For many, Ghana is regarded as a West African hub of invention and two of this year’s edition of Forbes Africa Magazine’s Top 20 Technology Start-Up Companies in Africa were Ghanaian IT companies, Dropifi and SMSGH.
The Ghanian government is also keen to support the innovative nature of its people, hosting tow of Africa’s best-regarded conferences on innovation and technology, the Innovation Africa Summit and the Ghana Tech Summit.
The past decade or so has seen the dramatic increase in startup ecosystems around the world, with African companies taking part in the expansion and innovation of rapid growth sectors. These include gaming on mobile platforms, which has seen explosive growth in recent years with console platform ports, VR gaming, and online casino games becoming hugely popular.
Financial technologies, or Fintech, is another area which has seen exponential growth in recent years. This is particularly true of Africa, where around 350 million unbanked individuals are looking for a way to access finance tools in areas where traditional banking isn’t available.
However, government support and a good idea aren’t all you need to turn that good idea into a workable company. The odds of becoming a successful startup are fairly low, in fact, nine out of ten startups will fail to achieve even their initial funding.
Generally speaking, there are some other skills that people use to succeed, like understanding the risk and being able to negotiate. Nevertheless, your ability to pitch to secure funding is the most important skill you can have if you want your startup to be successful.
This means that your ability to pitch to secure funding is the most important skill you can have if you want your startup to be successful.
So, in this article, well be looking at ways that you can learn to successfully pitch your startup to potential investors.
Polish Your Elevator Pitch
Investment companies listen to hundreds of pitches per day, so the trick it to keep it short and sweet.
An elevator pitch is called that because it should take around 30 seconds, the length of a quick ride in an elevator, to get across everything your potential investors need to know and hook their attention.
Obviously, you’ll want to tailor your elevator pitch to your company and your audience, but there are three main things it should cover:
|What do you do?|
|What problem do you provide a solution for?|
|Why you’re different from others in your industry?|
Get those three points across in less than 30 seconds and you’ll have a good base for your elevator pitch.
Tell a Good Story
People, and yes investors are still people, like a good story, there’s no secret in that. The good news is that every startup, from fintech firms to innovative Ghanian dog grooming providers, has the story of why they set up their company and what drove them to be passionate about the sector they want to work in.
When you’re pitching, use the same techniques that actors and marketers use to hook in their audience. After all, you can have the best idea in the world, but people won’t want to hear about it if your pitch is dry and boring.
Know Your Business, Your Sector, and Your Audience
The first thing you have to be prepared for is potential investors asking you hard questions that require in-depth factually correct answers.
In order to provide those answers, you’ll need to know exactly how your business operates on every level, how their injection of finance would improve your business, what your future plans are, what sort of return on investment you could offer them, and how you fit into the wider industry you’re part of.
For instance, if you’ve calculated the value of your startup, your potential investors are going to want to know what method you use to make that calculation and what data you have to back it up.
Dress to Impress
This last one might sound obvious, but people do judge you by how you dress and your appearance. Before you head off to make your pitch, do a little research into the people you are pitching to and dress accordingly.
It doesn’t matter if you an edgy tech startup with a “pyjamas only” approach to officewear. If you turn up in your PJs to pitch to a room full of people in tailor business suits, and you’re not selling them your cutting-edge nightwear, you’re probably in trouble.
You don’t’ need to change your own business, or how you encourage your own staff to act and dress, you just have to respect how other people operate.
After all, the important thing here is securing the financing to make your company, your idea, and your dream a success. You can always get changed back into your business pyjamas after the meeting is done.