3 Pitch Tips for Startups at Collision

BCG Digital Ventures has the pleasure of attending and contributing to the 2016 Collision conference in New Orleans this week. CEO and Co-Founder, Jeff Schumacher, will speak on Distributed Fintech alongside Shai Wininger, Co-Founder of Lemonade.

Anthony Koithra, a BCGDV Principal, will participate as a judge for PITCH — the Collision competition where over 100 early-stage startups battle live to be crowned 2016’s best startup. In honor of the occasion, we asked what three tips of advice they would lend to startups when going after VC funding…

  1. Friction

At BCGDV, we are relentlessly focused on the next horizon of innovation. To do this, we are constantly looking for points of friction — those latent unmet needs that we believe offer the key to the “new” and extraordinary. Our quest for friction is brought to life in our brand mark. When a shard of flint is struck against a piece of steel at 50 degrees, sparks fly. It’s a simple yet profound action that represents one of humankind’s greatest discoveries: fire. And it’s symbolic of our curious and inquisitive nature that drives us to disrupt behaviors, industries and the world around us.

BCGDV Principal Anthony Koithra poses the question, “What friction does your company solve for?” Seems simple, but this major factor is often overlooked in pitches and business models in general. You, as a startup, must immerse yourself into the marketplace and, ultimately, put yourself into the consumer’s shoes; experience the friction that your product or team aims to solve. As CEO Jeff Schumacher says, “Without friction, you are a solution looking for a problem.”

2. Convert

We’ve all heard “buying a team, not an idea.” Pitching is the easy part; now you’ve got to have a plan of action to execute. Make sure your pitch has a strong story that tells of how and why you’re in this business, a glimpse into your business plan, a demo or prototype. When it’s said and done, you had better converted me, made me a believer, or move over.

3. Distinct

What about your team is unique? You need to provide a lens into the landscape and your competitors and then solidify why your product or team stands out above the rest. There could very well be a million competitors in the marketplace, but what about your team makes you distinct? How are you the embodiment of better?

For instance, a recent BCGDV corporate partnership resulted in a startup set to revolutionize China’s next 18-million births. We applied the rigor of strategic design to identify a key unmet need facing people in China’s fast changing society. Insights that could not be found through traditional market analysis.

BCG Digital Ventures is a corporate investment and incubation firm. We invent, build and invest in startups with the world’s most influential companies. We share risk and invest alongside our corporate and startup partners via a range of collaborative options. Learn more at bcgdv.com.

BCG Digital Ventures invents, launches, and scales industry-disrupting new businesses with the world’s most influential companies.

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