5 Criteria Juries Use to Select the Best Startup Pitch
Contests and competitions generate immediate and extra value for your startup. Expert eyes will help evaluate your project, and the contest or competition is a shortcut for you to get to know investors who might invest in your company in the near future, enabling you to pursue your expansion plan.
The keys to winning a competition depends a lot on what you know about the competition itself. Knowing what you’ll be evaluated on and who will be evaluating you is fundamental to good performance in both the first elimination round and the final competition.
“The keys to winning a competition depends a lot on what you know about the competition itself.”
The aim of WeXchange is to identify innovative women entrepreneurs with great potential in the Latin American region and allow them to compete, not against each other, but against themselves. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that, at the end of this process, everyone involved, conference participants, semifinalists, and finalists alike, take away something of value and come out with an enriched perspective. To this end, the judges will be looking at specific points in order to evaluate the entrepreneurs and their projects, and choose the best startup pitch.
Here are five points that the judges—professionals and proven investors, carefully chosen for this purpose—will be evaluating during the pitch competition.
In the early stages, investors invest in people. Because of that, judges pay particular attention to the “Founding Team.” They are looking for a team that is multidisciplinary and complementary, with the capacity to implement – a team that is capable of achieving what it sets out to do and that what it sets out to do is ambitious enough.
2. Market Validation
Judges want to see what level of knowledge you have of the market in which you are competing. What is your capacity to recognize and describe the problem you are solving? You must knowing and communicate well who your competition is and how you compare with them.
It is important to define your product so that the jury can understand how, in an innovative way, it addresses the market problem being solved. Having a functional market value proposition (MVP) is crucial.
4. Business Model
Be clear about how you will make money. The jury will want to know: Did you test your market? Do you know the cost of acquiring a customer and their Life Time Value? If you’ve already performed the initial market tests your chances of of making it to the end of the competition will greatly increase. And last but not least, the business model should be scalable – it must be global in scope, or at least regional.
5. Soft skills
The entrepreneur should be assertive and clear when speaking about her startup. What the panel will be asking among themselves is if the entrepreneurs are capable of “selling” the vision of the company. Besides, the entrepreneur must be able to position herself as the leader of the team.
In advance of your participation in a pitch:
- Research all the panelists: Find out who they are, their skills and areas of expertise, if they have invested in companies previously and if so, in which companies. Connect with them on LinkedIn.
- Work on your elevator pitch in 140 characters.
- Prepare a three-minute presentation: on PowerPoint or in a similar format, where you present the problem, the market, the solution, the team, the business model, and what you’re asking for.
- Develop a more detailed presentation. This should include more information about the market, the financing model, and further details about the solution/platform.
- Include performance milestones.
- Be assertive, and if you don’t like being assertive, be humorous. It’s another good strategy to capture their attention and be remembered.
- Practice your pitch until you are tired of listening to yourself! Practice and then again and again, in front of a mirror, in front of your team, your friends, family members, and your pet, if you have one.
Finally, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO DREAM, BUT ALSO TO FAIL!