Pitching + Startup basics

This is a summary of the sessions given to us interns at National Instruments during Summer 2017.

  • Pitch Please by Priscilla Sharuk
  • Business Empowerment session by Fadi Bizri

When pitching a new idea, one must cover 12 things: (each within a slide or set of slides)

  1. Logo
  2. Problem (might be presented through a story)
  3. Solution/Value proposed (how will our idea solve the problem)
  4. Market (who is going to be interested in using our idea)
  5. Go-to-market strategy (how will we target the market, launch…)
  6. Business model (how do we make money, costs vs. revenues, etc.)
  7. Competition (who is already out there providing something similar)
  8. Competitive advantage (what makes us better?)
  9. Team (why are we the right people to be doing this?)
  10. Traction (where are we so far)
  11. Ask
  12. Contact

Some tips while presenting:

  • say “we”
  • use icons instead of bullet points
  • on slides with graphs, put the conclusion of the graph as title
  • use numbers and data people can relate to
  • don’t use acronyms
  • don’t say what your going to say (“so now I am going to talk about …” NO.)
  • defeat brain lock during practice in order to learn improvisation
  • avoid fillers (so, yeah, um…)
  • avoid editing what you said

Priscilla is the co-founder of Myki, password manager. (Her contact info is in my drive business card file)

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In the business empowerment session, the following ideas where mentioned:

  • The importance of developing code/product incrementally. Simplifying things for testing purposes. Use the waterfall method in coding (sequential and none iterative)
  • Venture Capitals need to sell their shares after 5-7 years. So if they invest in a business, it needs to scale up a lot during the first few years.
  • Talk about your project to other people, for networking purposes. It’s not the idea that is valuable but the work done to make it happen.
  • Use LEAN canvas
  • There is a 2-year lock on the entrepreneur to work full-time on the project once the investment agreement is signed.
  • It’s okay to speak to many investors. Avoid personal guarantees. Milestone-based investments are messy.

Fadi Bizri is the CEO of Speed. He also started a school to teach graduates from unprivileged backgrounds work coding experience in order to get them jobs.

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