Written by: Alyssa Cooper
In March of 2019, the Matterhorn team pitched for funding at our university’s entrepreneurship and innovation center, Accelerate. This post will reflect upon the process, the results, and the feedback we received as a result of participating the spring Accelerate Pitch Round event. As an open-source project we’re all about sharing knowledge from developer to developer, and I think this experience can help fellow open-source pioneers get in shape to pitch their product.
Planning your pitch is the most important aspect of your presentation. While planning you want to take these crucial points into consideration:
Understanding who you’ll be pitching to is significant to creating your pitch. Are you pitching to people who understand development or are you pitching to people who are not? When understanding your audience you’re able to better articulate your ideas in the correct way. Too much tech jargon to an audience that does not understand what you mean can result in questions unrelated to your product and instead confusion about what you are doing. When this is the case you want to structure your presentation to be less tech jargon and more of how this product can impact their lives, the lives of their customers or employees. Overall, create a need scenario and how this product can enhance the lives of the consumer using it.
Are you articulating your ideas in a clear and concise way? Ensure that each slide has a meaning, don’t fill your slides with paragraphs and unimportant information. Hit the audience with the facts and the statistics. An example is:
“70% of developers waste 15% of their time configuring a project… this is how my product can decrease those numbers.”
Making sure your argument is concise and factual will greatly increase how it is received.
Ask for the essentials, provide a chart to demonstrate the breakdown, and explain to the audience the significance. Your ask is crucial and how you lay it down is just as important to receiving it.
“We need 5K for development costs, this will go towards purchasing x, y, z and supporting the hard working developing team.”
Time yourself during the presentation. Keep it within the mark of time and ensure that there is always time for questions after the pitch. Questions can help clarify what the audience is thinking and provide them with additional insight into what you are trying to accomplish. This is also an opportunity to provide additional numbers and facts that further support your previous ask.
Matterhorn received funding on an ongoing basis for our essential needs. This includes promotional materials, develpoment costs, and the necessary funding and advising to host a future event to promote our idea to developers in the local Boston community. We were given these tips by our coach as well as by the investors who provided us feedback at the end of pitch round. Using this information, we were able to better enhance our product’s marketing and prep for future pitches. We hope you can use these tips too.