Tips for a Successful Pitch

Open Network Lab (Onlab) has started the Seed Accelerator Program since April 2010, which aims to “develop World-Class startup companies”.

We have supported and developed more than 90 startup companies. Our support included an offer of activity funds and office space, as well as a mentoring by specialists to brush up their projects. 

Onlab also offers lectures of pitch during the program.

We assume that some of you have been struggling with pitch in your product presentations.

In this article, we introduce you how to make successful pitch documents.


Three tips for pitches

There are three kinds of pitches in startups as it follows, and DemoDav of Onlab is relevant with a pitch contest.

※This article introduces how to pitch for a pitch contest.



1. Decide one strong point of your product

It is perfectly understandable that you have a lot of points that you want to discuss in your pitch, however, the listener’s concentration does not last so long. Because some people might be doing their own work at the same time when listening to your pitch, it also does not make a decisive explanation of the service when you incorporate too many factors. You have to decide one strong point that makes listeners want to invest in.

Then how do you narrow your points down? Speaking of raising funds, VC focuses on the following points.

  •       Target the growing market
    Anyhow, you should target the growing markets. Many case studies such as social games and viral media have proved so.
  •     Services that can beat your competitors
    It is important to build an attention-grabbing pitch that everyone can be convinced to use your services.
  •     Cool management
    The management who have clear ambitions and take risks to accomplish their goal always look fascinating.

Give the most outstanding pitch to make VC want to talk to you directly.


2. Build the structure and the story

It overlaps with the points that VC takes notice of, however, a pitch is usually structured by four parts.

Elaborate the story following. There are important points of each factors.

It is important whether the issue is worth spending money for to solve or not. In your pitch, you must tell how deep or big the issue is. However, it is also significant to show solutions directly, not in a roundabout way.

When explaining about the product, you have to make clear that you have advantages over your rivals. Give specific numbers to make convincing arguments. “UU 300% up in 3 months” or “300 companies registered only 2 weeks after LP opened” are some examples.

The YC Seed Deck Template

Some make mistakes in that when they try to make the market look bigger to appeal to the investors. However, try to make honest and convincing arguments. You should tell the necessity of your service, comparing to the competitors.

For example, if you are making a service for doctors without having any knowledge about the medical industry, it gives customers distrust. Make a clear vision of what you want to achieve as a team.

3. Incorporate your AHA experiences

Provide some unique factors and story in your pitch that attract and convince listeners. Competitive advantages or secret source are good examples to talk because they help investors increase the possibility of the idea of taking flight.


4. One slide, One message

Make your own story with 10~15 slides, using the description above. If your pitch is 5 minutes long, your slides should not exceed 15 slides. It is important not to tell everything about your products but to make the most impressive explanation among other startups. Just impress them to make a new appointment and tell details of your products with VC during that.


Final Technique

8 Tips to make a successful pitch document

In Onlab, we use the storyboard below to make structures of pitch. Fill in the blanks with a term, not with a long-phrase. Although, it does not always have to be in this order. For example, you can introduce your team on the first slide when you are presenting a service in medical fields composed by doctors.

Furthermore, you can definitely learn by reading previous pitch documents or watching various kinds of good pitch. You can take a look of some good examples of pitch during Onlab’s invitation period below. Please make use of it!

Startup Pitch Decks