Pitching 101: Differentiation

Pitching 101: Differentiation

by Mark Selby, 9 November 2018

Preparing that all-important slide deck before you pitch to investors is no easy task. At Innovation Warehouse we demystify the process and help aspiring entrepreneurs present themselves and their projects in the best possible light.

In this blog, we’ll focus on one of the factors most likely to win over potential investors: differentiation. An incisive long-term view of your startup’s place in the market shows not only that you’re effectively assessing the parameters for success, but also that you’ve taken into account the holy grail of investment: exit strategy.

During our Pitch Wednesday sessions, each presenter has five minutes to pitch, five more to field questions and a final five to receive feedback. Here are the top considerations when looking to integrate differentiation into your pitch:

Who else is in the market?

This may seem like an obvious starting point, but it’s amazing how many entrepreneurs gloss over the most critical of details. Startups entering an existing market need to know who they’re going to bump shoulders with in order to carve out a valuable niche – and investors will want to see that in your pitch.

In the tech space, people are in their own little bubble and assume everyone else understands their world – but they don’t. How have your competitors performed and how mature is the market? Is the market actually big enough to enter and still ensure differentiation?

What is your USP?

Identify your closest competitors and provide insight into how your USP will guarantee your success, regardless of the competition. You may be convinced of the value of your product or service, but the more compelling the personal vision, the greater the risk of becoming blinkered – it’s easy to overlook stumbling blocks that may be obvious to others, or, in being so close to your product, fail to fully explain its value to both investors and customers.

How are you targeting your customers and what is your growth trajectory?

What is your Exit Strategy? (or Beginning with the End in Mind)

Investors want to know that entrepreneurs have carefully considered their exit strategy – your strategic plan to sell your ownership for profit. Your venture needs to be far more than a lifestyle business if it’s to attract serious interest from investors, or else they risk committing to nothing more than modest monthly returns.

How much do you anticipate earning in the coming years? Present whatever history you have and give the investors an idea of what you have in the pipeline. If your proposition hits the mark on all these counts, your business will be ripe for investment.

Click here to learn more about the pitching process at Innovation Warehouse

If you missed our blog post in July, Pitching 101: Show them the money, we’d recommend you take a moment and check it out for the go-to financial figures that deserve a top spot in your deck.