Pitching Your Business
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When Do You Pitch Your Business?
Pitching your business, which is presenting information about it to interest groups (e.g., investors, customers, etc.), happens throughout the life cycle of your business. Besides potential investors and customers, you may pitch your business to an NIH program officer, the manager of an incubator, a potential new team member, industry news media, or a loan officer.
Consider the Audience
Tailor your pitch to the interests of each audience. If they will not benefit directly from your business themselves, describe the benefits for a group they might care about.
Your audience may include non-scientists, so. . .
- Find common ground, such as caring about the problem your product solves. Emphasize this at the outset.
- Use language everyone can understand.
- Limit technical information to essentials and briefly explain key technical details for everyone.
(B-BIC Skills Development Center, 2015)
B-BIC Skills Development Center. Presenting Your Science to a Diverse Audience (Video). 2015.
B-BIC Skills Development Center. How should scientists communicate science to investors? (Video). Communication Skills Training Series (2015).
Pitch Topics to Cover
- The need for your product or service, including the problem that it will solve and who has that problem.
- Your solution and its unique value.
- The target market, who would benefit.
- Yourself, including your training, achievements, where you have worked, projects you have worked on, leadership experience, and product lines produced. Also, describe your team.
- The business’s profile and financial details, including purpose, mission, history, regulatory issues such as FDA approval, business model, reimbursement strategy, funding raised to date and its yield, and future funding needs and plans.
- Your research, including a summary of key findings, publications, grants, awards, remaining research questions, clinical trial status if relevant, and your vision for your research.
- Business achievements, including patents/applications, prototypes, product stage of development, and progress toward regulatory approval.
- Risks, risk mitigation, and alternatives.
- The competition, including overlap and differences.
- If pitching to potential investors, include. . .
- A timetable for when they can leave with a profit.
- Milestones associated with a change in the value of the business.
- How much money you need and how you will spend it.
(Shimasaki, 2016; Koch, 2020)
How to Write Your Pitch
- Stay focused on the most important parts. Get to the point quickly.
- Try using a template (find some free ones online), which may come in the form of a series of slides called a pitch deck.
- Use a story arc with a beginning, middle, and end to engage your audience.
- Example 1: Start with the need for your product, describe how you discovered your solution, and then talk about the challenges you faced and how you solved them.
- Example 2: Tell a story about someone with a personal need for your product and how your solution would impact their life.
- Develop different versions of your pitch for different purposes: a brief, 30-second elevator pitch, a formal 5-minute slideshow introduction to your idea, and a longer, more detailed presentation for potential investors.
- Summarize data and offer to supply details if requested.
Foundation for Shared Impact. How to Pitch Your Business—All the Basics You Should Learn. Blog. Accessed March 9, 2023.