What’s In Your Pitch?

As Howard Tullman noted,  the DemoDay pitch season is just about over.  I attended two demo days, TechStars Chicago and Gener8tor in Milwaukee.  They were similar but there were some differences in how the pitches went.

I am not going to talk about that.

What is important to note is the pitch itself.  This summer, I worked with two companies at TechStars, TradingView and Pathable.  Both did really well in their respective pitches I thought.

For entrepreneurs, it is critically important to present the information in such a way that the audience understands it.  For example, on a dry run of pitches over a week prior to Demo Day, Trading View had the exact same information in their pitch as they did on Demo Day.  It was just jumbled and no one really got it.

By rearranging what they said, how it was presented, and how they served it up, the entire thing was changed.

I am reminded of a totally different situation that has similarities.

In August of 2001, my family and I were on vacation.  A neighbor checked on our house after a horrible rain storm.  They were turning the a/c on because the dogs were coming back that day.

Our whole house was destroyed by water.  Not rainwater. There was a leak in the upstairs bath that let over 14,000 gallons of water run through the house!

Now I had to deal with an insurance company.  Ironically, it was over Labor Day weekend.  Our insurance agent was too busy to come out, they had a BBQ to go to!  I was pissed.

What became very interesting to me was whenever I spoke with the agent, they didn’t understand a word I said to them (I was civil).  But, my friend that is in the insurance business would say the exact same thing using different words and the agent got it, and things would happen.

Just like a Demo Day presentation.

Everyone knows the basics:  Identify the pain point, the market size, how you will execute and the credibility of the team.

The phrasing and timing of how you present all that can make a big difference in the impression you leave with the investor.

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