The number of accelerators keeps dropping year after year and this directly impacts the number of applicants.
Startups that experience rapid growth might have more opportunities, but it could also prove to be a double-edged weapon for those who are trying to get a spot at an accelerator. The competition is stiffer than ever.
Accelerator programs are asking more difficult questions in response to an increase in applicants. “What’s your business model?” “How close do you come to revenue?” “How do you [investors] ultimately earn money?” You need to be able to answer these questions clearly, concisely and in a way that makes you stand out.
This is a daunting task, but these key steps will help you deliver a great pitch.
Keep your eyes on the facts, and leave the “maybes” out
Many startups fail because they can’t solve a problem. According to CB Insights, 42% of startups fail because they don’t meet a specific market need.
Consider DealDey as an example. Although it secured $5 million in funding, DealDey was shut down the following week in December 2018. Other sources have confirmed that DealDey officially closed its doors in 2015.
Accelerators need to ensure that customers have a real need. This is crucial. It is crucial.
Market research is the best way for you to prove that your problem exists. Engage directly with potential customers to conduct surveys about their pain points and needs.
Hard research is a better way to impress accelerators.
Place your cards on the table
Accelerators want to understand and solve your problem once they have a clear idea of it.
Although it sounds simple, Marketing Experiments found that many companies have difficulty identifying and properly articulating their value proposition.
A value proposition that is clear, unique, and understandable is often a good one. It doesn’t depend on superlatives or jargon.
Describe your solution and, more importantly, what makes it different from the rest.
Ideally, people should understand your value proposition within five seconds.
Accelerators want to know your unique contribution as a founder. They want to know that you are an active participant, and contribute to the culture and chemistry.
Many accelerators are looking for people who are willing to work hard and drive growth.
Keep on track and tell a story
It’s not a good idea to just go on about it. Keep your pitch short, concise and clear.
You can also look at TED Talks to find inspiration. Although most speakers at TED Talks pitch business ideas, they are trained to be master storytellers.
Talks are usually short and succinct, which is important. Follow the format of TED Talks to reveal your biggest idea in just two minutes.