Expert Advice Before Your First Time Pitching

Welcome to the #365Firsts Podcast and the Expert Advice Before Your First Time Series. The show aims to encourage, prepare, and inspire you to do things you’ve never done before and complete your #365FirstsChallenge list. 

In each episode of this series, we give you tips and advice to set you up for success, for specific firsts and new experiences. The guests and topics are as varied as the options and possibilities of new experiences. 

Whether you’re trying to learn a new skill, improve your health and happiness, work on your self-development, add excitement and adventure to your life, or simply have first times, you’re going to love our podcast.

In This Episode

Starting a business can be a nerve wracking yet thrilling experience. One of the most anxiety inducing aspects of starting your own business venture is pitching to investors, which is what we are going to be taking a look at in this episode.

Today, we’re joined by Jose Cayasso- also known as Caya. He is the CEO of Slidebean, and one of three starting founders. In this episode, he’s going to be sharing his experiences and advice on pitching to investors for the first time.

The Guest Expert

As we said, Caya is the CEO and one of the founders of Slidebean. But what exactly is Slidebean? This intriguing platform was started in 2014, and offers a beautifully simple, cloud-based presentation tool.

Caya’s journey with Slidebean started when he was selected to be part of Startup Chile, and made it to the 500 startups selection; which is one of the top US based business accelerators, as noted by Forbes and Techcrunch. Slidebean has seen some immense growth and expansion in the last few years.

Caya has a background in graphic design, animation, film making and storytelling – all of which are skills that have been put to good use on the Slidebean YouTube channel. He studied graphic design in college, and created a mobile gaming platform  to kickstart his career. 

The Slidebean YouTube channel is actually where we discovered Caya and his work. The channel is packed full of rich and vibrant entrepreneurial content, surrounding everything from life skills, business development, and pitching. 

Caya is an expert when it comes to pitching. He pitched to 142 investors to raise a seed round of $800,000 for Slidebean. Over 16,000 pitch decks have been created on Slidebean since 2015, and Caya has been directly involved with thousands of Slidebean customers and their pitch writing and design.

What You Need To Know Before Pitching

What is a Pitch Deck

So, why is a pitch deck so important? Caya notes that the pitch deck is often one of the first things that investors will see of your company, so it needs to look professional and be consistent with your brand. Pitch decks are brief stories that sum up your company, that showcase what you do, how you make money, why you do it, and why you’re the best.

The actual components or slides that make up the pitch desk have mostly been standardized – the tricky part of building a powerful pitch deck is simplifying your idea and expressing it a concise and memorable fashion.

Investors tend to spend around 4 minutes on pitches, so you need to be short, snappy and impactful.

When do you Need a Pitch Deck

How do you know your business is ready to be pitched? Caya explains very few companies can raise capital if there is no product and active customer base, so these are essentials. But he reminds us that early-stage companies can find success pitching to friends and family to get capital to get started.

Finding Investors

Finding out who you’re going to pitch to can be difficult, but Caya’s main suggestion is to find ‘warm’ leads who already know you and can help you to make the right connections. Networking is hugely important for finding investors. Using social media and other digital platforms can be fantastic for finding local investors or angel investors. 

Be prepared to contact around 100 investors before finding the ones that will listen to your pitch and find the magical one that will invest in your company. This means be ready to be ignored, and hear “no” or a version of “get back in touch with us when.”

This is why you pitch deck must be the best it can be – it is doing the speaking for you to get you a meeting.

Delivering the Pitch

When it comes to the actual pitch, odds are most times you’ll be one-on-one. Don’t read off your slide. Tell the story of your business, who you are, what you need, and why you and your company are worth an investment.

If pitching to a group of people, take the same approach of seeing it as a conversation and telling your story.

Pay to Pitch

Paying to pitch is a concept that is unfortunately too common. Caya offers the insight that not much comes out of startup conferences and pay to pitch events. If you’re going to pitch at an event where you’re required to pay be wary and make sure that you do your research beforehand. It might be good exposure – but rarely do these events have the outcome of a startup being funded.

Caya covers the spectrum of the type of investors who show up at these events. The investors from larger and more experienced firms who are inundated with deal flows might send a representative, investors from groups/firms with steady deal flows, but seeking more, will likely be there; however, it’s more likely to be newer and less experienced investors who don’t have a lot of deals going to those events.

The episode wraps up with Caya discussing Slidebean, and how the platform uses AI and cloud-based software to simplify, hone, and perfect your pitch deck. Overall, Caya advises perfecting the content of your pitch and focusing on simplicity with your pitch deck.

Get In Touch With Caya

It was a blast recording this episode, and we really enjoyed speaking with Caya. But how can you get in contact with him? Check him out and his office hours on the SlideBean website and his social media links are;

If you want to get in touch with him to find out more about what he does, we’re sure that he would be more than happy to hear from you. 

Engage with Us

One of the main reasons why we do what we do here at the 365 Firsts Challenge is our community. We love being able to help people enrich their lives, and the reason for doing this show was to help everyone brighten up their 2020. 

So, we want to hear from you.

Are there particular topics you’d like to hear about, or something you want advice on? Is there something you think we could be doing better? Feel free to get in touch with a member of our team at contact@365firstschallenge.com today.

What’s Coming Up Next?

New episodes of Expert Advice Before Your First Time are released each Tuesday and Thursday, and we’ve got a fantastic roster of expert guests lined up to give you more advice. 

Next, we have Rebecca Noelle coming to speak to us on the 21st about painting for the first time. After that, we’ll be speaking with Collyn Warner on the 23rd about volunteering for a political campaign for the first time.

Make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode, you can listen and subscribe on Apple, Google, or Spotify. While you’re there – please leave a review if you can. It really does help us out with our work, and each review is truly appreciated.

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