Himalayan Startup Trek 2020 is knocking at the door and pitching in the presence of selectors can be quite nail-biting! To make the job of wowing your jury less stressful, you need to arm yourself with a simple yet effective pitch deck. Since HST 2020 is going digital this year, it is even more important to ensure that all that is there in your mind, about your startup, is communicated effectively to pique your virtual audience’s interest.
Confused with how to prepare your deck and sweep the selectors off their feet?!
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
It doesn’t matter what pitch deck style, design, or layout you use- if you miss out on providing some essential information, selectors will not be able to decide clearly. Lack of clarity generally goes against the applicant, given that there are so many applications to be judged. Here are some pointers that you need to keep in mind while making your deck:
‘A successful startup is only as strong as its team.’ – Anonymous
Knowing about your product is important, as is knowing about your hardworking team! Don’t forget to mention your founding team and the number of full-time members along with their qualifications, prior industry experience and technical capabilities to build the product. Mention if they have prior technical, management, sales, or entrepreneurship experience for an added edge.
2. Target market
‘Everyone is not your customer.’ – Seth Godin
Understanding your target market and customers is critical for you as well as us. Describe who will buy your product i.e. your customer segment. Is there a need for the product? Why will customers be interested in it? What are the customer’s pain points? What is the size of your target market? These key questions need to be answered for selectors to see worth in your idea.
‘Great companies are built on great products’ – Elon Musk
Finally, onto your brainchild! Describe your product, its features, components, and functionality in detail. Elaborate on how the product will be built. Remember, the jury needs to believe in the feasibility of the product, hence, include diagrams, images, screenshots, videos wherever applicable to substantiate your idea.
4. Unique Value proposition
‘Don’t just say what you do well, show what you do differently’ – Jack Hanson
A good UVP will tell us why you are the best choice to deliver the benefit that you want to deliver. So put your best foot forward here! Describe how your product acts as a pain reliever for the customers. Mention its unique value proposition and what distinguishes you from your competition along with how your resources are superior to your competitors’.
5. Business Model
‘Good design cannot fix broken business models.’ – Jeffry Veen
Product is not enough. A clearly thought-out business model is the need of the hour for any early-stage startup which wants to be taken seriously. Explain who has your money temporarily in his pocket and how you are going to get it into yours. Use a business model canvas to explain better.
6. Go-to-market Strategy
‘Focus on the right message for the right people at the right time’ – Russell Glass
Tactics without strategy is of no use. Explain how you are going to reach your customer without breaking the bank! Describe an action plan that specifies how your startup will succeed in a new market or with new customers. Explain how you will reach your target customers and achieve a product-market fit.
7. Competitive Analysis
‘Becoming number one is easier than remaining number one.’ – Bill Bradley
A thorough research of competition will always keep you a step ahead. Give a detailed competitive analysis based on your market research. Who are your competitors? How is your product different from its competitors? How easy/difficult is it for your competitors to imitate or replicate your product? Missing out on these can cost you a lot!
8. Financial Projections and Key Metrics
‘What’s measured, improves.’ – Peter Drucker
Yes! Metrics are indeed a true measure of success and a chance for you to impress the selectors as well! Provide a one-year forecast containing financials and profit forecast. Also mention key metrics such as number of customers, marketing/sales/distribution channels etc. Do a bottom up forecast rather than a top down one.
9. Current Status and future-plans
‘Plans are nothing. Planning is everything!’ – Dwilight D. Eisenhower
A conscious planning for the future is one of the best ways to stay grounded in the present. Hence, it is vital to highlight the current status of team involvement, product development etc. along with the growth strategy for future. Mention if you have any operational, product development, team expansion and fundraising plans for the next 1 year.
‘You are capable of more than you know’ – E.O Wilson
A startup can not only impact its customers, but it can also have a far-reaching ripple-effect on lives and the world around us in more ways than one! Please mention briefly if and how your startup or idea has a positive social, economic, or environmental impact.
‘Anything is possible when you have the right people around to support you.’ – Misty Copeland
Last but not the least, don’t forget to mention the kind of support (financial, mentorship, expertise, infrastructural etc.) that you are looking for, from IIT Mandi Catalyst.
Do follow these 11 commandments with conviction to charm the jury at HST 2020 and remember what Winston Churchill once said– ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the Courage to continue that counts….’
Goodluck and see you at #HST2020!