As an EdTech company founder, I am always pitching my business. Whether it’s to a school principal, Venture Capital Firm, or in an actual pitch competition for money. Speaking in front of people is nerve-wracking, and it’s even worse when you are put on a time limit. I wanted to share a few ideas for what to say in your pitch broken down by your audience so that your pitches can be as successful as possible.
Pitching to School Leaders — (data, results)
When pitching to school leaders they are interested in if they can trust you around their students and if you can get them results. That means your product needs to be engaging and also improve their performance. From my experience school leaders when you get a meeting with them like to be personable so don’t be afraid to show your personality. But if you can communicate how you can help their student improve you’ll be fine.
Pitching to Venture Capitalists — (personal story, business opportunity, traction)
Venture Capitalist are interested in the entrepreneur. They are investing into the person presenting. They are thinking “do I want to talk to their person for the next five years?” So they are always interested in your personal story to see if you have what it takes to make it when things get tough. Then they look for the opportunity with the investment. What does the market look like with your product? So for Make Music Count, I need to explain the EdTech market, showing how much money is being made currently followed by how much of that market I can capture. Lastly, before you get an investment from a VC, they are interested in your traction. Are you making money? How many users are currently using your app? They need to see what you’ve done first to see how their dollars can magnify the traction. Most environments where VC’s are include a timed presentation that can be anywhere from 5–7 minutes. So it’s important to practice your pitch.
Pitch competitions are usually 3 minutes. Its difficult to explain your entire story and business in that time so, in this situation, it’s important to show your passion honestly, have lots of energy and focus on how your business can scale. Relay the message that if you can win this competition how it will immediately impact your growth. Talk about how many more people you can help with their funds. I recently participated in the Creator Awards through WeWork, and I highly recommend any entrepreneur to apply because this competition was a game changer for my business. Depending on your businesses stage (idea, launch, or scale) they awarded companies with funds ranging from $17,000 to one million dollars! Do yourself a favor and apply to the creator awards.
Pitching to Tech environments
Pitching to tech environments like Atlanta Tech Village have an audience that is interested in your technology. So for this its best to simply walk them through how your app or product works. Think of it as a live demo. Your story is, but it honestly isn’t what anyone wants to hear at that point.
As stated earlier you have to practice pitching. Over and over again. In addition, you have to know your audience because the last thing you want to do is miss out on an opportunity. I’m still learning how to perfect my pitch because as my business grows, I have to adjust what’s important to say. It may sound obvious but there a big difference in a 3-minute pitch vs. a 7-minute pitch. Understanding what to elaborate on for a longer pitch can make or break you. But with practice and understanding your audience, you’ll do just fine.
Check out the Make Music Count app and read about how we’re helping teachers and students tackle math anxiety. https://makemusiccount.com