Ten years of pitching galore, ten lessons shared

Lagos, Nigeria. Circle25 Pitch Coaching Event

From Innotribe Startup Challenge to Startup Bootcamp, from Egypt to Lagos, from a multi-million dollar fundraising to a student with a simple idea worth to be explored, this is what I learned:

            ⁃           If you google “pitch training” there are a million deck you can use, but if you look at them by yourself none of them is effective, because you are never good at giving tough love to yourself

            ⁃           I always thought some startups could hire an actual actor and do a better impact, because only 7 (seven) percent of the impact is done by words, the rest is The HOW, the attitude and the assertiveness (to catch the attention of an investor, for example)

            ⁃           If you have the greatest idea and you come “looking for a team and some money to bootstrap” you have jack shit. And it might be ok, but you could be in the wrong conversation

⁃           It is incredible how many pitches would be better by default if only ALL founders would read the Guy Kawasaki 10-20-30 rules post

Be humble enough to accept the fact that in a year from now your business might be totally different from the one you are pitching now, and it is ok, that’s why most VCs invest in the team primarily, its resilience, and capacity to pivot.

            ⁃           I have been coaching very well articulated startups and (even bad) ideas on a PowerPoint, but the human being on the other side deserves your undivided attention if nothing else because he/she is on a quest, and you have the moral obligation to give honest feedback. (One of the guys attending the seminar was a photographer willing to quit his job and become independent. Not to build a startup, not in need (or even remotely interesting) of any capital, but his life was in the line. Tough love, always.

            ⁃           There are very little things that make me happy, more grounded and more present than trying to condensate all the lessons I learned to help someone get closer to his/her better version

            ⁃           Pitching jungle is a bitch, but there are plenty of things you can do and most people don’t that will dramatically raise your chances. So here’s the bad news: if you are waiting for someone else to come and tell you the basics, and you don’t even bother to educate yourself a bit, that first impression won’t be mind-blowing

            ⁃           The perfect pitch is the one with no further question, only accolades. This is because the combination of passion, having it figured out and a great idea can ONLY be contagious

            ⁃           You don’t know what you don’t know, but if you know you don’t know (because they ask for it) it is ok to not know. It is not ok not to do everything you can to change that.

Stay tuned


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