Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Twitter Roundup

Angel Investment News  

Business Plans & Pitching

Fund Raising

Marketing & Social Media

Start-Up & Entrepreneurship

To stay updated, come follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/angel__network.

Read anything interesting? Feel free to add links to any articles or resources you’d like to share with the angel community.

The Perfect Investor Pitch, Part 2

Following on from Part 1 last week of the The Perfect Investor Pitch, here are some tips about what to include in your elevator pitch.  We’ve broken it down into 8 slides we’d recommend using in your PowerPoint presentation:

Slide 1 – The Introduction 

This should be eye catching yet simple. You need to include these points:

  • Your Company Name
  • Your Logo
  • Your “Tagline”
  • Who you are and your role in the company / job title

Slide 2 – What is the Pain or Problem?

  • What does your business do or what service does it provide?

This is integral to securing interest, as it is your ‘hook’ to the investor. If your service or product is particularly technical it is worth setting the scene with a real life example. i.e. The entrepreneur has a product  which is a Resource Management Software. You then tell the Investors. Imagine you work in an advertising agency and you are the production manager. You need to allocate work efficiently, on time and within budget etc

Slide 3  – Premise, what is your Unique solution?

  • How does your product or service solve the problem?
  • Having identified the problem it is essential to give a clear, and concise solution

Don’t be overly technical, as impressive as it may sound it could lose Investors interest.

Slide 4 – People

  • Who is in the management team?
  • Position in the company?
  • What’s their relevant experience?
  • Previous Positions held
  • Industry Experience
  • What do they bring to the team?

Don’t labour over this too long this is just to reassurance the investors and  give them confidence in your ability to make this happen and deliver the results being promised.      Don’t live in the past. Going over company history and the backgrounds of the founders takes a long time and only adds to the pitch if it’s something really distinctive.

Slide 5 – Proof

  • What evidence is there to show that your company makes money?
  • Are you making sales?
  • Have other people invested / have you received grants? How much have you invested?
  • What patents have been granted or are pending? Have you been officially approved or certified?

Slide 6 – The Market

  • Size
  • Segmentation
  • Growth
  • Market Share

It is very important you show investors you have taken the time to think this through. Intimate knowledge of a company’s prospective market helps to clearly define strategic aims. Investors will therefore look at it as a strategic investment.

Slide 7 – The Competition

  • Who are your competitors?
  • What makes your product or service better?

They don’t necessarily like to hear that you “don’t have” any competition, because you do, and you’re at a disadvantage if you don’t know who it is and why customers will choose you instead.

Slide 8 – Purpose, the Financials

The two key things the Investors want to know are how much money are you going to make and what are you offering investors for their money (ROI / Equity).

  • Previous turnover & profit
  • Projected turnover & profit
  • What are you offering the investor?
  • What is your exit strategy?
  • What return do you expect the investor to make?

Be conservative with your financials Investors are very weary of over inflated projections.

Let us know if you’re looking for funding, as we may be able to help put you in touch with some investors.

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Twitter Roundup

Angel Investment News 

  • Angels spread their love more widely: http://bit.ly/kYdOZo
  • Annual report on the business angel market in the UK (with contribution from our very own Angel Investment Network):http://bit.ly/kFBekS
  • New angel investing networks spread wings across India: http://bit.ly/jedxOp
  • You call this a tech bubble? Silicon Valley insiders dismiss bubble talk, and they’re right (for now): http://bit.ly/lCGaHy

Business Plans & Pitching

Fund Raising

Marketing & Social Media

Start-Up & Entrepreneurship

To stay updated, come follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/angel__network.

Read anything interesting? Feel free to add links to any articles or resources you’d like to share with the angel community.

INFOGRAPHIC: The Current State Of Venture Capital Funding And Startups

According to an infographic created by Column Five, venture capital interest in startups has greatly increased since the dip in 2008 and 2009. Though it’s still lower than pre-collapse numbers, the infographic shows that now might be a good time for many startups to find funding. The overall amount of funding has increased from $7.1 billion in the first quarter of 2008 to $7.5 billion in the first quarter of 2011.

The infographic examines the growth and location of venture capital funding over the last year. In the first quarter of 2010 there was $1.27 billion given out in funding across 221 deals. In the first quarter of 2011 that number greatly increased. There was $2.32 billion in funding given out across 289 deals. California is by far the leading providers of investments accounting for 52 percent of funding in the U.S. while New York only accounts for 6 percent.

 

 

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Funding Roundup

Here’s a roundup of some of the recent seed-stage and angel deals from around the world: 

  • Altly, the startup headed by Dmitry Shapiro which is developing an alternative to Facebook, has raised $1 million in seed funding
  • US-based web site analytics specialist Mixpanel has raised $1.25m from new investors, and plans to use the money to hire more engineers
  • OpenChime, a startup that allows users to get online quotes & information from a number of services, lands $700K seed funding from Lightbank
  • PunchTab, developer of a service that helps businesses and website owners create loyalty programs, has raised $850,000 seed funding
  • Activation Media, developer of an interactive entertainment platform, has landed seed funding from a group of private investors
  • Software development Ajatix, a software development company, raises USD 30,000 seed round funding provided by Microsoft
  • CodeGuard Inc. nabbed angel funding from Imlay Investments for Website protection
  • Social media monitoring firm ThoughtBuzz has raised SGD500K in funds under the Technology Incubation Scheme from Plug and Play Singapore
  • Eventovate, an Irish start-up company which provides software for the hotel sector, has raised €700,000 for its expansion plans
  • CoverHound, a new car insurance shopping service, has raised $750,000 in seed funding from Blumberg Capital
  • Ecoroof startup Columbia Green Technologies Inc. lands $500,000 angel investment that will allow them to staff up to keep up with demand
  • Product-focused social media application development company Adepto Solutions lands $300,000 funding from Blume Ventures & angel investors
  • A group of investors that includes Google chairman Eric Schmidt has invested near to $1 million (estimated) in rich media ad firm Spongecell
  • Hyper Wear, who create innovative products for sports performance training, fitness, physical education & health, has received angel funding

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/angel__network.

Have you managed to raise capital for your company?  We always love to hear from entrepreneurs who manage to get funded.

The Perfect Investor Pitch, Part 1

At Angel Investment Network, we’ve watched a lot of pitches in our time –
some good and some bad. Here is some of the advice we give our members on how to perfect their investor pitch. 

Key Points & Tips

  • The best way of thinking about writing a Pitching Presentation is as an “Elevator Pitch”. As the name suggests an elevator pitch should be possible to deliver in the time it takes to ride an elevator, focusing on this makes the pitcher more precise. Make every point count.
  • Start with “a hook” – a statement or question that grabs the investors’ attention and makes them want to hear more.
  • Explain exactly what your service or product does. We often hear investors saying they had no idea what the company actually does, as it gets lost in qualifying statements and fancy figures. It is hugely unlikely investors will invest in a concept they don’t understand.
  • The investors won’t expect you to cram everything into your 8-minute pitch. It is often the people with the most concise pitches have the most interest afterwards.
  • Tell a Story. Your pitch must not be a checklist of impersonal facts and figures. When you tell the story of your business, you bring it to life in an engaging, memorable way. Stories make sense and persuade in a way that a list of facts and figures can’t.

Timing

  • Time is limited, so make sure you can summarise your business within the allotted period.
  • Think hard about what your key message is and cut out all unnecessary detail.
  • Don’t get bogged down with the technical details – just tell them what it does. i.e. Walls Sausages, they don’t need to know how the pig was killed just how the sausage sizzles.
  • Don’t repeat yourself.
  • Don’t go off on a tangent, as every sentence counts.
  • Think about how much time you will allocate to each of the sections we mention below – play to your strengths.

Presentation Style

  • Speak clearly.
  • Use the Power of the Pause.  When a speaker pauses while delivering a presentation, it conveys confidence and control.
  • Conversely, someone who speaks at a hundred words a minute conveys nervousness, pause and give your audience a chance to digest your key points.
  • Be enthusiastic – Investors expect energy and dedication from entrepreneurs.
  • Don’t use acronyms or technical jargon.  Everyone should be able to understand it.
  • If you’re not an experienced public speaker, don’t be afraid to read from cards but make it a deliberate confident decision to do so, indecision will count against you.
  • Don’t simply read what is on your PowerPoint presentation (this should only contain visuals and bullet points).
  • Gestures and body language (e.g. nodding and smiling) are very important.
  • Look your best!

Practice, Practice, Practice!

  • Can you do it within the time limit?
  • Did everyone understand it?
  • Ask family, friends and colleagues for feedback.
  • Did it convey the desired message?
  • The more you practice it, the more relaxed you’ll be when you’re in front of the investors.
  • Our training session will be a good ‘Dress Rehearsal’ so please be fully prepared.

What should I include?

Below are the key points that Investors feel are most valuable to your presentation. The following slides will serve as a template and provide worked examples in each instance.

  • Pain or Problem?
  • Premise?
  • People?
  • Proof?
  • Purpose?

For more info about what to include in your investor pitch, come back next week for The Perfect Investor Pitch, Part 2.