Investors invest in teams. Not ideas. Not technology. Why? Because what your idea looks like today is most likely not going to be what will make you successful, so you'll need to have the skillset and the mindset to survive the journey to get there once your product gets to market. And no, employees and freelancers are not team members. Team members are the co-founders with equity. Do your team have the required skills needed? The ideal startup team consists of a hustler/sales person, designer/product person and a developer/technology person. If you don't have a complete team yet, forget to raise funds before you are complete. If you have more than 4-5 co-founders, some of them are probably already redundant - good luck with explaining that to investors.
A rolling stone gathers no moss. A startup not rolling gathers no investor. Unless you're based in Silicon Valley or have founded successful startups in the past, the "Idea Pitch" is dead. Just having an idea is not enough. You need to show the investor some sort of proof that you are able to create something instead of just talking, that your idea is in fact solving a real problem or need and that users or customers are responding to your product. Because in this day and age it has become an order of magnitude simpler and cheaper to build a rough prototype or Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and firing off some marketing test rockets using your own resources. Investors today need to see your hard data. And the way you track this data is called metrics and analytics. You need to track and understand concepts like AARRR, MAU, CAC vs LTV, TAM, SAM, SOM, BMC, CPC, Churn Rate, Growth Rate, Engagement Rate, Cohort Analytics ASAP!
What makes you so special? What is your Secret Sauce? Do you have unique insights to a problem or a need? (Are you the user and can demonstrate that there are others like you?) Are you a domain expert in a niche? (Are you one of very few in the world who could know or do this?) Did you stumble upon a potential gold mine? (Did you start with solving a real problem - not building a solution?) Do most people laugh at your idea and call it stupid? (Most good ideas are stupid ideas until they are not) Have you patented something? (Conversely, have you checked that it isn't already patented?) Have you seen what the future is can be like and you won't rest before you have created it? (Are you truly driven?) Are you unbundling incumbents? (Are you creating a new market and stealing the customers from the old stalwarts?) Have you found something that nobody else has found yet? (Is now the right and only time?) Have you discovered a sustainable engine of growth? (CAC vs CLTV 1:3 or better?).
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I’m Vidar Andersen and I don’t talk about myself in the third person. I’m a Norwegian hack(er), entrepreneur, startup founder, (micro) investor, educator, learner, speaker, advisor, consultant to large corporations on innovation - and an Internet software veteran. I love to solve problems with technology and help good people succeed.
On my entrepreneurial journeys so far, I've had the fortune to pitch some of the most famous and well-respected startup investors and tech journalists out there and I've been invited to pitch publicly on stage around the world. It's been a roller coaster ride that has taken me from the frontpage of The New York Times, CNN and TechCrunch to helping other founders succeed faster.
Because one of the things I learned from my Silicon Valley mentors is the importance of helping others like you. So I'm sharing my pitching secrets and experience to help you understand what investors are looking for, master your pitch and successfully raise that round so you can move on to the more important things of building a great product and growing your business.
My presentations on startup entrepreneurship have been featured multiple times internationally by e.g. SlideShare, and recently Germany's largest business publication "Wirtschafts Woche" named me one of the most important people in the German startup scene.
As an authority on startup pitching, I've taught over 500 startups just like yours how to pitch successfully since 2013 as a coach and moderator for the monthly Rheinland Pitch, Germany's longest running and largest startup pitch event.
Some of the people I've pitched in person include Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee, Investor), Don Dodge(Microsoft, Google Ventures), Steve Blank (father of the Lean Startup, Angel Investor), Robert Scoble (Tech Blogger Legend), Lori Greiner (Investor, Shark Tank), Yossi Vardi (Mensch, Legendary Israeli Investor), Mike Butcher (Mr. TechCrunch Europe), Zach Klein (Founder Vimeo, Investor), Ben Parr (Ex Mashable), Robin Wouters (TNW, Tech.eu), John Bradford (TechStars London), Daisuke Minamide (Investor, NTT DoCoMo, CyberAgent Ventures), Lars Hinrichs (Founder XING, Investor), Christian Thaler Wolsky (Investor, Wellington Partners, Paua Ventures), Christoph Janz (Mr. SaaS Metrics, Managing Partner Point Nine Capital), Daniel Waterhouse (Partner, Balderton), Kurt Müller (Partner, Target Partners), Philipp Möhring (SeedCamp, Angel List), Gilad Novik (Investor, Horizon Ventures) and many more.
Some of the places I've been invited to pitch my startups on stage include South By Southwest (SxSW) in Austin TX, the Web Summit in London, Le Web in Paris, Tech Cocktail in Austin, C'n'B in Cologne, Pirate Summit Cologne, Campus Party Berlin and more.