Pitching an emotional story
Pitching is super hard; I’ve heard a lot of pitches at events, and have also work with many teams to help them articulate their businesses. Most of the time, the pitches that I hear leave me hanging and wanting for more because I am left with a bunch of questions.
I understand why it’s hard to pitch a business. The founders I work with are often engineers and product managers. After staring at the businesses on a micro-level, it is extremely hard to break away from that and articulate the businesses and visions in a way that other people can understand.
In the last three months, I worked with 9 teams to help them frame their businesses at our accelerator program, JFDI.Asia in Singapore. I was there with them every step. From nailing down the problem that is worth solving, to experimenting with solutions, to capturing tractions; their babies are my babies in many ways.
In the back of our head, we knew: we knew that everything we did in 100-day was to prepare us for Demo Day. All the evidences we collected will help us convince investors that we found a gold mine; and these were the right founders to get the project to product/market fit and beyond.
So, we spent a lot of time on learning how to work an investor pitch. There is a sequence that I really believe in. It’s about story telling.
You need to help people understand why you are doing what you are doing, and establish an emotional connection: Steve Jobs and Simon Sinek are great at doing this.
Here are the 10 things we focused on:
- Opening Start strong with an emotional & relatable opening
- Problem Twist the knife in the wound, help people understand the problem
- Solution Clarity sets in, mind blown
- Traction Investors: Oh, this actually has some meat
- Market Investors: This is credible, believable
- Business Model Investors: Shit, I need to talk to this guy
- Team Convince them why your expertise gives you an advantage
- Vision Your wildest dreams, where to take this in medium/long term
- The Ask Give them a reason to engage
- Closing Remind them of the 3 things you want them to remember
In closing, I’ll attempt to pitch one of our team’s idea:
- Opening In 2010, my dad retired. I gave him my savings and asked him to use the money for health checkups and fun. However, in 2012, I got a call and flew home; my dad had to undergo an open heart surgery.
- Problem When I got home, I learned that the money I asked him to use was sitting in a savings account under my name. I felt helpless being away from him because I couldn’t make sure that he looked after himself. I can send him money, but clearly that wasn’t working. A lot of Asian families have this problem we learned.
- Solution So instead of sending him more money, we decided to build OurHealthMate. Our solution allows expatriates to send money directly to doctors’ offices for booking appointments; we simply ask parents to show up for check ups already paid for. Doctors will also send feedback directly back to expatriates to give them a peace of mind.
- Traction In the last 8 weeks, we’ve signed up 50+ clinics in five cities in India at an 80% conversion rate. We also sold 30 health packages to expatriates and have already connected patients to doctors through checkups.
- Market This market is huge because Indian NRIs send on average 10BN dollars per year for the purpose of healthcare and education back home through traditional money transfer means.
- Business Model We capture this market by charging commissions for the bookings. On average, a booking is 20 bucks, and we make 10%.
- Team Everyone of our team is an expatriate with parents and family members back in India, and we also have online payment backgrounds.
- Vision We believe this problem isn’t just limited to India. Think about the Philippines, China.
- The Ask We’re looking for funding to help us grow to 40 cities in India by the end of the year, and allow us the foundation to start exploring markets abroad.
- Closing We are OurHealthMate. We are tackling a 10BN dollars market, have 80% conversion rates, and are already making money in five cities.
Obviously, Abhinav does a much better job: