11 point plan for a killer startup pitch (it’s not a TEDx talk)

Richard Lucas April 2017
I received this e-mail a few weeks ago from the organisers of a business plan pitching competition.

Request for help

“Dear startup pitching competition organiser.
My first reaction is  “NOOOOOOOOO”
“I’m too busy. My TEDxKazimierz event is only three weeks away.     There is a lot of great advice on how to pitch available on this top secret website here 

Having said that it’s good to ask for advice. I shouldn’t be too harsh,  I will share my thoughts in a blog post that is available to everyone, based on the hundreds if not thousands of pitches I’ve seen and read and the thousands of hours I’ve devoted to TED and TEDx – in recent years helping many TEDx speakers prepare “the talk of their lives”.

TEDx talks have only some things common with pitching.  Almost always TEDx talks are about an idea, and cover
Why the idea matters to the speaker.
Why the idea might matter to the participants in the event and those viewing on line.
Why the speaker is the (or one of the ) right person/people to talk about the idea.
A call to action – what the speaker wants to audience to do about their idea.
TEDx talk are short, up to 18 minutes. A pitch will often be shorter. No selling is allowed in a TEDx talk though some might argue speakers are “selling” their ideas. There is a lot of information on the TED.com web site here about preparing a TEDx talk. One of the reasons TED and TEDx are so successful  is that we pay so much attention to ‘speaker prep’.
TEDx-s  invest far more time in speaker preparation than any other event  I’ve ever been involved in or heard about.
For those preparing to pitch in Startup Competition, here is some general advice based on my experience. I may be wrong. There are other approaches which for sure have worked.

This is just my take (after nearly drowning in smug patronising BS and often laziness).

In general, your pitch should be grounded in terms of facts: supported by evidence, not your assumptions and beliefs.

Be respectful of your audience’s time and intelligence., Don’t waste their time with information that is not relevant. Don’t think you can BS them.

Do present your data in a way that would be acceptable to a school teacher (cite data sources , don’t show graphs with no axes, give time series and trends).   Showing unlabelled graphs showing exponential growth gives the impression you think the judges are stupid.

Know your numbers.  Be ready with answers to questions like “what do you value your business at” and “what will you do with the money if we invest”. Here are 11 points that make a good pitch for me.

  1.  Start with the problem your products or service solves. Imagine your product is a pain killer. What pain is it helping to kill.  Why is the product or service significant.
  2.  Explain why this matters (not to you, but the clients) and how big the problem/market is locally, nationally and globally.
  3. Give information about sales/clients, (or potential clients you have talked to if you product is not yet shipping) suggesting or proving that clients will buy your (proposed) solution.
  4. talk about markets and clients – say something intelligent about the types of clients you expect to have, which clients are priorities and why.
  5. Describe your business model. How much your product/service costs to make, and how much you are going to sell it for, and how much money you expect to make out of each type of client (estimated life time value of a client). If you don’t know, estimate it or make a comment about it and share your assumptions. “once we have traffic and users we will figure it out” is not impressive.
  6. Describe your sales and marketing processes (how you get your clients, how much it costs you to get clients (cost of client acquisition). If you don’t know estimate it, make a comment about it, show you know that this issue matters.
  7. Competitive landscape (after doing Google research in English) who are your competitors and potential competitors, who are key players in the “Eco System” of your market  and what your advantages are (cost, technology, business model, approach).  It makes you look lazy and ridiculous if a judge finds a competitor you are not aware of by searching on his/her phone while you are presenting.
  8. talk about what you believe are barriers to entry (what Warren Buffett calls “moats”) that make it hard for other companies to copy you or enter your market if you start succeeding.
  9. How will have sustain your competitive advantage over time.  what do you have in terms of cost, technology, business model, approach, or people that will keep you ahead.
  10. Give information about your team, leadership and ownership. What makes them the right people. Who – if any – of your team is being paid,  what your monthly outgoings are, and how you expect to retain and attract talent.  If you have gaps in your team, be upfront. If you haven’t found a CTO yet, you probably shouldn’t be pitching, unless it is a competition where your goal is to find one.
  11. End games/exits. If things work out, what options will investors have for getting a return on their money.
Hope this helps.
Richard

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

0 comments on “11 point plan for a killer startup pitch (it’s not a TEDx talk)

  1. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Wow plenty of awesome advice!
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    pharmacy price comparison
    trust pharmacy canada
    canadapharmacyonline.com
    [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/]canadian viagra[/url]

  2. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Wonderful information. Kudos.
    https://nicktambone.com/
    overseas pharmacies online pharmacies of canada canadadrugs.com pharmacy [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]london drugs canada[/url]
    pharmacy online store
    top rated canadian pharmacies online
    candrugstore com
    the canadian pharmacy
    best online pharmacy stores
    canadian pharmacy without prescription

  3. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually revealed it fantastically.
    http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/
    buy prescription drugs canada canadian pharmacy online pharmacy no prescription needed [url=http://canadianpharmacymim.com/]northwestpharmacy[/url]
    prescription cost
    rx pharmacy
    canadian pharmacy uk delivery
    pharmacy price compare
    canadapharmacy
    canadian pharcharmy online

  4. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Whoa all kinds of excellent tips.
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    prescription without a doctor’s prescription online pharmacies canada drug stores near me [url=http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/]canada online pharmacies[/url]
    canada drugs pharmacy
    canadian online pharmacy reviews
    canadadrugs.com pharmacy
    costco pharmacy pricing
    best online pharmacy
    medical information online

  5. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Many thanks, Useful information.
    http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/
    drugs for sale north west pharmacy canada online pharmacy canada [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]canada online pharmacies[/url]
    canada drug prices
    canada pharmacies online prescriptions
    prescription drug assistance
    legitimate online pharmacies
    pharmacy prescription
    canadian mail order pharmacies

  6. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually expressed this fantastically!
    http://talahicc.com/
    mexican pharmacies shipping to usa canadian pharmacy drugs from canada [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]canadian pharmacy online[/url]
    best online pharmacies no prescription
    canadapharmacy
    canadian pharmacy viagra
    best canadian prescription prices
    legitimate canadian mail order pharmacies
    cheap drugs online

  7. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You mentioned this exceptionally well.
    http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/
    prescription without a doctor’s prescription canada drugs online prescription without a doctor’s prescription [url=http://talahicc.com/]canadian pharmacy online[/url]
    online discount pharmacy
    canadian pharmacy uk delivery
    canadian pharmacy 365
    top rated online canadian pharmacies
    canadian drugstore online
    prescription online

  8. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
  9. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thanks a lot! A lot of stuff.
    http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/
    medical information online northwest pharmacy discount prescription drugs online [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]canada pharmaceutical online ordering[/url]
    prescription drugs without doctor approval
    price prescription drugs
    canada pharmacies online prescriptions
    pharmacy canada
    canada pharmacies online prescriptions
    walmart pharmacy price check

  10. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Really plenty of good info!
    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    canadian pharmacy online canadian pharmacies canadianpharmacy [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]canadian pharmacies-24h[/url]
    rx online
    drugs from canada
    cheap prescription drugs online
    online prescription drugs
    ed meds online
    drug stores near me

  11. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually reported that adequately.
    http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/
    safeway pharmacy north west pharmacy canada mexican online pharmacies [url=http://talahicc.com/]canada pharmaceuticals online[/url]
    canada pharmacy online
    canadian pharmacy meds
    trust pharmacy canada
    costco pharmacy pricing
    cheap prescription drugs online
    canadian prescription drugstore

  12. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You suggested that really well!
    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    canadian mail order pharmacies canada online pharmacies approved canadian pharmacies online [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/]canadianpharmacy[/url]
    mexican pharmacy online medications
    rx price comparison
    canadian pharma companies
    global pharmacy canada
    best canadian pharmacies
    canadian pharmacies top best

  13. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
  14. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
  15. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You made your point.
    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    canada pharmacy online no script canadian viagra online canadian pharmacies [url=http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/]north west pharmacy canada[/url]
    canada pharmacies online pharmacy
    cheap prescription drugs
    canadadrugs.com pharmacy
    canadian pharmacy
    online canadian pharmacy
    canadian pharma companies

  16. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    With thanks. I enjoy it.
    https://nicktambone.com/
    prescription prices comparison aarp approved canadian online pharmacies drugs from canada [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]aarp approved canadian online pharmacies[/url]
    northwest pharmacy canada
    online pharmacy no prescription
    drugs from canada
    pharmacy online
    discount pharmaceuticals
    prescription drugs without prior prescription

  17. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    With thanks! Quite a lot of knowledge.
    http://talahicc.com/
    canada online pharmacy online pharmacies of canada mexican pharmacy online [url=http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/]canadian pharmacy[/url]
    cialis online
    canada meds
    mexican pharmacy online medications
    pharmacy prescription
    prescription drug
    canada pharmacies

  18. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Cheers, I value this!
    https://nicktambone.com/
    northwest pharmacy canada canada pharmacy online prescription cost comparison [url=http://canadianpharmacymim.com/]aarp approved canadian online pharmacies[/url]
    canadian discount pharmacy
    board of pharmacy
    rx pharmacy
    online pharmacy no prescription
    canadian mail order pharmacies
    canadian pharmacy no prescription needed

  19. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Effectively expressed indeed! .
    http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/
    pharmacy price compare canadianpharmacy prescription drug assistance [url=http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/]online pharmacies canada[/url]
    online pharmacies
    canadian drug store
    canadian rx
    canadian prescription
    online pharmacy
    online pharmacy without prescription

  20. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Superb write ups, Appreciate it!
    http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/
    top rated canadian pharmacies online canadian pharmacy canadian pharmacy no prescription needed [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com/]aarp approved canadian online pharmacies[/url]
    canadian rx
    canadian pharmacy without prescription
    pharmacy prices compare
    no prior prescription required pharmacy
    online canadian discount pharmacy
    best canadian pharmacies

  21. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Very good material, Many thanks!
    http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/
    prescription prices comparison online pharmacies of canada canadian pharmacy online [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]canada drugs[/url]
    canadian pharmacies top best
    pharmacy online store
    canadian pharmacies shipping to usa
    online canadian pharcharmy
    discount pharmaceuticals
    price prescription drugs

  22. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    With thanks. Numerous knowledge.
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    no prescription pharmacies online pharmacies of canada safe canadian online pharmacies [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]aarp approved canadian online pharmacies[/url]
    discount pharmacy
    pharmacy prices compare
    canadian drug store
    international pharmacies that ship to the usa
    canadian pharmacy without prescription
    drugs online

  23. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Awesome write ups. Many thanks!
    http://talahicc.com/
    prescription prices comparison global pharmacy canada canada drugs online [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]canada pharmacy online[/url]
    no prior prescription required pharmacy
    discount prescription drug
    canadian prescription
    buy cialis
    canada pharmacies without script
    pharmacy price comparison

  24. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
  25. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Fantastic info, Thanks a lot!
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    canadapharmacy com canadian pharmacies-24h candrugstore com [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]canadian cialis[/url]
    canadapharmacy com
    cialis online
    mexican pharmacies online
    canadian pharmacy king
    drug prices comparison
    cheap drugs online

  26. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Regards, Lots of data!
    http://talahicc.com/
    canadian prescriptions canadian online pharmacy no 1 canadian pharcharmy online [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]canadian pharmacies that ship to us[/url]
    the canadian pharmacy
    online pharmacies canada
    prescription drugs without doctor approval
    northwestpharmacy
    no prior prescription required pharmacy
    prescription drug price comparison

  27. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thank you, I enjoy this.
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    pharmacy prescription online pharmacies canada pharmacy near me [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com/]canadian pharcharmy[/url]
    drug stores near me
    discount pharmacy
    online canadian pharmacies
    canadadrugs
    canadian pharmacy online canada
    medication costs

  28. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Really loads of good tips!
    http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/
    discount pharmacy canada drugs best online canadian pharcharmy [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/]top rated canadian pharmacies online[/url]
    canadadrugs.com pharmacy
    discount pharmacy
    online discount pharmacy
    prescription drug cost
    buy drugs online
    highest rated canadian pharmacies

  29. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thanks a lot. Fantastic information!
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    buy online prescription drugs canadian drugs canadian pharmacy no prescription [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com/]canadian pharmacy[/url]
    buy prescription drugs canada
    approved canadian pharmacies online
    canadian pharmacy uk delivery
    discount pharmacy online
    no prior prescription required pharmacy
    best online pharmacy stores

  30. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Awesome write ups, With thanks!
    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    canadian pharmacy king canada pharmaceuticals online canadian pharmacy reviews [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/]canada pharmacy online[/url]
    canadian drug
    drugs online
    best online international pharmacies
    pharmacy near me
    canadian drug
    drugstore online

  31. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thanks a lot, Wonderful stuff!
    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    prescription drugs prices canada online pharmacies canada pharmacies prescription drugs [url=http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/]trust pharmacy canada[/url]
    pharmacy online store
    canada drug pharmacy
    online pharmacy without a prescription
    pharmacy drug store
    prescription drug
    canadian prescription

  32. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Cheers, Plenty of material!
    http://talahicc.com/
    northwestpharmacy online pharmacies of canada canadian pharmacy online [url=http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/]canadian pharmaceuticals online[/url]
    board of pharmacy
    best canadian mail order pharmacies
    drugstore online
    no prescription pharmacies
    pharmacy online store
    canadadrugs.com pharmacy

  33. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Info very well regarded!!
    http://talahicc.com/
    medication costs canadianpharmacy pharmacies near me [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]mexican pharmacies shipping to usa[/url]
    pharmacy prices compare
    buy prescription drugs from canada
    best canadian online pharmacy
    canada pharmacies online pharmacy
    canadian pharmacies shipping to usa
    canada pharmacy online no script

  34. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Amazing postings. Kudos!
    http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/
    pharmacy cost comparison london drugs canada rx pharmacy [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/]canadian drugs[/url]
    safe canadian online pharmacies
    canadian pharmacy without prescription
    pharmacy canada
    canada pharmacy
    canadian cialis
    cheap canadian drugs

  35. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Beneficial postings. Regards.
    http://talahicc.com/
    canadian online pharmacy canadian pharmacy online canada pharmacies online pharmacy [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]canadian pharmacy[/url]
    canada pharmacy online no script
    canadian online pharmacy reviews
    internet pharmacy
    candrugstore com
    prescription drug
    pharmacy online mexico

  36. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Useful postings. Thanks a lot.
    http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/
    northwest pharmacy canadian pharmacies online online discount pharmacy [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]canadian pharmacies without an rx[/url]
    overseas pharmacies
    canada pharmacy online reviews
    best canadian mail order pharmacies
    discount prescription drugs online
    prescription drug
    compare rx prices

  37. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
  38. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Reliable forum posts. Thank you!
    http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/
    no prescription pharmacy canadian pharmacies best canadian pharmacies [url=http://talahicc.com/]canadian viagra[/url]
    drug price
    cheap canadian drugs
    approved canadian pharmacies online
    safeway pharmacy
    price prescription drugs
    canadapharmacyonline com

  39. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Perfectly spoken genuinely! .
    http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com/
    canada drug canadian pharmacies buy online prescription drugs [url=http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/]canadian online pharmacy[/url]
    canada pharmacies online
    safeway pharmacy
    drugs for sale
    online drugs
    canadian pharmacies
    cheap prescription drugs online

  40. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually stated it terrifically!
    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    pharmacy prices canada pharmacy online canada online pharmacies [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]london drugs canada[/url]
    approved canadian pharmacies online
    online rx pharmacy
    canadian drug store
    overseas pharmacy forum
    best canadian mail order pharmacies
    prescription drugs without prior prescription

  41. Your comment is awaiting moderation.
  42. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Good postings. Thank you.
    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    get prescription online northwest pharmacy discount drugs online pharmacy [url=http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/]canadian cialis[/url]
    discount pharmacy online
    canadian pharmacies shipping to usa
    mexican pharmacies online
    highest rated canadian pharmacies
    trusted overseas pharmacies
    pharmacy price compare

  43. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Awesome facts. Many thanks.
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    best online pharmacies no prescription london drugs canada discount prescription drug [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]canada online pharmacies[/url]
    prescription price comparison
    my canadian pharmacy
    best canadian online pharmacy
    discount pharmacy
    online canadian pharcharmy
    buy cialis

  44. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You explained that very well.
    http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com/
    rx price comparison canadian drugs prescription drugs online without doctor [url=http://canadianpharmacymim.com/]canadian viagra[/url]
    prescription drugs online without
    online canadian discount pharmacy
    24 hour pharmacy
    online pharmacy usa
    best canadian online pharmacy
    canadian pharmacy 365

  45. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Good forum posts. Thanks!
    http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/
    rx online canadian pharmacy online canadian online pharmacy reviews [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/]aarp approved canadian online pharmacies[/url]
    canadian prescription
    prescription drug assistance
    no 1 canadian pharcharmy online
    no prior prescription required pharmacy
    prescription price comparison
    canadian prescription drugs

  46. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You mentioned this wonderfully!
    http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/
    prescription without a doctor’s prescription canadian pharmacies online pharmacy prices [url=http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/]canadian pharmacy[/url]
    canada drugs
    canadian drug
    canadian pharmacy viagra brand
    reputable canadian mail order pharmacies
    top rated online canadian pharmacies
    safe canadian online pharmacies

  47. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You explained this exceptionally well.
    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    highest rated canadian pharmacies global pharmacy canada canadian pharmacy uk delivery [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/]trust pharmacy canada[/url]
    online pharmacy without prescription
    pharmacy canada
    canadian pharmacy king
    online pharmacy no prescription needed
    mexican online pharmacies
    pharmacy cost comparison

  48. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thank you, A lot of data!
    http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/
    online canadian discount pharmacy canada drugs prescription drugs online without doctor [url=https://nicktambone.com/]canadian pharmaceuticals online[/url]
    online pharmacy
    canadian pharmacy without prescription
    drugs from canada
    canadian pharmacy viagra brand
    best online canadian pharcharmy
    buy online prescription drugs

  49. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Many thanks. A lot of posts.
    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    canadapharmacyonline.com canadian pharmacies that ship to us discount prescription drug [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/]canadian pharmacies[/url]
    buying prescription drugs canada
    canada online pharmacies
    canada pharmacy online
    most reliable canadian pharmacies
    drugs for sale
    drug price

  50. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You said it nicely.!
    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    overseas pharmacies canadian pharmacies online canadian prescription drugstore [url=http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/]canadian pharmacy[/url]
    drugstore online
    discount pharmacy
    buy prescription drugs without doctor
    drug costs
    highest rated canadian pharmacies
    canada pharmacy online