Fundraising is a time-consuming process, and it is important to plan right. Begin by making a well-defined and crisp pitch deck, and be prepared for all kinds of questions even if you don’t have the answers. While there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ rule for fundraising, these factors can help make or break your pitch. 1) The art of story telling It is important to ensure that your pitch has all the relevant information (market size, audience, team, revenue model, and numbers), but it is also vital to build a story. A fundraising pitch is made to a team of people, and human beings always connect to a story. The numbers and cold hard facts can build on the foundation of a good story. The story needs to clearly define the problem you are intending to solve. Doing so ensures that your audiences can relate to the problem and start believing that it needs a solution. 2) Define your audience While you tell your story and the problem you are trying to solve, make sure you address the audience facing the problem and detail out how your solution will solve it for them. Define the age group, the demography, the income brackets, and - if possible - behaviour patterns. Try and flesh out as many details as possible. This shows that you have done your research, and understand how you will solve the problem and the space. 3) Flesh out the business model How do you make money or intend to make money if you are an early-stage startup? How much are you going to charge your customer? If your product is free, what costs will you incur and what is the alternate source of income? This part is important as every investor looks for an exit and returns on the investment they make. Your revenue or business model will give them the confidence that eventually the business will make money and their capital will be returned. 4) Focus on the team It is your team that brings fruition to all your grand plans. Your plans, projections, vision, and ideas will be executed by your team. Along with believing in you, it is also important that the investors believe in your team. You need to convince them why investing in this particular team and product will be a profitable form of investment. 5) Keep an eye on the competition Avoid telling the investor that yours is the only product in the market that will address the problem. There will be some form of competition, either in the domestic market or globally. Being the first in a space does not necessarily mean you can capture the market. Think of it this way: Google wasn’t the first search engine, and Facebook wasn’t the first social media platform. They nevertheless gained significant mind and market share. Your pitch needs to define the differentiator of your product and service, and how it will be better than what is already available in the market. In conclusion, while you are fundraising, build a compelling story that defines the problem, audience, and market. And let the story explain how your team aims to capture that space despite the presence of other players.
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