We have all taken tests and we know how important preparation is. The same goes for pitching your company. Your pitch marks the culmination of countless hours of researching the market, number crunching, prototyping and (not) sleeping. When pitch day arrives, it is important to remember that you are the expert on your company. You should know the ins and outs of every aspect of your product or service and should be prepared for the toughest questions.
Yes, it is absolutely necessary to know your go-to-market strategy and financials inside and out. It is expected that you will be able to answer any questions about your beachhead and TAM. You will need to justify the decisions that you have made and routes that you have abandoned. However, the most important thing to remember is that pitching is not about getting funding; it is about proving that there is a market for your product or service. Build value and money will come later.
We asked some of our Session 1 Launchies to share their insights about pitch day.
“The days leading up to Demo Day were daunting, but being able to see all the work we had put in over the past 4 weeks come to fruition was nothing short of amazing.You’re going to be nervous standing up in front of the crowd, not just because you want to do well and to impress the board, but also because of a need to make your teammates proud. But you can’t let that worry you too much. This is one of the best moments of launch, let yourself enjoy it, and be sure to support your fellow Launchies. For me, demo day was the cherry on the cake. It let me show off what I had learned and appreciated from all the other wonderful businesses at launch. There was a real sense of community and bonding among us all. It was bittersweet to see the 4 weeks finish with such a spectacular bang, but it felt like more of a beginning than an end.” –Gabi Fullham, Politifund.
“Pitch day helped everything come together – it was amazing to see all the teams present all the hard work we’d put in during the four weeks at launch, and pitch day acted as a grand culmination of our time and effort.” –Michael Wang, Self Check.
“From a country where people don’t respect entrepreneurship as much, I was overwhelmed to see hundreds of people cheer when I presented my own company. And the joy I had when a guy from a VC firm came up to me and gave me his card cannot be quantified. I would never have such an opportunity if it wasn’t for launch. It was an experience that I’ll never forget and will always be special to me.” –Anirudh Nair, Atria
Check out the Launch pitches on the MIT Launch YouTube channel.