular areas they’d like to understand during the meeting.”
“What is the problem that the team is solving, and how are they showcasing that to the customers? For it to be investable from a VCs perspective, the answer should be "we are solving a really big problem" and "the customers already love our product/service and are willing to pay for it from the start" respectively. One common mistake is that the team has focused too much on their business idea without really answering the above questions.”
Please share a strong memory from a pitch situation?
"So many good and bad ones! The worst is when the founders come with no energy at all, and seem to have already given up. Especially in a digital meeting, this is very obvious. We understand the struggle many founders have and how time consuming it is to be raising but you need to bring your A-game when pitching. "
"I have a strong memory of a founder that was really good and made the case a lot more interesting. He was very calm and composed, making him feel trustworthy. He could elaborate both from a commercial perspective and from a technical perspective on how his product was right, and also answering the questions fired his way. He did not say anything in particular, but it was his sense of calm in the situation combined with knowledge for both business and product that was so impressive."
Have you ever invested in just a pitch deck or in a "elevator pitch"?
"Yes, twice, when we got the pitch deck for ..//.. and the pitch deck for ..//... These investments were a perfect match for us and it was very clear in the pitch. I didn’t say yes straight away, but I knew we would invest straight away."
"Not really, but I got a really good feeling for a case straight away. The case of …//… They could use emerging technologies in a new and innovative way that would enable huge sustainability benefits. It was not a yes straight away, though because we were not sure of the timing and if the execution was there yet."
What are the questions founders need to ask themselves and a potential new investor?
- Do I really need it to achieve my plans?
- Am I raising investment for the right reasons?
- Do I really want external investors in my company?
- Is this investors and my/our vision for the company aligned?
- Is this the right investor for us, and how will it benefit our future going forward? You can read more on that specific topic under the link above.
- Can I carry on working on this if things don’t go to plan and the money runs out?
- Are we ready for this journey that it means to raise investment (at least 5-7 years of really hard work and testing situations?
- What does the cap table look like after this investment? Is there enough ownership left for the team from both an incentive-perspective and also from a future fundraising perspective?
Ready to take your pitch to the next level?
Not only did we ask our Investment Manager Pontus Lund and our Partner & Fund Manager Jessica Rameau to share their best advice for how to build and deliver a pitch. We have also put together a list with the 15 pitch deck slides you’ll need for your pitching in 2023 and the questions you need to answer. Find it here.