​Top 5 Things to Know When Pitching to an Early-Stage Investor

Josh Mintz is the director at Waveline Investments, a UK investment firm focused on early-stage technology companies. Josh shares here his tips for entrepreneurs before pitching to an investor.

1. Know your space:

Be certain that the problem you are trying to solve is real, and that your solution addresses the causes, not the symptoms, of the problem itself. Above all, make sure that you can support this with evidence.

2. Be prepared to talk about things other than your product:

Investors want to know who you are and the story behind your company. Everybody loves to hear a good story, so be a storyteller.

3. Make your initial pitch high-level:

Your high-level pitch should be done within 5 minutes – don’t worry, if those 5 minutes make sense than the investor will give you all the time in the world to deal with the details. You’d better know those details too though, you can bring notes if you need – you don’t have to know it by heart, but you do have to know it.

4. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”:

You can’t be prepared for everything, and sometimes you will be asked a question you can’t answer. You will get a lot more respect from an investor if you come back to them later with a clear answer than if you make up a vague one on the spot. It’s not like you were going to close in the room anyway.

5. You can ask questions too:

You are interviewing an investor as much as they are interviewing you, you will have to work together with them after all! Make sure to understand what the investor’s added value is and check carefully that it is relevant to you and your company. Ask them what their investment model is and really think about whether or not it fits with your vision for your company.

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