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Pitch Perfect: “A startup must be able to inspire content and emotions”

Entrepreneurial spirit, technical know-how down to the last detail, big, but also comprehensible visions and a good deal of self-confidence – these are the qualities that dozens of founders have scored at the pitches of the #humand Challenge and many other events in front of prominent specialist juries. For such presentations to work, everything has to fit – from the information presented to the experts to the appearance of the founders who are on stage.

“A lot of analytical work”

“A startup must be able to explain, either through business plan or pitch, which customer problem is resolved and can provide a realistic estimate of what USP represents the product or service to customers. There is a lot of analytical work behind this, “says Bernhard Sagmeister, managing director of aws (Austria Wirtschaftsservice).” It is important to rely on well-researched data and facts to describe the product understandably, including the market, unique selling points. ”

Aws is one of the most important institutions in Austria when it comes to promoting startups. The aws team has already seen a lot of pitches – and has concrete expectations for founders who present their business models.

“It must be immediately clear which need is met”

Ralf Kunzmann, managing director of aws Gründerfonds, agrees. As a subsidiary of aws, the Gründerfonds supports equity start-ups with equity capital of EUR 70 million. In total, the aws Gründerfonds together with its partners has invested over 150 million euros in 30 investments – most recently, for example, it invested in the Tyrolean startup Securo.

“The business plan and the pitch should explain the business model or the product simply, briefly and succinctly,” says Kunzmann. “It must be immediately clear which need is met with it. If the founder still has a good and safe appearance, then that’s half the battle. ”

The checklist for the perfect pitchdeck

Central to presentations and applications for pitch events is the pitch deck. This has to answer important questions about the startup, before the founder or founders declare their company on the stage. “For us an onepager as application is not sufficient. The content is too compressed here. For us, a meaningful pitch deck is a prerequisite, “says Viktor Pasquali, who is responsible for i2 Business Angels at aws.

In the pitchdeck, it is important to list the following relevant content for the evaluator

Is the description of the product / service easy to understand? Is a unique selling point or the demarcation to the competition sufficiently presented? What is the status quo of the company: Are there already customers or sales? If yes, in what amount? Ideally, the start-up can score with well-known reference customers. But also other traction is important here. How many users has a service, how many downloads, transactions etc. All already occurred / resp. Pledged financings including amount should be disclosed. (Equity of founders / Family / Friends; Promotions; Bank loans, crowdfunding, investors, etc.) The founding team must be introduced. In particular, the know-how in the start-up team that is relevant for startup needs to be presented. Training professional experience etc. A photo with first name and age is not meaningful enough. Not least, the expectations and the expected market should be outlined. Again, it is important to argue on the basis of comprehensible facts and serious sources.

“Last but not least, these points should be worked up well structured. A feedback session with someone unfamiliar with the product is highly recommended. This quickly makes it clear which content should be presented even more clearly. A professional layout and a careful presentation also give an impression of how it works “, Pasquali continued.

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