4 ways to lose a startup pitch competition

At the Founder Showcase we’ve seen over 800 startups compete. And while generally most people knock it out of the park, there are definitely rookie mistakes being made all the time.

Here are the top four things you should avoid doing in any pitch competition:

  1. Ignoring the 800 lb gorilla in the room.  There are many great pitch templates and resources out there, but that doesn’t mean you can simply swap in your information and go pitch. Every business has a very obvious red flag: Identify yours and dispel the doubters.
  2. Not providing post-funding milestones.  When you were 12 you wouldn’t ask your mother for a dollar without telling her what is was for. So, why would you ask investors for millions without telling them the business milestones their money will be used to achieve? The more specific, the better.
  3. Not showing enough product.  Seems obvious enough, but still too many focus on defining the customer problem, leaving not nearly enough time on the solution. If you have no product, you are simply not ready.
  4. Being boring!  Don’t walk on stage and give the same presentation you would in a boardroom. The audience reaction matters, and the presenter’s ability is very important. Be entertaining, and have fun out there!

The 11th Founder Showcase is coming up on Wednesday, July 25, in Silicon Valley and will feature Kevin Rose, Aaron Levie and Hiten Shah as keynote speakers. Register now at http://foundershowcase.com/tickets. GigaOM readers get 15 percent off with the code GOM.