The competition to get into APX is fierce. So we’re often asked what startups can do to help their chances of getting in, especially during the all-important pitch. While getting accepted all comes down to your team, idea, and level of traction, there are definitely things that can help or harm you along the way.
Here is our list of pitching dos and don’ts:
Our top 3 dos:
- Let us get to know you – *all* of you: Early stage investments rely heavily on the team. We invest in a founding team, not in one member. Make sure you all show up to meet us. We won’t let you pitch unless all of the founders are there.
- Be predictable: The kind of predictability that makes you seem reliable and trustworthy. We are your potential investors and partners, so this is crucial. From the seemingly little things, like being on time to the meeting, to the big things, like being forthcoming and honest, give us the feeling that we should stake our time and efforts on you. We promise to reciprocate.
- Have a sense of humour: And, more generally, be likeable and engaging. If we invest in you, we’ll be working together for a while, and probably spending long hours together. It’s much easier to say yes to someone who brings positive energy and a good attitude with them, rather than seems bored even by their own pitch.
Our top 3 don’ts:
- Be too predictable: We see so many companies and don’t always have enough time to figure out if your startup is going to be the Next Big Thing. So try to wow us! Show us a cool demo (if you have one). Oh, and if we’re typing on our laptops, that doesn’t mean that we’re bored – it means we’re avidly taking notes.
- Be tripped up by technology: Don’t lose precious time that could be spent selling us your startup idea by trying to figure out how the technology works. Practice in advance! Make sure you have a good connection, the proper microphone or headset, your presentation is ready to go, and the pitch space is quiet.
- Run out of time: We have a strict framework for you to pitch in and holding you to it is a good test of your ability to effectively tell a story. Plus, it evens out the playing field for all candidates. This does mean that we won’t have too much time to socialise, but you’ll get to know us better and be able to ask more questions if we decide to move forward.
That’s pretty much it. No big surprises, right? These rules likely apply to many of the investors, partners, and customers you’re going to encounter along the way, so get into these habits early. Good luck pitching!