Pitching investors can be hard, especially if you haven’t done it before. Fortunately like most things in life, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Some of the best founders are great storytellers - able to explain how they they will solve the problem they are solving succinctly and confidently. But not every founder possesses these traits, and so I will outline below some tips that will help you stand out.
As RLC Ventures is a UK VC fund, this advice will be targeted towards entrepreneurs pitching VC and Angel Investors in the UK - but our advice will ultimately be applicable to most founders.
Here are the 5 tips we think you should consider before getting into a meeting with any sort of investor -
Give the process the attention and focus it deserves, much like any other function within your company. Ensure you have set aside time in your calendar to open investor conversations and leverage your network.
It is obvious to investors if you are half engaged with the process, and just testing to see if there’s interest. It should either be a binary status, fundraising or not. One thing we have really seen is that fundraising is a momentum game. You need to be having all potential investors engaging or committing at similar times, otherwise the round will drag on for months. Don’t let everything else going on within your startup grind to a halt.
Angel Investor or VC Fund alike, do your homework. Check who they have recently backed?, Any competitors?, Which sectors are they actively investing in? Is yours one of them?, What stage do they invest at? Much like you would do when profiling or validating sales leads, you should undertake a similar process with your investors.
Except for the 1% of founders who have had multiple successful exits and existing relationships with VC funds, statistically speaking you are going to get a lot of passes. Ensure you give yourself the best chances of success by speaking to as many investors as possible.
More opportunities = higher chance of success. Break them down into a prioritised ranking e.g. top 5 most desirable, 10 you’d like to work with, the rest. Pitch the investors you care less about closing first, as they will help polish your pitch and process before reaching your most desired targets. If you are in control of your pipeline, you can manage the process more effectively.
If you are loading your pitch decks with text, it is likely the investor will lose attention and disengage. The purpose for you as the founder is to highlight any key data or insights, and bring them to the forefront of the pitch. Make investors excited by the opportunity, and really signpost it for them. They will want the detail as some point, but sprinkle it in sparingly.
When speaking to Angel Investors in the UK, it is definitely worth understanding their motives. A big focus for them in addition to backing exciting businesses, is to be taking advantage of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). Ensure you have already achieved Advanced Assurance or are a qualifying business. You can read more on this in our guide here.
See also our guide to building an investor Pitch Deck.
To submit a pitch to RLC Ventures, please refer to our Investment Criteria page.