If you’re an ICA entrepreneur or a graduate of our Accelerator, you may already be familiar with Strategic Program Manager, Caron Gugssa-Howard’s weekly “nuggets”.
These little tidbit – most often shared bye email – were the way Caron share digestible advice on pitching, creating decks, and meeting preparation, as well as practical strategies for growth.
Now, you’re getting a sneak peek as we share some of these small, bite-sized snippets of wisdom, motivation, and business insights from the desk of Caron Gussa-Howard below.
And if you are an entrepreneur with a growing business and would like to get your own weekly nuggets (and so much more!) consider applying to the ICA Accelerator.
We will soon be looking for the next great companies to join the cohort – applications open soon.
#1 – The Four Keys to Pitching:
Check out a few key “nuggets” for successful pitching I learned while at Alice's Circular Summit last week, from Lisa Wang of SheWorx.
- Energy – be energetic; capital providers can't get excited about your business if you're not!
- A pitch is essentially an audition for leadership – Investors invest in leaders, way makers, and change makers
- Avoid over explaining – less is more when pitching; let them ask the questions-just be prepared to respond...with accuracy!
- Make the A$K!!!! – A MUST...be prepared to speak to your capital raise and how it will be used
#2 – Pitch Like a Boss:
- Still getting stumbled over your pitch deck slides?
- Try storyboarding your deck with post-its
- Write down one main point you want to convey to the audience from each slide
- It helps to get clear on the story you're telling from beginning to end!
- Speak with conviction and confidence.
- You want people (read “capital providers”) to know that you truly believe in your product/service
- You also want them to know that YOU and YOUR TEAM are the best in the business to take your company and their investment to the next level
- Be Energetic!
- No on wants to hear from, nor invest in, a company where the leader(s) are not not energized by its work, progress to date, and what's to look forward to in the future
- Be Memorable!
- Make sure attendees walk away with a lasting impression
- Slow Down & Take a Breath!
- We know that 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes is never enough to convey your journey and hard work, but be sure to take your time and speak clearly
#3 – Be Prepared:
In preparation for meetings with investors and capital providers, our longtime Capital Strategy advisor, Jonathan Mi, shared some especially useful nuggets on what every business person should have before entering a meeting with an investor. Jonathan recommends having a Dropbox folder link or flash drive at the ready to send to interested investors.
So, without much further ado, In prep for any meeting, you should have the following:
- Clean Profit & Loss (3 years of historical financials (income statement, balance sheet, cash flows)
- Projections (3-5 years)
- Team Bio's (management level)
- Business Plan / Presentation Deck
- Cap Table
- PR (awards, recognition, media and any other ammo to help tell your story)
Does your business have:
- an established business model that supports good job creation?
- the capacity and commitment to fully participate?
- demonstrated product/market fit and traction?
- a scalable business model with tangible expansion opportunities?
Ready to join us? Apply to the Accelerator!