Startup life is always connected to pitch sessions, as you always need to “sell” your idea. Let’s master the perfect pitch rules with a prominent businessman Rustam Gilfanov.
Pitch in IT-culture
Pitch is a presentation of a startup to potential investors. The world “pitch” came to business from American baseball (hit by pitch game situation). Since the players can’t talk to each other, the word pitch is used to describe non-verbal communication. Since the 1940s in the USA, the baseball metaphor came to be used in sales to describe a presentation for clients. In the second half of the XX century, pitch techniques were used to choose relevant ideas. In the 1990s the word “pitch” began to be used in the general context.
There are several popular types of pitches.
1. Napkin pitch
You need to explain your idea to an investor over a cup of coffee, using just a pen and one napkin.
2. Elevator pitch
That means a short presentation that could be delivered in the time of an elevator ride. Usually, it lasts from 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3. Pitch deck — a classic presentation
This is a speech with a multimedia presentation in front of an invited audience.
According to Guilfanov, «You should understand, that napkin pitch and elevator pitch give you a chance to draw the attention of an investor and to unobtrusively present your idea, while a classic pitch is a full well-prepared presentation that has been preceded proper preparation”.
What makes a good pitch
A standard pitch includes a project idea, acknowledge a current problem and provide a solution, as well as describes business model, provide data on the market which a product enters, competitor analysis, your team presentation, a budget proposal and investment expenditure plan.
To present a pitch deck you need to have 20 slides – it is about 20 minutes of your speech. As a rule, the slides that covers such topics as a team, competitors and the monetization issues attract the most interest of the investors.
Rustam Gilfanov recommends presenting your idea as an elevator speech and then get to a detailed presentation, that is first you should outline the essence of your idea and then go to the details. “First, try to deliver your pitch to your grandmother or neighbours, so that they could understand within 30 seconds what you want to do. It is perfect training for your real presentation speech”, – Gilfanov recommends.
During your presentation, it worth to focus on successful business experience, competitive advantages of the project and, most importantly, why you are interested in supporting the chosen investors. Rustam Gilfanov believes, that it is important to show what makes you special and differs you from the startups that your potential investors already have in their portfolio.
«The best part begins after your pitch – that is the discussion of your presentation. You must provide good answers to the questions, that will also have a positive impact on the results of the meeting with investors”, – said Rustam Gilfanov.
Thus, finding a brilliant startup idea is not enough. Your pitch and further communication with investors means a lot. The experience of other startups founders, investors and business-angels could help a lot to make a pitch. As in baseball, a pitch is just the beginning of a big game.
Rustam Gilfanov is a co-founder of an IT-company, an IT-businessman and an international investor.
In 2006 together with his business partners, Rustam Gilfanov set an international outsourcing IT-company in Kyiv. Nowadays this company is the largest software developer for the gaming industry, marketing and finance services.
A few years ago, Gilfanov withdrew from the management of IT-company so that to focus on international investment in promising IT-projects in the area of financial technologies, gaming and streaming video.