Our Chief Strategy Officer, Aby Sullivan, shares the importance of connecting with investors beyond the commercials. And the steps you need to take to turn your scientific concept into a viable business opportunity for investors.
Imagine your ideal investors. In your mind’s eye, they’re logical, rational and considered people who deal exclusively in cold hard data. But, in reality, they’re looking for a lot more than solid commercials. They’re looking to believe in the proposition in front of them.
Studies have shown that emotion is a key part of all decision-making. Your potential investors aren’t an exception to the rule. In fact, they could be even more susceptible.
According to social psychologist Joseph P Forgas, the more uncertain the subject matter, the more emotions and instincts may influence the decision. In most situations, these are the conditions facing investors. Especially if your business is pre-revenue, even more so if your product is a novel scientific discovery.
So, how can you stand out, and communicate your idea in a way that immediately connects with investors? By working with hundreds of founders in technology, science and academia over the past ten years, we’ve discovered a smart way of translating scientific concepts into investible businesses.
Step 1: Write a real elevator pitch
Writing an elevator pitch isn’t about cramming in as many features and benefits as possible in the shortest sentence. The key is clarity.
Elevator pitches need to define your business and the value of your product in a way that inspires, connects and resonates with your audience. While there’s a place for finetuning your messaging further down the line, your elevator pitch should be accessible and meaningful for all.
The process of writing your elevator pitch should be challenging. You need to test and scrutinise every word for meaning and value, removing any excess detail or jargon that could trip up your audience. Every word needs to deliver the impact of your product.
A well-crafted elevator pitch will help you communicate the crux of your concept, and act as a North Star for your business: ever present, guiding you back when new ideas and opportunities steer you off course.
Step 2: Deal in challenges and solutions when it comes to product benefits
Once you have your elevator pitch, it’s time to dig into your core product benefits. Working from a challenge and solution perspective will help you communicate with conviction and clarity and, importantly, share the potential impact of your product.
To start this process, identify three real-world challenges your product is answering and why your product is uniquely solving them.
Challenges work because negative emotions stick with audiences. According to Peeters & Czapinski, negative stimuli carry greater informational value than positive stimuli and require greater attention and cognitive processing.
By showing your potential investors there’s a real problem that requires a solution, science shows they might be more engaged and much more inclined to come along for the journey.
This approach will also give potential investors a snapshot of what’s happening in your industry. It’s easy to forget that you could be speaking to people with less understanding of the landscape and the day-to-day challenges facing your target customers. By stripping away the technical detail and leading with impact, your message will be more relevant and resonate with investors from all industries.
Step 3: Find your audiences, and what they care about
As a new business searching for investors, you may have multiple audiences to communicate with, including investment groups, incubators, grant holders and universities. All these groups have the potential to financially support your business, but they’re each driven by different motives and exist in different worlds.
To tell a powerful story and connect with these groups, you’ll need to write targeted messaging for each audience. So, your pitch decks and communications carry the impact to sell your business.
Start by prioritising your audiences, digging into their challenges, and relating your messaging to their needs.
The key to writing targeted messaging is considering how your audience feels in the present moment and how you’d like them to feel once they’ve engaged with you. Getting back to basics, and really thinking about the people you’re communicating with will produce much clearer results.
Getting this early piece of funding strategy right will set your startup on a course for success. 47% of startup failures last year were due to a lack of investment. We don’t want your company to be part of that statistic; you have too much good to do in the world.
Creating marketing infrastructures that scale is our speciality at EV. We are a strategic marketing agency for technology startups and scale-ups, and our team act as an extension of your own until you’re ready to grow exponentially.
Contact me today, and let’s start with your elevator pitch. We’re always looking to speak to ambitious founders who need support.