Many things have changed in the startup world as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, but one thing hasn’t: The need to have a great pitch.
It takes a village to be successful with a new venture. Entrepreneurs need great mentors, connections, employees, funding, and other resources to make it happen. Pitching is how to get them.
Telling people the story of your startup, and getting others to buy in, is the only way to attract the right people to help you.
But, for most entrepreneurs, pitching is as fun as a glitchy connection on a Zoom call. It shouldn’t be that way. Sharing a big idea with the world is amazing! So, I wrote a book to make it easier.
My new book, First Pitch: Winning Money, Mentors, and More for Your Startup, takes the pitch process and breaks it down into manageable bites, providing actionable advice and stories from Babson alumni entrepreneurs. I want to help founders take those first few steps and start to get others enrolled in their new venture. This is how a new venture takes on life. And, now is the best time to do it.
Build Storytelling Skills
People have asked me if launching the book during this chaotic time makes sense. And, my answer is always the same—a resounding yes. It will be the entrepreneurs who lead us out of this and into our new future. And, they need the tools to do it.
Take, for example, Ravish Majithia MBA’18 and his company, Magnomer. The inventor of a magnetic ink that could revolutionize how plastic is recovered and recycled, Majithia had a world-changing idea. But, every time he told his story, his scientific-self got mired in the technical details. No one cared.
After crafting his pitch to create an emotional connection with his audience and use storytelling skills to show why the world needs Magnomer, everything changed. He could communicate about his company in a way that put people on the edge of their seats and what’s more, they now wanted to help.
Create Personal Connections
In reality, thinking about a pitch as just a presentation sells the whole process short. Pitching is something entrepreneurs will do nearly every day from the start of their journey.
But, it’s not just what you say. Pitching is personal. Much like everything else important in life, how you present yourself and your ideas, create trust, and build strong relationships drives the result. Understanding your audience and delivering your message in a clear and compelling way have never been more critical. Our current context makes it harder to do this.
But, that context also creates an opportunity. I think people are craving connection, something to believe in and cheer for. Why not you? This chaotic and uncertain time forces us to see almost everything in a totally new light. What’s broken, where can we problem solve, how we can secure a better future? Use this moment to put your unique perspective and insight to work.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in many years working with startups is that entrepreneurship is a team sport. It’s impossible to create the next big thing in a vacuum. So, get out there, tell people about your idea and why now is the right time for it. The world badly needs entrepreneurs to innovate our way into the new normal.
Posted in Research & Insights