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The Art of Pitching Q&A with CEO Hall Martin

2 min read Strong pitching skills are imperative when trying to communicate your idea and capabilities to an investor. The art of pitching goes beyond presenting the standard deck. It includes crafting a story through the intentional use of language, tailoring the pitch to each interested investor, and emphasizing how your current systems will lead to long-term success.

The Craft of Writing

When pitching investors, sometimes we need to condense our pitch deck into an elevator pitch. Instead of thinking about this as a rushed version of the pitch deck, you should think of it as presenting the information in story format. Instead of talking faster to cram more words into the allotted time, choose your words carefully and craft a meaningful anecdote about your organization and its mission. Think about keywords and phrases that communicate the value of your deal. Choose only one or two key financial numbers to share at this time. The key here is this: anecdotes tell and numbers sell. Tell your story, and then top it off with the crucial financial elements.

Tailor the Pitch

When pitching your deal to an investor, it helps to know your investor first. You’ll find you can make a much better presentation by customizing it a little bit. There are different kinds of investors out there that you may be pitching: venture capital, angels, and high net worth. The key is that they each have different care. And so, you want to think about the whereabouts and concerns are of the investor that you’re working with, and cater to those in your pitch. 

Venture capital investors want a 10x return.  You need to prove there is a very large market and a very high growth rate. Angels have some capital preservation and therefore look for initial traction and revenue. They want to see some of the risks coming out of the deal. High net worth investors are also looking for very good returns, but there tend to be risk-averse.

Emphasize Long-Term Success

Most startups don’t have a lot of revenue- almost no one does as an early-stage startup. What investors care about more is predictable revenue. Use your pitch deck to show investors that you have systems running in your startup behind the scenes that are generating leads, closing sales, keeping the customers happy, and retaining those customers. Even if the numbers are small now, you can show that with these systems in place, the numbers will grow over time in a predictable manner. A scalable, growable organization is a real value proposition for the investor.


Read more on the TEN Capital Fundraise Launch Program

Hall T. Martin is the founder and CEO of the TEN Capital Network. TEN Capital has been connecting startups with investors for over ten years. You can connect with Hall about fundraising, business growth, and emerging technologies via LinkedIn or email:

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