Fundraising is challenging, especially for deep-tech organizations whose investors need to be encouraged about a complex technology, a complex sales cycle and a complex risk profile. As a former investor and current angel investor, I have met thousands of founders, many in deep technical space.
In my experience, here are the most common mistakes deep technology founders can avoid when pitching investors:
Work on your storytelling
Highlight your big vision: Initially investors are in the business of dream financing. They choose to be early investors because they love to hear new ideas and fascinated futures.
They are not intentionally investment bankers or accountants because they do not want to constantly pour on endless spreadsheets or dive deeper into financial models. Similarly, they are not operators because they do not want to spend time figuring out the complexity of any supply chain or marketing campaign or the configuration of the components of a product.
So avoid what your pitch encourages capital investors and what does not. Include financial measurement details and warehouse system logistics information in your appendix. If any of you want to sink deeper, your core presentation should focus on your biggest, most bullish hope organization for seven to 10 years from now. If you meet all your intended milestones as an organization, dedicate multiple slides to paint a picture of what society should look like.
Underscore the impact: As a deep technology company and your difference lies in your intellectual property. However, investors do not consider anything more about “what” and “so what”. Investors are less interested in the complexity of your technology and more interested in what impact it can have. “What can people or companies do with your technology?” In addition, “How will people save time, money and lives with your product?”
Put your presentation to the “Grandma” test. Will your grandmother be able to understand and encourage you to share everything? Investor pitch meetings are not a research defense. Your research evaluated about the potential for impact rather than the complex data. The best way to succeed in this assessment framework is to make sure that everything you share is relevant and interesting, even to a diverse audience of non-technical people.
Try to reach hearts and minds: Fifty million people are a statistic, but one person is a story. When people read data from a large population, they can understand its concepts conceptually, but not only on a logical, sensitive level. When you start, you want to reach the hearts of investors.
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