Pitch to investors or banks

Learn from our talk with an experienced business angel and a business advisor what to focus on, when pitching your business idea to an investor or a bank.

If you choose to search the web for inspiration on how to pitch a business idea, you will no doubt find loads in both writings and on video. Chances are you will properly end up more confused than before beginning your search for inspiration. But, maybe some good, honest advice, from the sort of people you are likely to be pitching to, will actually be of great value to you.

“I want to see documentation for, why your business idea is worth my investment.”

The investor: Energy and excitement is key

Mentor, investor and business owner Casper Dreymann, who is very much involved in an organization of Danish business angels, has experienced his fair share of business idea presentations. So, what does he focus on when presented to a new business idea? His answer is worth paying attention to:

“First of all, I focus on the person behind the company; on their professional background and accomplishments. Then I focus on their presentation, their energy, and excitement. And then I focus on their business idea.”

Investors and business angels like Casper are naturally interested in the business side of your company, in how you plan to make a profit and make it worth for him to invest in you. But, contrary to what you might anticipate, budgets and numbers are not what Casper is mainly focused on when you present your business idea to him:

“Make a great presentation of your idea. Tell me about yourself. Show me your product. Show me, that you have done your research, that you know your market and that you have the determination to pull this through. I want to see the documentation for, why your business idea is worth my investment.”

“Be prepared. Know your business plan inside out, and be ready to answer every possible question.”

The bank: Being realistic is crucial

Business advisor Thomas from Nordea Copenhagen has worked as an advisor for start-ups and new small businesses for more than 3 years. In his opinion, new companies need to be realistic in terms of planning their business and budget. Especially, if approaching a bank, he recommends, that you send the business plan and budget in advance – before the meeting.

- “You need to be prepared. You need to know your business plan inside out. You need to know every detail in your budget and be able to answer all questions. And you need to be realistic.”

That doesn’t mean your ideas should be less ambitious or brave. You need to be bold and believe in your idea to convince an advisor like Thomas. But, you need to show that your idea is realistic, and one way to do that is to bring along your product or a prototype. Or in case you want to open a shop, a café or a restaurant, bring along pictures of the place or anything that will help the bank get a better understanding of your business dream.

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