How to Prepare Your PitchKyle Smith
The Kansas City University Venture Fund is looking for disruptive and novel businesses with scalability potential and strong teams of entrepreneurs to apply pitch for $15,000 to $100,000 checks at their KCUVP Pitch Day on Friday, March 30, 2 p.m. at WeWork Corrigan Station. You can apply here.
KCUVP is made possible by a partnership among Royal Street Ventures, the Kauffman Foundation, local area universities and community volunteers. Students in the program receive unparalleled applied education through due diligence, deal screening and presentations to senior investment professionals.
But enough about them, you want to know more about Pitch Day. . . . This could be a huge opportunity to kickstart your business. To make sure your application is as rock-solid as possible, we asked Nate Crosser, student analyst with KCUVP, to give us 10 insights on how to prepare for Pitch Day. (We sprinkled in some links to help you prepare as well):
1. Businesses selected will have 10 minutes to pitch, then a short question period. Please plan your pitch accordingly and make it clear exactly what your business does. (It doesn’t have to be a software company.)
Pitches to investors vary based on your business and stage, the circumstances and many other variables. This slideshow on how to pitch to Digital Sandbox KC will give you a taste of what they’re looking for. And many of our Resource Partners offer classes to help you prepare to seek investment.
2. Tell us about yourself, and your team! We encourage strong entrepreneurial teams from all backgrounds to apply.
You’re only as strong as your weakest link . . . there is no I in team . . . if you want to go fast go alone, to go far go together . . . there’s truth in all of these clichés. For more information on building a team and hiring employees, download our hiring checklist.
3. What do you do that is different and better than your competitors? (Don’t try to tell us you don’t have competitors.)
4. Where are you in the business development phase? Do you have customers? We are interested in startups and growing businesses beyond the idea phase. We want to see that you’ve already invested yourself in the project and have a proven track record.
He raises a good point: venture funding is not for every business. Here’s a helpful template for understanding funding stages and what stages and types of business are appropriate for certain types of investment.
5. How will your business benefit from operating at scale? How do you cultivate and manage that growth?
So you have customers and you’ve proven out your model, but are you ready to grow? There’s a real difference between startups and scale ups, check out these resources for second stage businesses to begin to learn.
6. How does your business make our community, or the world, a better place? Our students care about Kansas City and want to support its budding entrepreneurial ecosystem in an inclusive, value-added, and sustainable way.
Can we get a round of applause for that mentality? (Clap, clap, clap, clap.) To get more of an idea on how to think like an investor, read “Why I Invest in KC: Laura Brady, Royal Street Ventures.” (Yes, that’s the same Royal Street Ventures behind KCUVP.)
7. What funding are you looking for? We are willingly to explore various funding mechanisms and checks will range from $15k-100k.
How’re you feeling right now? Overwhelmed? It’s going to be okay. To help calm your nerves, read how Ben Jackson and Harrison Proffitt raised seed capital for their business, Bungii.
8. How will you use our investment, and how can you leverage a team of committed, diverse, and entrepreneurial students to improve your business? We want to help (and have a team of finance, design, marketing, computer science, biomedical engineering, law, economics, and other undergraduate and graduate students).
9. If you can’t make March 30 work, we will be having more pitch events in the future — so fear not.
10. The application can be found at kcuvp.org/kcuvp-pitch-day/ and you can reach out to [email protected] with questions. If you’d like to know more about the Kansas City University Venture Program (the students and their mentors running the KCUVF) visit kcuvp.org.
There you go. For even more opportunities to kickstart your business, send us some info and we will send you a Personalized Action Plan with exactly the resources you need to keep your business moving forward. And utilize our CapitalMatch program to find more funding opportunities and investors in Kansas City.