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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

I’m on the hunt for guidance on the all important, little exercised art of 60-second pitching. Yesterday’s initial landscape got me started but I still need to put the pitch together.

In June of last year Brad Feld scooped from Chris Wand a list of questions each entrepreneur should answer before making a pitch. The pitch they had in mind was one to VC’s but the questions are fairly generic and eminently suitable for all pitch drafters.

It seems to me that an answer each question would be valuable for many things other than pitching too. The answers will not only inform your presentation but having ready answers will help you imbue with confidence anybody that let’s you get past the opening play.

Questions to address in your pitch:

1) What is your vision?

– What problem are you solving and for whom?
– Where do you want to be in the future?

2) What and how big is your market opportunity?

– How big is the market opportunity you are pursuing and how fast is it growing?
– How established (or nascent) is the market?
– Do you have a credible claim on being one of the top two or three players in the market?

3) Describe your product or service

– What is your product/service?
– How does it solve your customer’s problem?
– What is unique about your product/service?

4) Who is your customer?

– Who are your existing customers?
– Who is your target customer?
– What defines an “ideal” customer prospect?
– Who actually writes you the check?
– Use specific customer examples where possible.

5) What is your value proposition?

– What is your value proposition to the customer?
– What kind of ROI can your customer expect by using buying your product/service?
– What pain are you eliminating?
– Are you selling vitamins, aspirin or antibiotics? (I.e. a luxury, a nice-to-have, or a need-to-have)

6) How are you selling?

– What does the sales process look like and how long is the sales cycle?
– How will you reach the target customer? What does it cost to “acquire” a customer?
– What is your sales, marketing and distribution strategy?
– What is the current sales pipeline?

7) How will you acquire customers?

– What is your cost to acquire a customer?
– How will this acquisition cost change over time and why?
– What is the lifetime value of a customer?

8) Who is your management team?

– Who is the management team?
– What is their experience?
– What pieces are missing and what is the plan for filling them?

9) What is your revenue model?

– How do you make money?
– What is your revenue model?
– What is required to become profitable?

10) What stage of development are you at?

– What is your stage of development? Technology/product? Team? Financial metrics/revenue?
– What has been the progress to date (make reality and future clear)?
– What are your future milestones?

11) Who is your competition?

– Who is your existing & likely competition?
– Who is adjacent to you (in the market) that could enter your market (and compete) or could be a co-opted partner?
– What are their strengths/weaknesses?
– Why are you different?

12) What partnerships do you have?

– Who are your key distribution and technology partners (current & future)?
– How dependent are you on these partners?

13) Other

– What assumptions are key to the success of the business?
– What “gotchas” could change the business overnight? New technologies, new market entrants, change in standards or regulations?
– What are your company’s weak links?

Commentary

my uncle got stomach ulcers because he took a lot of Aspirin to take care of his high blood pressure.`~~