Although it is winter in New England, here at the Blank Center we are gearing up for the summer. We’ve locked down our dates for this year’s Summer Venture Program (SVP), a 10-week program that supports the most promising MBA and undergraduate entrepreneurs from Babson, Olin Engineering and Wellesley Colleges. Demo Day is the culmination of the program where the entrepreneurs showcase their accomplishments in front of a live audience that includes investors and members of the Babson/Boston communities. Throughout SVP, the participants practice their Demo Day pitches which include a call to action. One common ask is investment. How do you ask for money in front of a group of people you hardly know?

The Blank Center is fortunate that we have faculty who have been involved in the fund raising process. Here are some tips that have been shared on how to make the most of your time when pitching in front of investors:

  • Before you meet with your potential investors, practice your pitch in front of family and friends. If they don’t understand your presentation, go back to the drawing board.
  • When you arrive at your meeting, be respectful of everyone’s time. SVP ParticipantAsk the investors how much time you have and pace yourself.
  • Sell yourself first and then the idea. Investors are looking to invest in entrepreneurs that they like.
  • When pitching your venture, you need to cover: what it is (what problem you are solving), who it is for (i.e. your customer), why it is a problem, how it works, and why you (what differentiates you vs. your competitors). 
  • Throughout your pitch, try to establish credibility. Investors are well-networked and will help make connections. They need to make sure they are investing in a reliable individual before opening their Rolodex and their checkbook.
  • Make an impact – your venture is solving a problem and is making an impact on your customers. Do the same when pitching to your potential investors – make an impact on your audience. Leave a lasting impression.

Like our SVP participants, spend some time practicing in front of peers and mentors. Use these tips as a starting point when putting together your pitch and add your own personal touch!