How to Make a Fundraising Presentation?

The flow of the presentation is vital for striking a chord with investors.

The fundraising presentation is one of the primary documents essential to any early-stage company fundraising process. The time spent with potential investors becomes most effective if you have an impactful fundraising presentation.

The flow of the presentation is vital for striking a chord with investors and displaying the narrative of the business. Going through a successful pitch deck slide by slide is one of the most effective ways to learn how to build a flow.

There is no single formula for a pitch deck. Otherwise, startup founders wouldn’t spend so much time banging their heads against walls trying to get them just right. However, we have listed some ideas that you can apply immediately so that your next investor presentation leaves you – and your investor – smiling and happy.

Know your audience

Knowing your audience is key to good communication. At a startup, you will pitch to multiple audiences: customers, partners, recruits, and investors. Although you may be able to reuse some content between these audiences, you’ll need to make sure you devote time to a slide deck that focuses on the investor perspective.

Ask yourself:

Who exactly is my potential investor – and what do they want?

What do I want to achieve – how will I sell our investment opportunity?

How can I hook people – by grabbing their attention early on?

What is my takeaway message – the one that I want them to remember afterward?

Define and refine your investment story

The way you frame your investment story influences how an investor sees you. Most successful fundraisers craft a compelling story around their strategy and tell it passionately. According to Forbes, the perfect selling story involves being relatable, detailing a conflict, presenting the resolution, and demonstrating results. The investors need to understand why your opportunity is special and what makes it stand out from others.

Structure your presentation like a story

The best fundraising presentations are ones where you take the investors on a journey. A simple structure – with a clear beginning, middle and end – demonstrates the command of your own story. It also helps investors quickly grasp what you do.

But remember, all you’re trying to do with the pitch deck is get their “greed glands” flowing. If you do that, there will be plenty of opportunities to give them more details. If you overwhelm them with too much detail at this point, they may miss the big picture.

Make sure you are ready

The best way to communicate your business to investors is to know your business!

Investors get frustrated by presenters who avoid, second-guess or provide scrambled answers to questions. Remember that it is their job to ask questions and be critical. We recommend that you prepare for the Q&A session as much as you do for the fundraising presentation itself. Prepare your answers and rehearse delivering them confidently together as a team – the last thing you want is your team being surprised by each other’s answers. 

Fundraising Donations Charity Foundation Support Concept

Make a good impression

Impressions are everything – investors’ perception of your team when you are with them is what matters.

Apart from preparing the presentation, you should also prepare yourself and the team. Remember that nonverbal communication can be just as important as what is said.

So, do extensive rehearsals on camera with the team so they are investor-ready. During the presentation, pay attention to what you do when your colleagues speak.

Look engaged and interested – show that you are as interested in your investors as you want them to be in you.

What Do Investors Look For In Startups?

Investors essentially buy a piece of the company with their investment. Here are some qualities investors look for in a startup that acts as deciding factors for funding.

  1. Objective and Problem Solving: The offering of any startup should be differentiated to solve a unique customer problem or meet specific customer needs. Ideas or products that are patented show high growth potential for investors.
  2. Management & Team: The passion, experience, and skills of the founders and the management team to drive the company forward are equally crucial deciding factors for investors.
  3. Market Landscape: Mention the market size, obtainable market share, product adoption rate, historical and forecasted market growth rates, and macroeconomic drivers for the market you plan to target in the funding proposal.
  4. Scalability & Sustainability: Startups should showcase the potential to scale shortly, along with a sustainable and stable business plan. They should also consider barriers to entry, imitation costs, growth rate, and expansion plans.
  5. Customers & Suppliers: In the funding proposal, state a clear identification of your buyers and suppliers. Consider customer relationships, stickiness to your product, vendor terms, and existing vendors.
  6. Competitive Analysis: Highlight the true picture of competition and other players in the market working on similar things in the proposal. There can never be an apple-to-apple comparison but highlighting the service or product offerings of similar players in the industry is important.
  7. Sales & Marketing: No matter how good your product or service may be, if it does not find any end-use, it is no good. Consider things like a sales forecast, targeted audiences, product mix, conversion and retention ratio, etc.
  8. Financial Assessment: A detailed financial business model that showcases cash inflows over the years, investments required key milestones, break-even points, and growth rates. Assumptions used at this stage should be reasonable and mentioned in the proposal.
  9. Exit Avenues: A startup showcasing potential future acquirers or alliance partners becomes a valuable decision parameter for the investor. Initial public offerings, acquisitions, and subsequent rounds of funding are all examples of exit options.

Product Development Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

The six stages outlined above will get your team through all steps of the process, from initial idea screening to the development phase.

Bringing your vision for an original new product to life is frequently one of the biggest hurdles for aspiring entrepreneurs.

However, it has become crucial for businesses to keep updating their products to conform to current trends. The business environment is dynamic and competitive, and new product development is one of the best ways to withstand competition.

What Is the Product Development Process?

Product development encompasses all steps to take a product from concept to market availability. It is the overall process of strategy, organization, concept generation, product and marketing plan creation and evaluation, and commercialization of a new product.

Product development requires the work and input of many teams across a business, including Development, Design, Marketing, Sales, Finance, and Testing. Product managers act as the strategic directors of the development process and oversee the progress.

Bringing your vision for an original new product to life is frequently one of the biggest hurdles for aspiring entrepreneurs.
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How to decide on a startup idea?

Many people want to be entrepreneurs but not everybody has a plan. This article explores ways to decide on a startup idea.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For an entrepreneur, that first step is coming up with that game-changing idea. In today’s era, many people want to be entrepreneurs but not everybody has a plan. They know they want to start a business, but they don’t know the first steps to take. So, in this article, we explore ways to get an idea for a startup and act upon them. But before we get started, let’s first understand what a startup is.

Understanding Startups

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.”- Guy Kawasaki, AllTop Co-founder

The term startup refers to a company in the first stages of operations. Startups are founded by one or more entrepreneurs who want to develop a product or service for which they believe there is demand.

Rooted in innovation, a startup aims to remedy deficiencies of existing products or create entirely new categories of goods and services, disrupting entrenched ways of thinking and doing business for entire industries.

What is a business idea?

A business idea is a concept you may come up with to provide offerings, like products or services, to a customer or client base. The objective of most business ideas is to form a company that makes a profit, connects with a target audience, and can provide a unique solution to a customer’s needs. A business idea is the first step toward forming an official business that continues to grow in success.

How To Decide On A Startup Idea?

You might have been told to pursue big ideas, find your passion and iterate rapidly. That’s valuable advice, but there are some other important considerations that you don’t hear very often: tackle a small market that has a real chance of being huge in the future.

Whether big or small, here are ways of generating startup ideas.

  • Notice Ideas Organically: If you’re not starting a company right now, this should be your preferred approach. While it is possible to sit down and explicitly think of startup ideas, the best way to have startup ideas is to notice them organically. There are great startup ideas all around you, and when you have a prepared mind, you see them everywhere. To have startup ideas organically, you first have to know what a good startup idea looks like, so you notice them when you encounter them. Then, you just keep an eye out for things that seem missing in the world.
  • Join an Existing Startup: Many of the most successful startups came from ideas that the founders had while working at someone else’s startup. If you’re working at the forefront of some field, really any field, you’ll see good startup ideas before other people. It’s particularly helpful to go work at an existing startup. If you’re planning to start a startup way in the future, this is the desirable way to go about it.
  • Solve a Personal Problem: Think of things you wish existed or someone else would build for you. One of the better ways to come up with great small business startup ideas is to try to solve a personal problem; some sort of pain point that you have to deal with all the time, and just wished that there was something out there that could make your life just that little bit easier. Your job as an entrepreneur isn’t to complain, but to find a solution. Solving a problem that you already know exists, guarantees that there are others out there that are experiencing the same thing and are looking for a solution only you can bring. And just like that you have a guaranteed user base you can start selling to.
  • Revive Broken Industries: Any industry that seems broken is probably ripe for disruption. Pablo Picasso famously said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” In this modern age where the majority of entrepreneurs are aiming for disruptive innovation, it’s hard to deny the fact that there have been other incredibly successful entrepreneurs who have made their millions off creating foreign clones of pre-existing ideas. However, simply copying a pre-existing product isn’t going to cut it. You must provide value beyond what already exists. You have to legitimately fix a problem that your predecessor couldn’t solve, and not just be a cheap gimmick that possesses change for the sake of change.
  • Follow Your Passion: Passion is a key ingredient to success. If you don’t have passion as an entrepreneur, you have nothing. The constant element found in the success stories of those who followed their passion wasn’t just a singular desire to make money off their hobby. It was coupled with a passion for change, to create meaning. That said, remember that not everything you’re passionate about doesn’t necessarily make a good place to look for a startup idea or have a clear path to being a big business.

The Next Steps:

Don’t fall into the belief that having a great idea is all you need. If you have a great idea, then you’ve successfully completed the first step of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Now set some goals, build yourself a clear vision, and let your idea take shape. Work hard to turn your idea into a reality and let it change the world.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur struggling to figure out how to move from the ideation stage to the product development stage, you can join the I2MF program to turn your idea into a sellable product.

How to Validate a Product-Market Fit?

Have you ever thought about how to establish a business when you’re unsure whether your product will meet market demand? If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve almost certainly done so. Finding the ideal approach is difficult, whether you’re disrupting the industry with creative ideas or tackling issues in your unique way. That is why the majority of businesses suffer in their early phases of development.

To bring your product strategy to light, every product must be validated for product-market fit before launch and through successive iterations. Every company needs to validate its product-market fit to go further in the product development phase. 

In this article, we explore ways to validate a product-market fit. But before we do that, let’s understand what a product-market fit is.

The goal of a product-market validation is to reduce risk and validate a product concept within its intended market.

What is a product-market fit?

Product/Market Fit is a well-known idea in the startup community. While it is commonly used in discussions about new high-growth businesses, it does not appear to have caught on in the rest of the business world.

Product-market fit refers to a situation in which a company’s target consumers buy, use, and tell others about its product in sufficient numbers to keep it growing and profitable. It is the degree to which a product satisfies strong market demand. Product-market fit happens when you successfully identify your target customer and serve them with the right product. 

What is product-market validation?

The most important milestone for a business is the confirmation of a Product-Market Fit (PMF). It entails demonstrating that the product has progressed to a point where the market is willing to purchase it. While founders are focused on consumer research and product creation before Product-Market Fit, but post it, they may attract larger investments, ramp up marketing operations, and accelerate the company’s growth.

Most product ideas sound fantastic in our heads, but many fail the moment they reach the hands of a client. Because entering the market with a new product is always risky, real-world user testing is an essential pre-launch duty. The goal of a product-market validation is to reduce risk and validate a product concept within its intended market.

When people are satisfied with the core product’s utility and usability, product-market fit is accomplished.

Ways to validate product-market fit:

Here we will look at some of the ways to validate product-market fit:

  • Look at similar market trends

If the market you’re evaluating is slightly comparable to another market that already exists, research patterns in the more established market. Determine what works and what doesn’t, and then include that format into your offering. For example, if you are developing a yoga app, look at popular fitness applications rather than attempting to discover something entirely different, such as an app for sports vehicles.

  • Listen to feedback

The greatest method to truly grasp what your target audience desires is to listen to their input. If you are confident about your product’s capacity to address an issue, you should not be afraid to invite people to offer comments on it. Hearing what others think about your product can help you discover its strong and weak features.

  • Conduct customer surveys

Conducting surveys is an excellent technique to get a large amount of information. Using Google Consumer Surveys is one solution that will help you to keep prices down while keeping accuracy. You may learn what your users/customers think about your product and why they like or dislike it.

A well-designed survey can quickly (and inexpensively) help you develop insights into the preferences and behaviors of your target audience. Sending your survey just to your most enthusiastic or engaged consumers, for example, can distort your results. If your budget allows, use a marketing survey firm to assist with outreach and identifying the best responders.

  • Focus on customer engagement

Customer interaction is the most effective technique to determine whether a product is suitable for its target market. According to studies, goods that can successfully engage their users/customers will prosper. If you are enthusiastic about your product, you should have no trouble attracting adoring admirers who are prepared to tell everyone they know about it.

When you can preview new products or products in development to existing clients to measure their reaction or degree of interest, the magic takes place. Existing clients are already advocates of your company and usually have a keen interest in what’s to come.

  • Focus on customer retention

The greatest approach to assessing product-market fit is via retention. If you can keep your users, you can be confident that they love using your product and will continue to do so for a lengthy period. A high retention rate indicates a consistent cash flow and long-term prosperity.

A few things to remember during this journey are: 

  1. A product will prosper only if it answers consumer needs and offers a compelling value proposition.
  2. Many products don’t sell well because product managers fail to test them thoroughly enough before launching.
  3. Too many organizations, especially during the post-launch phase, spend more on advertising a product than on guaranteeing its functionality, and as a result, the product fails.

When it comes to evaluating a product and finding a market fit, marketing is a valuable tool. So, take the time to investigate and test your theory before launching your big idea into the market.

What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?

What is the fuss around entrepreneurship all about? Isn’t entrepreneur just a fancy word for businessman/businesswoman? Why is entrepreneurship talked about like it’s a whole new concept when people have been doing business since forever? These are all valid questions to ask at a time when everyone, from the government to the media to the schools and the universities, seems to be really thrilled and excited about entrepreneurship.

Before we get to “What is entrepreneurship?” and “What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?”, here’s a quick experiment for you. Go to Google Search and type entrepreneur. Open another tab and, this time, type businessman. Compare the image results the search engine throws up. Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg – these are the people whose photos Google associates with the term entrepreneur. What does the search for the term businessman return? Stock photos of stylish men clad in suit and tie, but no real living men or women! Strange, isn’t it?