Any tricks for getting the attention of investors?

We often get the questions/frustrations that it’s hard to get the first meetings with investors, how do you do that? The reality is often a good (and succinct) pitch deck that focuses on the financial upside and de-risking (versus the detailed features of the product) is the key. Investors’ jobs are to find good investments so they’ll look at pitch decks and for companies they deem “investable”, they’ll reply.

That all being said, are there any interesting tips or tricks that you’ve used or heard about that hardware startups could use to get interest and that first meeting?

Guy Kawasaki has a great post with 10 slides to build your pitch deck. Worth a look!

Yeah, Guy Kawasaki’s template is great. We have used the basic premise and updated one that is more specific to hardware:

Hardware Massive Pitch Deck Template

As hardware is more complex, we find most templates are not suitable to get the point across. We’d love to hear comments and feedback.

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  1. Physical demos are game-changers during pitching. Even if you don’t have a demo ready but can simulate one with paper, glue and tape, you’d visually communicate more info than the presentation.

An example is Feynmann using a cup of iced water to demo the shrinking of o-rings in the Challeger crash.

  1. The presentation covers the salient points. I often wonder why an explicit slide listing the key risks and how you de-risk them is often not included. It seems we (entrepreneurs) trying hard to sell the opportunity while investors trying hard to see the risks buried in the opportunity is the cause of much ineffective pitching.

I believe that using warm introductions from people who have good contacts with investors works best. This includes especially people or founders from startups who are in the porttolio of that particular investor.
VC’s receive many thousands emails from startups each month so they are sensitive to external validation from their connections.