Fundraising: 10 Deadly Sins of a Bad Pitch

Fundraising: 10 Deadly Sins of a Bad Pitch

Bill Lewis 06/01/2021 5
Fundraising: 10 Deadly Sins of a Bad Pitch

The business world is competitive and not a field for the faint-hearted.

To succeed in the entrepreneurship world, you need to be determined, enthused, and ready to face real challenges as well as stay focused. 

If you are fundraising, here are 10 deadly sins of a bad pitch.

1. Asking For a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

Don’t do it! It shows you are a complete novice. Venture capital firms receive hundreds of pitches a month - they don’t sign NDAs.

2. Weak Design and Cover Slide

A simple pitch deck is commendable, but invest in design. Unprofessional decks show you don’t care enough. Your cover needs a “hook”, what you do in less than five words (not jargon or gobbledegook).

3. Lack of Financial Figures

Get out of possible debt. Come up with many income outlets and have insurance to take care of contingencies.

4. Too Many Slides

Boil it down to 12 slides. Volume does not impress.

5. Too Detailed

Simple and clear pitch decks get funded. Cluttered text is an immediate turnoff. Investors know you don’t understand how fundraising works.

6. Not Stating The Problem You Solve

Your business should solve a big problem that a lot of people have. Stay laser-focused on the message.

7. Overstating Big Claims 

Show the upside, investors want to be inspired. But base claims on defensible facts.

8. Missing Key Data

Know what should go in - it’s no good saying “I’ll cover that in a meeting”. You won’t get that far.

9. Ignoring the Competition

No competitor analysis what are you hiding?

10 No Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

No clear USP means no business. Show yours and tell the right story around it.

Many entrepreneurs focus on their strengths and fail to look at their weaknesses. Investors could call off business deals if they realize you have been hiding your weaknesses. You need to know the kind of business you are establishing and the kind of people you want to buy your products and services. Bear in mind that not everyone will be attracted to your business.

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  • Gary William

    Entrepreneurs forget to tell their story and why people should care about their product. Investors care about their background in order to trust them.

  • Jeremy Huxol

    Practice is key to raise funds

  • Tyler Curtis

    No USP kills your hopes of getting funded.

  • Daniel Nathan

    Thank you for this guide.. interesting info to know...

  • Scott McDonald

    Thanks Bill !

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Bill Lewis

Innovation Expert

Bill Lewis is a sought after Board advisor and counsel; he is also a renowned entrepreneur, technologist and workshop speaker. An experienced Corporate Executive and Non Executive Director advising Fortune 200 companies, Bill has served on the Boards of five companies, including the Global Board of a major system integrator. A prolific writer on technology, the digital age and entrepreneurship, he is the author of three acclaimed books: Midas and 1000 Cows, 100 Mistakes of a Start Up CEO, and 25 Kickass Lessons for the Budding Entrepreneur and numerous blogs and articles. 


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