Investor Pitch Presentation Lessons from Shark Tank

You have the perfect business idea, a product, or a service that would revolutionize the world we live in. The zeal to implement this business idea is so intense it doesn’t let you sleep at night and also made you resign from your full-time job. You can see it’s a success and you imagine yourself as a millionaire, a business icon on the cover of all business newspapers and magazines. But then reality hits you hard, your business idea would need investment more than your savings to become a reality, and also you would need experienced business tycoons to guide you: venture capitalists. Shark Tank is one of the popular TV shows where these angel investors are looking to invest and mentor your budding start-up. These investors are pioneers in their own field with strong business acumen, negotiation skills, and a very short span of attention. Your one mistake or unplanned pitch presentation can make investors lose interest in your proposition in a fraction of seconds as Robert Herjavec in one interview said “you have just 30 seconds to impress us”.

Any investor pitch presentation to any venture capitalist/angel investor is very much the same as in the Shank Tank TV series. We have outlined few lessons for budding start-ups to learn from the show on how to make your investor pitch presentation impressive and investment-worthy.

1. Be excited! If you are not excited about your business idea then who would be? Positive energy and enthusiasm are infectious, it also tells your angel investors you are self-motivated and confident of your business idea. High volt energy also helps you in creating the first impression to make them like you before you even start pitching your presentation. A venture capitalist is not just investing in your business plan, he is investing in you as well, as eventually, they would work with you if they invest in your business. Dress smartly, smile a lot, listen and nod a lot!

2. Know your numbers: How well you know your business is often proved when you have all the numbers at your fingertip, as a business is all about numbers. Customer acquisition cost? Company Valuation? Expenses? Projected Profits? Break-even time frame? Product manufacturing cost? Sales year-to-date? Projected annual sales? you should know every number and penny which goes in and comes out of your business in the present and also for the future and be realistic in that. Investors like valuation to relate to actual business numbers, such as sales, gross margin (price less direct costs), and burn rate or fixed costs.

3. Demonstrate your business idea like a salesman: There is no better way to convince investors about your product/service than by demonstrating it. Let them taste it, smell it, wear it, try it, let them get involved with your business idea. Tell them real-life emotional or funny stories about your business idea so that they get more connected with your idea and understand the story behind your idea.

4. Research and substantiate your idea: You have to research the pain area / the problem for which your business idea is a solution. Ask yourself: Actually, is it a big problem? How many people actually face it? Can you substantiate it with some number through little research? Investors allocate budget for real products/services which are addressing the need (a gap in the market) and is the solution to a real problem faced by many.

5. Be crisp and be a good storyteller: All investors are mostly flooded with business pitches all the time and you should capture the problem you intend to solve with your business idea in the first minute itself of your pitch presentation. Your over-excitement of your business idea can entice you to share anything and everything your business has done and your plans for the future in your pitch. Don’t! Your goal is to get the attention of your investors. Keep your pitch presentation short, visually engaging, and don’t be scared to leave bits of information out of your pitch that they’re likely to ask about after you’re done.

Author: Prasun Joshi - CEO & Founder, Graphi Tales - Presentation Design Agency

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