How to Write a Winning Pitch for
AI Startup Funding
By Marques Coleman
A pitch or an investment proposal is absolutely essential when it comes to your startup.
Having a great pitch can be the difference between making it and breaking it when getting funding.
AI startups all over the world have been highly successful with their pitches, some even securing hundreds of thousands in seed funding to help their company be a success.
Below, we look at how you can write a winning pitch, which will ensure that your startup funding gets off the ground.
What are the critical components of a pitch?
There are a few aspects that you should always include in your startup pitch. These are:
- Your company's mission or vision - why did you start your company, and what do you want to achieve?
- The problem - Your product or service will hopefully solve a problem or provide people with something useful.
- The solution - How do you propose a solution to the problem?
- Current market - You should always summarize the market that you're entering. This could be the market size, share, growth, decline, rising trends, and consumer data.
- Product overview - Of course, give a detailed explanation of what your company, brand, service, or product is.
Make it stand out
It sounds cliché - but you really have to make your company's mission and vision stand out.
Investors love a company that's authentic and honest. Don't fill your pitch with buzzwords or empty promises - be unique and tell your personal story.
Something else that makes your pitch really stand out - thoughtfulness.
Don't merely state the market size and move on. Your investors would have more than likely done a little bit of homework. So, you need to offer more in-depth analysis.
You could also consider gaining an inside perspective from the industry. Attend networking events and trade shows.
Data is arguably the most critical aspect of an AI startup. Investors respect data led results and evidence.
When you introduce the data, your investors will ask questions about it. They will question how you source your data, what your data strategy is, and whether you're relying on big firms to provide you with the data.
Building up your own unique dataset is highly appreciated and valuable for an investor - this is something you should definitely look into.
You should also demonstrate just how your startup can benefit from the data you collect. For instance, you could showcase how you can optimize your algorithms after processing training data.
You should touch on the benefits of AI when you're writing your pitch.
AI is fascinating, and can really benefit your company, and an AI startup is highly appealing to many investors.
Don't forget to explain the benefits of the AI that you offer, and how you feel it can change the business world.
Storytelling is successful in all forms of life.
The reason behind its success? Dopamine. By telling a story, it creates suspense and leaves the audience on a cliffhanger - wanting to find out what happens afterward.
With storytelling, you create an emotional investment. In this case, the listener's brain will release dopamine, and it will make them feel more motivated and increase their memory.
Tell a story, rather than boring your readers/listeners with a bunch of facts and figures.
It doesn't matter how great your product or service is - without a compelling story, your company will never get the recognition it deserves.
Telling a story is also a really great way to condense all your information into a short pitch. Remember, some pitches are only a few minutes long.
Combining emotive language with storytelling, as well as using graphics in your presentation - it will be much easier to connect with investors.
Facts and figures are great - but totally ineffective when they're explained in a monotone, robotic type of way.
You can create negative and positive emotions in your pitch. Negative is a great way to highlight the problem or describe some kind of conflict.
When you give investors, readers, or listeners a more personal story to connect to, they'll be more likely to emotionally invest, financially invest, and remember your pitch.
You should walk into your pitch, knowing everything about your pitch, your market, and your startup.
The truth is, there will be a lot of questions. Rightly so, the investors need to make sure it's a smart decision.
Make sure you know everything - and have evidence to back up your claims.
Using evidence will allow your investors to desire to be a part of your startup. You will come across as focused, organized, and motivated.
However, you shouldn't overestimate your startup. You should be honest about your evolution as a company, and leave no room for doubt.
The more you try to convince somebody, with any kind of formal evidence, you won't achieve what you perhaps hoped for.
Don't focus on AI infrastructures
Startups in the AI industry shouldn't focus on the infrastructure. The reason for this is because it will remain a field that is dominated by big names - like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.
If the structure and solution already exist (and are working well), you would always benefit more from building on top of it. Your investors will know this, as well.
Don't just focus on the problems and the past. Always talk about the future, too.
Sure, your investors need to know about the evolution of your product or service, but they also want to know what's going to happen in the future.
After all, they are investing in this - the future is so important.
We recommend that you link the past with the future. Your startup will contact progress and change - understanding the possible changes will help your investors to see this as a significant investment.
Investors are just humans at the end of the day. Yes, they like to see analytics, data, and statistics - but they also just want to be communicated with.
You should make the atmosphere feel friendly and casual. Your story and pitch should be presented in a less business-type way. This is especially true if your brand and image are very relaxed and natural.
Build trust with your investors is just as important as building trust with your customers or clients.
Top tips: Make sure that your investors can actually hear everything you're saying. Leave time to breathe and don't rush through (this is common when nerves kick in), and be wary of your tone of voice. Try to have excitement and vitality in your voice.
Practice makes perfect - present in front of your friends, and try to find ways to tackle your nerves (or at least use them to motivate you.
Get your notebook out, and begin writing your winning pitch.
Catching an investor's attention might seem like a hard task, especially in an industry as bustling as the AI one.
The main challenge is to prove your scalability, and so focusing on data but, keeping it casual is really crucial.
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