Nov 13, 2023

5 Pitch Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid

As presenters, you have the unique opportunity to educate and inspire an audience by sharing your expertise.

5 Pitch Mistakes Every Startup Should Avoid

It can be disheartening for small businesses trying to acquire funds from angel investors and venture capitalists in this dominated by a destructive "raise, raise, raise" mentality. Early-stage startups, particularly, face the problem of no one wanting to invest because it hasn’t revenue, no traction or proof of concept yet. But growing companies certainly need a specific amount of money to launch their products or services to the market.

In this case, the founders of these startups must be able to persuasively explain their business ideas to investors. They must make their pitch stand out from the hundreds of other concepts that are proposed regularly.

Preparing for Your Business Pitch

Let's face it, pitching can be challenging. Making a good impression on a group of investors and panelists who have already heard and seen a lot of pitches can be a daunting task.

As presenters, you have the unique opportunity to educate and inspire an audience by sharing your expertise. The duty to make sure that your message is timely and engaging for your audience comes with that privilege. The good news is that it’s achievable to develop a strong and compelling pitch.

5 Common Pitch Mistakes To Avoid

While it’s important to keep in mind what should go right in making a pitch, it’s also crucial to consider and be aware of what could go wrong that could turn off your potential investors. This can guide you in addressing possible issues that could crop up and fixing them even before your presentation day.

Here are the five pitch mistakes you should avoid:

1. Losing Focus on the Business Model

While it's vital to describe how technologically advanced your product is, you must never forget to highlight your business model. This means you need to ensure that your underlying business model is concisely conveyed and your audience immediately understands how your business model works and how you plan to earn money. This is based paired with a clear understanding of the problem you are solving and the target market you are addressing.

2. Lacking Confidence in Your Business

A lot of entrepreneurs become hesitant in the middle of their presentation, either because they are nervous or distracted. This can cause the audience to question the strength and viability of the business idea being proposed. Being well-prepared will help you maintain composure and be more persuasive. Knowing your business by heart and reflecting it in your words as well as body language will make your pitch stand out. In general, be confident in you and your ability to execute this business. Nevertheless, do not try to fool your audience or make up any assumptions on the spot. It is acceptable to not be able to answer every question on the spot but ensure that you are acknowledging the feedback and that you will revert back to the investor.

3. Answering Questions from Investors in a Vague Manner

The speaker demonstrating the product or service must be knowledgeable enough about it to respond confidently and correctly to any question or objection. They must also be able to simplify the concept so that it’s understandable even to those who are not savvy enough. Striking the perfect balance between being highly technical and being too basic is key. It is critical that you are not trying to pretend that you know all the questions. Investors will see through you facade

4. Causing Information Overload

Having a thorough grasp of their ideas and the prospect for their businesses is crucial for founders, but getting into too much detail can confuse the audience. Investors want to understand the startup’s potential quickly and clearly. So, keep the pitch as straightforward as possible. While you want to offer as much as you can when you are knowledgeable and passionate about a subject, it can overwhelm your audience. Instead, pick a few important details that support your core argument and expand on them.

5. Having Too Many Presenters

Having several people make the pitch can be a major waste of time, and it can divert attention from your presentation's primary points. When each person describes their position and perspective of the company individually, it may give the appearance that there are conflicts among the company's leadership. It is more effective and persuasive to present the startup as a cohesive unit through a single representative.

Final Thoughts

While it’s essential to have excellent public speaking skills when making a pitch to investors, it’s equally valuable to avoid the outlined mistakes. By being clear and informative, you can be sincere and persuasive.

Delivering an effective presentation requires work and practice. It will be worthwhile once you receive the investment and acceptance you have been working hard for.

If you’re looking for help launching your startup toward success, Founders Launchpad may well be what you need. It’s a unique incubator program aimed at helping you get your business ready for investors. For more information and to sign up, visit!