By Amy Duncan, Fund Manager, SDAC III


Our first workshop in October let entrepreneurs practice their 1-mintue pitches and receive feedback. The pitches were coming fast, along with the advice. In case you missed the tips, I’ve capture them here to help you prepare for the next Pitch Deconstructions on October 28 and December 2.

The 1-mintue pitch is an introduction or summary. There’s just not enough time for detail. Instead, use the 1-minute pitch to generate interest and a request to learn more. Mysty Rusk pointed out the 5 things she’s looking for when listening to 1-minute pitch:

  1. Technical Solution
  2. Market Opportunity
  3. Business Model
  4. Team
  5. Investment Opportunity

The Business Model describes how the business makes money. Here you can also address the sales path to reach customers and who the customers are. Mention if you already have customers using phrases such as, “first paying customers” or “top selling products.”

When talking about Team, mention if any members have experienced starting a company or an exit.

If not, talk about your expertise and domain knowledge and activities that demonstrate your commitment and passion.

In the Investment Opportunity, explain how investors make money, the stage of the company, and fundraising round. The “ask” is a way to show how investors can participate, whether it is money, hires, advisors, expertise.

Other tips and advice from the evening:

  • Slow down; don’t talk too fast.
  • Talk about benefits instead of the features.
  • Do not to spend half of the 60 seconds just talking about the product. Investors are not buying a product. They are buying a company. Sell them on the company, not the product.
  • Continue to educate investors when they ask you questions, especially in a big room.
  • If investors give you advice you’ve already investigated are not considering, a great response is, “I’d love to have a coffee meeting and talk you through how we got to where we’re at.” This is a great way to invite yourself to a second meeting and not put an investor on the defense.
  • End with your name and company name.
  • When investors give advice or ask questions, your job is to say, “Thank you.”

This link to our event on September 30 event, “Kickoff, Deck Development & Storytelling,” has slide presentation and the list of slides to include in the pitch deck. Look for the file titled, “2 Standard Pitch Deck MR.” As a reminder, I’ve listed them here:

  1. Elevator Pitch
  2. Problem
  3. Solution
  4. Market Sizes – including the SOM, which describes your target customers
  5. Business Model
  6. Tech/Competitive advantage – such as IP
  7. Competition – competitive matrix
  8. Marketing – how customers will find and buy from you
  9. Team
  10. Ask – deal terms, use of funds, amount raised, stage and timeline 

Be sure the check out the other E-Track workshops on the SDAC events page, and don’t forget applications for the competition are due on December 16, 2020.