Step 1: Clean up your Online Branding.
The first things an investor will see when you contact them regarding a fundraise are your email, your elevator pitch, and/or your pitch deck. The next thing they will likely do is visit your company website, your LinkedIn page, and your social media. They may also google you and/or your company, looking for videos or recent media. All of these things come together to create their first impression of your personal and company brands.
Your website is a digital storefront; it should reflect professionalism and clarity. Ensure it provides a concise overview of your company's mission, values, and achievements. The design should be user-friendly, with intuitive navigation. Regularly update content, including success stories, team bios, and any recent accomplishments.
Ensure your company page is up-to-date with accurate information. Regularly share industry insights, achievements, and thought leadership pieces. Encourage your team members to link their profiles to the company page, creating a network of credibility.
Beyond LinkedIn, evaluate your presence on other social media platforms (facebook, instagrams etc). Tailor your content to each platform, maintaining a consistent brand image. Engage with your audience by responding to comments and messages.
Investors may seek additional validation through media coverage. Actively pursue opportunities for interviews, articles, and press releases. Highlight key achievements and milestones.
Monitor and Manage:
Regularly monitor your online presence. Address any negative comments or misinformation promptly and professionally.
Step 2: Build an effective elevator pitch.
Now that you’ve cleaned up your online image, let’s talk about your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch answers the questions “what,” “why,” and “how.” in one paragraph, no longer than a few sentences.
Example: “I help early-stage business founders in Malaysia build outstanding businesses by providing easy access to capital and world-class expertise.”
Do not underestimate the power of elevator pitch. This is your key to unlock the gates to new funding. It can be used in your:
Introductions over the phone, by text message, and in email.
A great place to start when coming up with your elevator pitch is by creating an “X for Y” description of your company—for example, “Netflix for fitness”. Instantly, people will know what that company does. It’s likely a platform that offers a wide variety of on-demand workout videos and programs accessible anytime, anywhere.
Example: "we are just like Netflix except that we focus on workout videos instead of movies."
It could be:
Spotify for audiobooks – a subscription service providing unlimited access to a vast library of spoken-word content.
LinkedIn for creative professionals – a networking platform specifically designed to connect artists, designers, and other creative talents.
Amazon for sustainable products – an online marketplace dedicated to environmentally friendly and ethically sourced goods.
Use the following exercise to come out with an elevator pitch for your company.
What does your company do (start with phrases such as: we help, we provide, we manufacture, we offer, etc.)?
Who does your company serve (who are your customers? doctors, entrepreneurs, new parents etc.)
Is there a particular business sector that your company fits into? (e.g., restaurant, aviation, etc.)
What key benefits do you offer your customers? (higher quality/more success, lower cost, more reliable, etc.)
Why is your company better than competitors? (faster, less expensive, track record, etc.)
Then, combine the key information from Questions 1-5 into two or three sentences that describe your business. Say it aloud to make sure it sounds good and makes sense.
"We provide innovative tech solutions for small businesses, streamlining operations and enhancing efficiency. Our target customers are entrepreneurs and small business owners in various sectors, benefitting from cost-effective and reliable solutions that outpace competitors in speed and adaptability."
You may also use the following methods to come up with your elevator pitch:
Problem: Many small businesses struggle with inefficient operations and outdated tech solutions.
Solution: Our company offers cutting-edge, tailored tech solutions designed to streamline operations and boost efficiency for small businesses.
Impact: By implementing our solutions, businesses experience cost savings, improved workflows, and a competitive edge in their respective markets.
Competitor Comparison: While others in the market focus on generic solutions, our company stands out with highly customizable tech solutions.
Key Differentiators: We prioritize adaptability and speed, ensuring our clients stay ahead in the fast-paced business landscape.
Why Choose Us: Unlike competitors, we offer not just a product but a strategic partnership, empowering businesses to thrive with personalized, efficient technology solutions.
Always keep your elevator pitch concise, compelling, and tailored to resonate with your audience.
Step 3: Hone your pitch and materials.
In addition to elevator pitch, you should have a 10–20 slide pitch deck, a 1–2 page executive summary, and a financial projection tight and ready to go.
Pitch deck is the most important as it is your “workhorse” during the deal; you will use it constantly. Here’s a guide to building a pitch deck if you need pointers, and here’s a collection of decks to get some inspiration.
Download Capital2u Pitch Deck Template here.
Before moving to engage investors, present your entire pitch as many times as possible to friends, advisors, and any “friendly” investors for feedback - you will have to optimize your pitch materials constantly throughout your raise.
Executive summary is to help investors quickly get a bird’s-eye view of your business. It is designed for people who will not have the time for more than one page. Therefore, in your executive summary you need to say as much as possible in the fewest words.
Critical elements of an Executive Summary:
One Line Pitch:
A concise explanation of your business
What pressing and important problem are you solving or what opportunity are you addressing?
How are you solving this problem or tapping this opportunity?
A description of the market size and market need for your business
Key Competitive Advantages
What makes your company special?
How your company is uniquely qualified to fulfill this need
What is your go-to-market strategy?
How the company will effectively penetrate its target market.
Whom do you compete with?
What can you do that they cannot?
What can they do that you cannot?
How will you make money?
What are your financial projections for the next 3 to 5 years?
What are your key assumptions and metrics to achieve these projections?
Who is on your team?
Biographies of key management team and Board members.
Milestones Achieved and Timeline
Where are you now?
What are the major and immediate milestones?
Clinical, regulatory and funding stage
The goal of an executive summary is to tease prospective investors about the opportunity, collect interest and request a meeting. - the goal is not to ask for money.
Last but not least, anticipate and prepare for potential investor questions.
Not every investor will ask every question, but practicing your answers will help you go conﬁdently into your investor meetings. Every time you get a new question from an investor, add it to this list:
What problem are you solving and how are you solving it?
Who is your target customer?
How big is the market opportunity?
How did you calculate the size of your market and its growth rate?
Who are your competitors and how are you different?
What is proprietary about your solution?
What value do you provide that is not already available to your customers?
What is your business model?
How do you make money now and in the future?
What are the biggest risks in your business?
What factors most affect your profitability?
How many paying customers do you have?
What is your customer acquisition strategy?
Can I connect with customers who have used your product or service?
What’s a typical sales cycle?
How much did you spend to get to the current status?
What is your current burn rate?
What are your next milestones for the company and the product?
How much money do you need to hit those milestones?
How do you grow faster with more money?
Who are your investors so far?
Are they also participating in the current round?
How did you come up with the terms of the deal?
Will you have to raise more money in future? If so, when and how much?
How will you use the money you are raising to de-risk the business for future rounds?
Why are you the right person to start this business?
What prior success does your team have?
What other traction do you have so far?
Why is now the right time to start this business?
What is your exit strategy?