4 things every start-up should
have to market their deal
should have four things to market their deal:
The Elevator Pitch
The elevator pitch is a capsule comment which
summarizes the essence of your deal - what it is,
why it's different, why it's big, and why you're
sharp. This is your verbal calling card.
It must be concise, solve a problem, review benefits
and the pain, include the business model, have a
call to action, attract attention and describe the
product in less than 25 words.
Your elevator pitch is not, however, strictly about
content. You also need to remember your delivery.
Demonstrate enthusiasm, place emphasis at appropriate
times. Ensure that the messaging is consistent across
the organization – use similar phrasing, tell
the same story.
Sample one sentence product description:
CarDiagnostics has developed a patented hardware
and software solution for your wireless device that
plugs into your car lighter and identifies and advises
you what, if anything in your car, needs repair.
Another sample one sentence product
Cardiagnostic develops a simple hardware and software
solution for your wireless device that performs
a diagnostic on your automobile then identifies
mechanical problems and potential solutions.
Sample thirty seconds:
Consumers feel frustrated not understanding their
vehicle – the mechanic seems to have the upper
hand. The Cartest product by CarDiagnostic puts
you back in the driver's seat. We've developed a
patented hardware and software solution for your
wireless device that plugs into your car lighter
and identifies and advises you what, if anything,
needs repair. It takes 60 seconds, and saves you
unnecessary mechanic's bills. We've beta tested
our solution with a major car manufacturer and we're
in negotiations with Canada's largest car accessories
distributor. We're ready to go to the next level
and would like an opportunity to discuss this exciting
product with you.
Page Business Summary
The 4-page business summary captures your deal,
not your business. It outlines the idea, your edge,
the competition, the size of the opportunity, your
team, and what's been done to date. It speaks to
"why should I invest?", not "what
is your plan to grow".
Many entrepreneurs attempt to write their summary
prior to their business plan. Unfortunately it doesn't
work this way. You need to have done the research
for the complete plan and then synthesize this data
for the summary development.
- 15 page PowerPoint presentation
The 12 - 15 slide show again captures the essence
of your opportunity ("why should I invest")
in a presentation format.
The Tech Coast angels recommend the following in
the PowerPoint presentation:
Eleven must-have slides
- Cover – business positioning statement
– framework for listening. One sentence
what we do.
- Market – the need and what customers
have this need – what creates the demand
for your solution
- Solution – product, core benefit
- Competitive position – who they are and
- Marketing/sales/support – channels and
- Business strategy – growing beyond launch
- Financial projections
- Funding sought
- Exit strategies
You should also review Rainer Paduch's pitch outline
suggestions from his “Catching the Beast”
presentation: (Slide 11 and 12 in Rainer Paduch's
Catching the Beast presentation within the Tools
For the Ottawa Venture Capital Fair (create a link),
we suggest the participating companies follow this
outline. Please keep in mind, however, that these
companies only have10 minutes to present.
Good plans are usually simple plans. Good ideas
do not require 150 pages to tell the story. Most
business plans are strong on technology and weak
There are many excellent online resources to assist
you with the creation of your full business plan:
- place for sample business plans.. The site includes
25 complete plans, all of which were entries in
the 1999 Moot Corp business plan competition.
- Business plan tutorial by the SBA.
- The Canadian Science and Technology Growth Fund
has an excellent outline
A good outline of a business plan for seed funding
can be found (written by Keith Bates of Ventures
From BCE Capital:
The right business plan
We see a lot of business plans. The ones that impress
us are those that show professionalism, simplicity,
dedication and clarity. We want to know:
- who you are and what you have accomplished
- what you plan to do
- why you plan to do it
- how you plan to do it
- who your customers are
- who else is doing it and what other approaches
- why you're special
- what you hope to achieve in one year and three
- what you think the risks are