Women founders tend to have more success when they pitch to at least one woman investor compared with pitching to a group of all-male investors. But, that isn’t always possible, nor is it a guarantee that you will get funding for your woman-owned business if you are pitching to at least one woman.
No matter who your audience is knowing how to pitch to an investor is crucial to getting investors on board with your great idea. You can have the best product or business idea out there, but if you can’t articulate why someone should care enough to give you money to fund it, you might never get it off the ground.
Pitching to investors might sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be intense as the last episode of Shark Tank. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be done in person. Studies even suggest that women may be more likely to get a positive response from an investor after sending a cold pitch email because it can eliminate bias (whether intentional or unintentional).
Here is everything you need to know about what a female investor pitch is and how you can nail it to get funding for your business.
What is an Investor Pitch?
An investor pitch is a presentation that a business owner gives to potential investors to convince them to put money into the business. Investment pitches can take place formally and in person, in the form of a presentation with a slide deck. You can also make an investor pitch through a formal letter or written correspondence.
It’s common for business owners to develop multiple forms of a business pitch. You should have a written business plan along with a longer presentation (10 minutes or less) and a short, one-minute elevator pitch.
What Should be Included in a Business Pitch?
Your business pitch should be tailored to your business and have your brand’s voice behind it. You’ll want to include important information, such as what your business is, who it serves, and what stage of investment you’re in. In addition, you will want to include the following (not necessarily in this order):
- Customer analysis
- Risk assessment
- Implementation plan
- Financial projection
- Financial needs
- Formal business mode
- lndustry and competitive analysis
How to Create an Investment Pitch for Women
1. Create a Pitch Deck
A pitch deck is a slide deck that you’ll use to show your investors relevant information and data when you make your pitch. You should make two versions. The first should be text-heavy so you can send it out with emails. The second should have very little text and be more image-heavy so you can use it during your in-person pitch presentations.
Keep your deck to around 10–15 slides, and make sure each slide contributes to your story and provides relevant information that will help investors see the potential in your business.
2. Keep it Short
Your initial pitch should be short, no more than 10 minutes, tops. Practice getting all your main points across in the first few minutes. If an investor isn’t interested by the second minute of your pitch, you’re probably out of luck. This is especially true for women founders, who may find male investors tuning out within less than one minute. To keep investors interested, start with the numbers.
Your pitch should include only the most important elements. Save the rest for conversations afterward. If your investor is still interested after hearing your 10-minute pitch, they’ll ask questions and get more information out of you.
3. Focus on the Money
At the end of the day, investors are focused on whether or not they think they can make money off a project. So, while they might also be interested in how a product or service benefits customers and helps save the world, they first need to know that there’s a reasonable expectation of an ROI for them. This information is essential and should come early on in your pitch.
4. Tell Your Story
Humans are naturally drawn to a good story. So, while crunching numbers and having accurate data are essential for a good investor pitch, don’t forget about the human aspect of storytelling. In addition to making your presentation more interesting, turning your pitch into a story will also help investors get to know you personally and determine how badly they want to work with you, personally, on your business venture.
5. Know Your Exit Plan
Having an exit strategy is key. Your investors will need to know that you’ve thought through exactly how you’ll use their investment and when they’ll be able to get it back out (along with the handsome return). Plan five years out, to be safe, and know whether you’re going for an IPO, an acquisition, licensing, or if there’s some other exit strategy that will result in a nice return for your investors.
Once you have your pitch written and your deck made, practice! In addition to knowing your presentation backward and forward, you’ll want to be prepared with answers to questions you think the investors will have after your presentation.
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