I heard four early stage life sciences entrepreneurs give their (nominally) ten minute investor pitch this morning. Some appeared to have very little data to back up their value proposition, some had a lot.
Each tried to explain the underlying science of their invention and each lost at least part of the audience in the process.
Hint: Talking Faster to Squeeze in More Facts Does NOT Make Your Pitch Easier to Understand!!!!
Don't get me wrong: I know that without a technology, you don't have a high tech business.
But here's the problem: if you spend 6 minutes of a 10 minute pitch talking about underlying science, you're not leaving much time to talk about business. And without business strategy, tactics and intelligence, you also don't have a business.
Pitch What, Not How
When you have ten minutes to pitch, you should plan on spending NO MORE THAN 90 seconds on your technology. That is the only way to make room for the customer and market analysis, competitive analysis, intellectual property strategy, business model and other business issues that are CRITICAL to the success of your company, let alone your pitch.
Less Is More in an Initial Pitch
So do you and your audience a favor: just touch on the technology in terms of what it does and not how it works. If the investors are interested, they'll ask questions... and that's a good thing! A pitch is much more a conversation than a presentation, and your goal is to get them intrigued enough that they want to talk more and have another meeting, preferably one to which they invite their friends.
"It's Not Possible"
Of the 500+ times I've coached entrepreneurs on their 10 minute pitch, I'd say that at least 75% of the time, they tell me there's no way they can pitch their sophisticated technology in just 90 seconds. I say 500+ good ten minute pitches say otherwise!
If you want to learn more about how to pitch your business and not just your invention, please sign up for my free 2-minute video series, "The 10 Questions Every Investor Pitch Should Answer."
What do you think? How much time do you spend on business vs. technology in your initial pitch?