Pitching to win - 5 tips and tricks for Thai start-ups
April 23, 2017 18:37 By SOMPOAT CHANSOMBOON SPECIAL TO THE NATION
INVESTORS around the world are seeking good start-ups everywhere.
With thousands of start-ups around, how can you be sure that yours will get funded?
Communication is one of the keys to success. Having a great business model with through-the-roof traction but not being able to capture investor attention and communicate what you've got well, is just a waste of effort.
Let me share with you the five most important hacks for Thai start-ups when it comes to pitching themselves in front of investors to sync with our dtac Accelerate batch 5 pitch day tomorrow.
What to include in your pitch deck
Many people are clueless when it comes to communicating the main points investors are looking for in their pitches.
I've summarised the key messages needed in your deck.
First, you must state the existing problem in the market. Then introduce your solution to this problem, how your product is going to solve it.
State the market opportunity, let them know that you have done your research and that there is a strong potential in your product to grow.
Then show your acquisition plan, how you're going to penetrate the market and how will you turn that market into your customers.
Once you've stated all that, the investors will want to know your business model, how you generate revenue. No investor would want to invest in a product that doesn't make money.
If you have already launched your product, make sure you include your traction so far. This helps give them an idea of how tangible your product is.
Lastly, but one of the most important things to include, that people normally forget, is your team.
Investors look for founders who are passionate and will not give up easily, and a strong team to back them up.
Include all your backgrounds to support why you should be the one doing this product, whether it's 10 years of experience in a certain industry, or a PhD in a particular field that would make you stand out from the rest of the pack doing exactly the same thing.
Make sure you include this in your pitch deck. If you do have an unfair advantage, this would also be a good place to put it down.
Keep it short
Even though there are many points to cover, try to make your pitch deck as concise as possible. No one wants to read a text-heavy pitch deck. Get to the point. Investors don't have that much time on their hands, and if they see something they need to spend a lot of time on to understand what it is, they won't be interested in your product anymore. Try to avoid paragraphs and explain things in bullets and images.
Pitch in English
Many local start-ups make the mistake of writing their pitch deck in Thai. Though this only applies to certain cases, I still recommend you have an English version of your deck on hand in case there's a need for it.
If you're participating in a world-class accelerator, they'll be flying in investors from other countries to see your pitch as well. Don't limit yourself by pitching in Thai. Foreign investors are as interested in investing in Thai start-ups as our local investors.
Study good pitches
Start-up pitches are not a new thing. YouTube is flooded with amazing pitches for you to study to learn their techniques.
Learn how they structure their pitch and how they manage their time within the 5-minute pitch. Learn their body language and how they use their voices to capture the attention of the audience. Public speaking is one thing, pitching to win is a whole new story.
Know who you're pitching to
This may come as a surprise but many start-ups fail to study their investors before starting to pitch to them. How can you deliver a pitch to win someone's heart when you have no idea who they are? If you're pitching in a competition, it is important that you know who the judges are.
Pitching is the window to your success. Remember that communication is the key. Make sure that the person you are pitching to is on the same page as you. Be confident, be yourself, believe in your product. Good luck!
Sompoat is the director of the accelerate |division of DTAC, with 21 companies under |dtac Accelerate management.