The idea here is to paint a picture of a market, an industry, or a workflow that is stuck in the past. You need to give a sense that you have uncovered a trend, not just read about it. Imagine Airbnb in its earliest days pointing to the emergence of temporary housing listings on sites like Craigslist as evidence that people were interested in non-hotel accommodations. Avoid “educating” an investor with a story they already know. The idea is to show, simply and clearly, that you are on course to realize that vision. It’s that important. If either your “interesting fact” or your “unique insight” are already familiar to your audience—or if they are intuitive to most people—this opening falls flat and your rigor or credibility may be in question. In this guide, we’ll focus on the first act. Before you pitch, experiment with different pitch plots to find the one that allows you to authentically explain the best, most resonant case for your opportunity. This is a challenging plot to pull off because it requires you to present both (1) a fact or statistic that your audience doesn’t already know and (2) an insight that feels fresh and original. If you can convince an investor that your company is the only one taking your approach, then you are the only founder who matters. It draws from six years of building pitches that have led to $4.5B in raised capital. manually reviewing mortgage applications). Unfortunately, building fundraising decks and pitching investors are not skills that founders develop before starting a company; they’re learned by doing. They’ve helped companies raise $4.5B in capital. Epoch-making insights are probably not available via a Google search; show you won the knowledge. When it works. The idea is to show, simply and clearly, that you are on course to realize that vision. This could be early traction, customer testimonials, or any other indication that you are resonating with early adopters. These are the stories that resonate with investors and give them the confidence that you are committed to solving the problem in front of you. As a result, this tactic works best when you have a significant information advantage over the investor, which means that founders who have worked in the industry and establish credibility often have the most success. Instead of thinking in terms of slides, we recommend that you separate your pitch into three basic “acts” and work through each of them one-by-one. This can be a “fish out of water” story in which you—as an outsider—try something for the first time (e.g. So avoid Gartner studies and consumer surveys and look for data or anecdotes that reveal a trend that is hidden in plain sight. Before you pitch, experiment with different pitch plots to find the one that allows you to authentically explain the best, most resonant case for your opportunity. We'll send you an update when we publish more guides. For example, if what sets you apart is your marketing strategy—as opposed to something more defensible—it might be hard to argue that you are fundamentally reimagining your market, and your pitch might seem like an overreach. Paint a picture of what your market would look like if it met the modern standard. Even if your story is authentic, it only works if it’s relatable. Nobody starts a company because they love fundraising. They’ve almost certainly heard (and probably have funded) that pitch. You need to give a sense that you have uncovered a trend, not just read about it. Whatever the answer, it should neatly set the stage for the key insight you’re about to unveil. You’re viewing our website for Lithuania, but it looks like you’re in the United States. And worse yet, it’s a negative signal. Ideally, the trend you’re identifying can only be found if you look deep inside the data. Show the investor how this market might be rebuilt if a founder didn’t have the baggage of being an incumbent, the burden of history, or lack of available technology. For example, if your market is massively underpenetrated, you might focus on the fact that you’re building a product that won’t immediately compete with incumbents, because it serves a hidden market that is adjacent to the current market.
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