The TechCabal Startup Battlefield at Social Media Week Lagos saw 7 startups pitch to an audience made up of judges, investors, media, and tech enthusiasts such as myself. Here are three things I learnt from the event:
Don’t pitch but preach
Tech entrepreneurs have got to learn how to present their ideas in ways that are simple yet revealing. You should be able to help someone- not necessarily an investor- see the ‘big picture’ in minutes. How? Overtime, you have have to decipher what makes your start-up a winner and then put all that information together into minutes of conversation. Focus on the key issues: what problem does the business solve, what need does it address, scalability, revenue streams and others. Faced with a panel of judges, it won’t always be about the dopest idea, sometimes it’ll simply be about the idea that is best understood.
Like Shakira’s hips, numbers don’t lie
For potential investors, the numbers matter. How much investment does the business need? How much customer reach does it have? How much can it make? In this age of information, data is crucial and given that the guys you’re talking to are probably investors and are used to crunching digits, don’t bore them with excessive stories. The numbers don’t lie so strip them bare.
Show me the money
Finally, if it takes a long elaborate and windy talk to tell investors about how exactly the business will make money, then, *in Cassie’s voice* you’ve got a long way to go! Why should anyone give you money if you cannot figure out how to make it back? At the end of the day, investors are not Santa Claus. They want a clear idea of your revenue streams so, by all means, whet their appetite.