Your pitch is the most powerful tool in your fundraise – it’s how you’ll convince potential investors to join your journey. Spend time ensuring it’s as clear, crisp, and convincing as possible! Because it’s a reflection of your investment opportunity, it must also accurately and fairly represent your company. Technically, it’s the “Business Plan” portion of your Form C.
This guide will walk you through the anatomy of a Wefunder pitch and offer tips for each part.
To edit your profile, click your picture on the top right and click "Edit Profile" under your company.
Imagine you're in a bookstore. A book’s title and cover catch your eye. Before you even think of taking out your wallet, you flip it over to read the summary.
The Overview tab of your pitch is the back of that book – making it the most important part of your pitch.
This is where you need to convince investors that your story is worth exploring. But that's easier said than done, so let's take it step by step.
Here you describe your business in 80 characters. Investors should understand what you are and what you're doing. Eliminate buzzwords like "revolutionize" and "disrupt." Be specific about the problem you’re solving and how you’re solving it.
Also, (we're guilty of this) avoid using trite comparisons such as "Uber for plants" or "Uber for calendars." Trust us, you’re not the first one to think of it and investors get tired of listening to the same pitch repeatedly.
Billbox, Inc.: Incentivized medical payments, made for patients
World Tree: Fast growing eco-timber that restores the earth
Soraban: Helping CPAs give companies financial reviews faster
Crooked City Cider: Oakland's first cidery; producing dry cider in the heart of the city
*Including a pitch video into your Wefunder pitch prior to launch is not required but highly encouraged! We will need a photo in 16x9 aspect ratio, though.
For these videos, we encourage founders to use their iPhones rather than hiring a professional. This format gives investors a taste of how well you will explain your idea to investors, customers, potential team members down the road. Without a production team and a carefully crafted montage, can you succinctly explain what your company does and why it’s changing the world?
But homemade is no excuse for dim lighting – find some bright lighting!
Hook 'em. Include a hook at the start to reel investors in. How is your company actually changing lives? Give a compelling example.
Keep the cam on you. Most, if not all, of the video should be you (and any co-founders) talking directly to the camera. You can splice in other footage and pictures but make sure a founder continues to narrate.
Keep it short. Shoot for 2-3 minutes of landscape, high-quality iPhone footage.
Remember your audience. Showcase your company & the investment opportunity more so than the product – this video is for investors, not customers.
Here, you want to excite investors with your businesses' proudest numbers and most revealing accomplishments. Every single point should elicit an "Holy crap!" Spotlight the following:
Your growth. Investors want to see how you've grown. Including your rate of growth goes a long way (i.e. Write “3x revenue growth from 2018 to 2019. On track for $3M this year.” instead of simply “$3M revenue this year).
Your most impressive metrics. Highlight name-brand customers/users, customer retention, total number of items sold, etc. You could also mention $ previously raised.
Your team. Be sure to include 1-2 points about your team. Show, don’t tell investors why you’re the best people to do the job. Mention notable investors/partners/advisors too.
Keep ‘em short! This isn’t the place for paragraphs – they’ll be pulled for automatic marketing copy and eventually your company’s “card” for the Explore page. Make ‘em clear, punchy bullet points.
Don’t save the best for last. Prioritize your top 1-3 points — these will show up on your company card in the Explore page (once you've hit $50K in reservations and have undergone a compliance review).
- Growth metric. Be specific. "We have $-- in revenue, doubling every year." is more convincing than "We're growing fast."
- More metrics. "# of customers, including X, Y and Z." "Growing 10% month-over-month." "Opened 2 new locations last year."
- Previously raised. "Raised 500K in 2019." Mention any notable investors.
- Team. "CEO has built and exited 2 multi-million businesses." "Founding team has a combined 30+ years of industry experience."
- Partners. "Strategic partnership with X since 2018."
- Market. "$2B market with 40% CAGR." If applicable, mention market growth, specifically.
Companies with awesome highlights:
Anyone can have a good idea. True power lies in having the people that can turn that idea into reality. Investors want to know if your team has what it takes to go from idea to product to domination. Convince investors that, if there’s anyone who’s going to achieve what you plan on doing, it’s your team and no one else. All team bios have a limit of 100 characters.
1. Sell Yourself
Your bio should be the most important parts of your resume shrunk into two sentences or less.
Your photo should show off who you are, balancing professionalism with the personality of your business.
2. Inviting Team Members and Investors
The first step is to invite team members and investors, which you can do under the 'Team' tab. When you invite a member, Wefunder will send them an email to sign up and confirm their role.
You then have a choice to add their info yourself or let them take care of it. Regardless of which option you choose, all members should have a photo and brief description of what they do at your business.
3. The Importance of Previous Investors
Before investors choose to commit themselves to your startup, they'll want to know who else is coming to the party. And like a party, you want investors to know all the cool kids are coming. Reveal any prominent previous investors and new investors will feel more assured in handing you their money.
4. Sharing Your Story
Graduating from elite schools or success in previous ventures is important information, but the big winner is always a good story. If you have a unique tale behind your startup, shout it from the rooftops — or just right here in your pitch. Investors have mad respect for founders (and so do we!) who hustle and do whatever it takes to get their business going.
Show You're a Team That Gives a Damn
Investors should leave the 'Team' portion with more information than a resumé. Sure, they want to know your qualifications, but they also want to know your drive. Let investors peer into heart of your business, and assure them that you're not only skilled, but you're damn passionate.
This is the meat of your pitch! It’s the section you can use your pitch deck to fill out, if you’d like. If you’d prefer to build it from the ground up, we advise touching on the exact elements that a pitch deck would: problem, solution, team, traction, growth, business model, use of funds, market, etc.
Use headers. Most people will skim your story section. Make it easy for them to understand what’s going on by utilizing headers. An investor should be able to get an idea of your offering by only reading these.
Use a few high-quality visuals. Include a few images to help people grasp what you do & to break up the text. If it’s overly dense, people won’t read it. Don’t use blurry images, though.
Be concise. Use as few words as possible; following the old adage “show, don’t tell.” Keep chunks of text to 5 lines or less. Concision conveys to investors that you've thought deeply about your idea and how your company will work and grow.
Be conversational. A great pitch is one you can give to your mom and she’ll get it – it isn’t technical. It has to be conversational for it to spread via word of mouth, because we talk in normal conversational speak.
Show off growth. You need to convince investors you can execute quickly and effectively. In order of preference, the most persuasive graphs are: a) revenue growth b) customer growth c) users/products sold.
Get feedback. Ping previous investors, strategic advisors, or friends and identify themes in their feedback. Double down on what they find especially compelling & get ahead of common questions or confusions by addressing them on the page.
Don't be ambiguous. Ask yourself, “Is this vague or unclear? Can it be interpreted in more than one way? Would someone need to ask clarifying questions?” Keep your story clear and focused. Minimize indefinite pronouns like “this” or “it."
Don't use technical terms or fluff. Eliminate industry jargon. Avoid marketing speak, MBA speak, and buzz words – prospective investors will tune out.
Don't write a novel. Be wary of making this section too long – our data shows that investors fall off the page the longer these two combined sections are.
Remember: simplify, simplify, simplify!
Clearly, concisely describing what you do and why it’s valuable – without jargon, buzzwords, or a whiteboard – is tough but critical. It shows investors that you’ll be able to sell talent on joining your team, sell customers on your product, sell potential business partners on your mission, etc.
Plus, investors are busy! If you can't capture their attention with compelling information in a short period of time, they'll just move to the next company vying for a chunk of their wallet.
Here put any longer documents for investors who want more details about your pitch. This could be a brochure, executive summary, or business plan.
This section will auto-fill with details from your financial disclosures that you’ll submit to us before we file the good ‘ole Form C. It will be empty until you do so.
This is where any updates you share during and after your round will appear. To share an update with your investors & anyone following your campaign, head to your founder dashboard at https://wefunder.com/yourcompanyURL/overview. You should see a panel that says “Post an update to raise more” with a green “Post update” button.
Remember that posting a Wefunder update will automatically trigger an email to all investors and followers! So there’s no need to cycle this same content through emails to them.
Here are possible things to include in an update:
Examples of stellar updates:
The first portion of quotes here will be investor reviews. The second will be comments you invite friends and family to make when you launch your round (get the full scoop on vouches here). The final section, ‘In the News,’ will be any press features you’d like prospective investors to see.
The key to running a successful business is building a product that people love – press and quotes are how you prove to investors that you're doing just that. This is your opportunity to showcase that people grok your value.
Be wary of making this section too long as our data shows that investors fall off the page the longer these two combined sections are.
What Our Friends Say
You can either input a quote you already have, or request one. You'll need the person's name, title (are they a loyal customer or an elite investor?) and of course the quote itself. Keep quotes to 1 to 3 sentences long and link websites whenever you can to prove credibility.
You should strive to have the first quote be from an investor in your company which adds some social proof for potential investors. If you don’t have any previous investors, then ask your advisors and brand-name customers. This is not the place for quotes from people in the company.
In the News
Here is where you’ll link press features. All you have to do is copy and paste the article link. You can then edit the press snippet by mousing over the box and clicking “Edit.” For the image, use the source's logo.
Here, investors ask you questions directly. Answering these questions quickly, honestly, and thoroughly is a critical piece of engaging investors. Aim to respond within 72 hours max.
Responsiveness is a powerful indicator to new investors; they want to know you’re there!
Example: Element Farms
Checkout our super speedy, 9-minute tutorial on building an awesome pitch (and a ton of other great resources!) here.
You've finished your pitch! Awesome work 👍
Remember to review and revise it several times – making it as clear and concise as possible. Also be sure to solicit feedback from your friends, fam, mentors, and advisors to make it as strong as possible.
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