The hit show Shark Tank gives a look into what it’s like in front of investors and how entrepreneurship is growing rapidly. The current season 4 chose 96 contestants to pitch on air out of the 140 contestants selected and 36,079 applicants. The sharks will provide $12.8 million in funding this season, doubling what they funded last season. Although the show may be more fast-paced and intense than a regular pitch meeting (the sharks must make the funding decision on the spot and in a short period of time), the fundamental idea of presenting your idea and convincing investors to provide funding is the same.
From watching the show and our knowledge of pitching investors, here are guidelines for making a lasting impression and securing capital to grow your business.
Vision and Plan
Pitching companies are usually established. They have a solid concept they have developed and launched, they are already making millions, or they’re somewhere in-between. Having a solid vision and plan is important for future business growth and showing investors the company potential.
Company and Market Understanding
Entrepreneurs must know their company inside and out, such as: target market, market size, quantity already sold, profits, revenue, projected growth, etc. An elevator pitch that explains the company concept and goal is crucial. Investors need to understand what the problem is, what solution your company brings, and how the company will be successful.
Character, Passion, Humility and Guts
One of the most important things investors will look at is you, the pitcher. Dress, demeanor and your responses come to play just as any other meeting. In Shark Tank, it’s surprising to watch an entrepreneur with a brilliant idea become greedy and flustered during his/her pitch. Investors think about the future partnership and if working together will be enjoyable. It’s smart to show passion and strength but even smarter to be humble when necessary.
Before you pitch investors, think through what you envision for your company. Angel investors and venture capitalists require company equity in exchange for funding. Instead of diluting your company, consider factoring or asset based lending. If you have more questions, take a look at these blog posts or contact us today!