How to Pitch Your Startup: Advice from an Angel

If you want to know how to best pitch your startup, why not ask an angel?  Yi-Jian Ngo is the managing director of Alliance of Angels, one of the largest and most active angel groups in the Pacific Northwest. Since it started in 1997, the group has invested more than $100 million in 200 companies. 

Success in pitching depends first upon what kind of pitch you’re doing. There is the elevator pitch – 30 seconds to a minute – designed to be a capsule summary and conversation starter.  But your pitch for a ‘demo day’ in front of an audience will be four to 10 minutes. In this live, competition format, ‘visuals are very important,’ Yi-Jian told me in a phone conversation. Your slides must be rich in graphic images.  ‘I haven’t seen a powerpoint or keynote in a competition for quite a while,’ he said.  He recommends that you go beyond out of the box solutions and use a designer to help you make a dedicated deck suited for the competition.

Pitches at a VC or angel’s office can last 30 minutes to an hour. In that kind of pitch, angels want to look past your slide deck and into the soul of your startup. Expect to answer questions, some that deliberately take you away from your planned talking points.

Read the rest of this blog on Techli, where it was first published.