How to win funds for your startup
The trend of startups is growing very rapidly in Pakistan. Many people have ideas, energy and motivation to start a successful business but most of them lack in one thing. A large chunk of people who want be an entrepreneur are youngsters who do not have sufficient money to launch a startup. In addition, most of them are either employees or students. They can neither take risk nor afford to leave their job or study to work on their ideas.
To help these very small businesses and entrepreneurs, there are many startup incubators in Pakistan. However, there are many more startups than money. Consequently, they cannot give funds to every startup. Therefore, in order to get funds you will have to prove yourself worthy when you get a chance to present your idea in front of a jury.
In order to impress the jury and stay ahead of your competitors, you must give a rock solid presentation. Below are some questions to answer in a presentation if you want to come across as winner in an incubator event. Make a slide for each answer and you are ready to go.
After your introduction, you should talk about your Agenda. The professional way to start a presentation is to spell out the agenda before you dive deep into the topic. The agenda is a slide that lists the topics you will discuss in the presentation. The jury will then have an idea of what you are going to say in your presentation.
2. What Product or Services Do You Offer
You should start your presentation with the description of products and services you wish to offer. There is a saying that if a picture is worth a thousand words then a video is worth ten thousand slides. Hence, it is better to show them a demo or prototype video. You can easily embed the video in slide if you are using PowerPoint 2007 or higher. It will create a wow effect in the very beginning and you will make a marvellous first impression. Since, the first impression is the last impression, you may just hit the mark in the very second slide of your presentation.
3. Who are Your Potential Customers?
Knowing your potential customers who are as good as your close friends is the secret sauce of effective marketing. Telling them the details of your potential customers will ensure that you are not going to waste your money in inefficient marketing and that you have a perfect lineup.
The best way to do it is to make buyer personas and present them. Buyer persona is the characterization of your existing and potential customers that includes even the tiny details like demographics, marital status, motivation, goals, etc. Buyer personas are made on the basis of real data instead of mere assumptions.
4. Why They Need Your Product
Demonstrate the problems of your customers by showing statistical graphs and tell the jury how you solve your customers’ problems and why you are different from others. Your startup must have a unique idea, something that no one is doing, a problem that no one is solving. Tell them your unique selling point with competitive analysis and do not forget to include numbers.
5. How Will You Make Money
Earning money is the core reason of any startup. While talking about your product quality and showing them that you are a product-focused person, do not forget to mention how you will generate revenue. You should discuss your business model and your pricing plans.
6. What Has Been Done
Tell them what has been developed so far? How many items have been sold yet and to whom they have been sold? This is the time to discuss you challenges and risks. Tell them what risks and challenges are you facing, what you have overcome so far and what risks and challenges still lie ahead. Moreover, also tell them how much funds have you already raised and from whom you get it.
7. Who Are Your Team Members
It is a saying that A product with B team is going to fail but B product with A team is going to succeed. Prove to them that you have an A team by sharing the team’s qualification, expertise and capabilities. Furthermore, inform them what capabilities you would look for when hiring.
8. What would you do with the money
You should know the price before applying for any incubator event. Wrap up your presentation with the calculations of what would you do with the money you will get and how would you use it to overcome your challenges.