How to Pitch a Startup: The Ultimate Guide

startup pitch

Let’s face it – a startup pitch can be scary business.

You only have a few minutes to impress a potential investor, so your pitch needs to be on point. There are certain boxes that you need to tick in order to get interest from investors.

In short, your pitch should be all killer – no filler.

Investors see hundreds of pitches every year, but less than 9% of these hopeful entrepreneurs will go on to get investment. Even if your slot is 20 minutes long, if the investor isn’t interested, you’ll be out the door much quicker than that.

It’s up to you to get their attention and keep it. Knowing how to pitch and choosing your startup pitch content wisely will go some way to helping you achieve this, to see example startup pitch decks from Twine creatives, you’ll find them here.

In this article, we’ll share some top tips for startup pitch content that will make the perfect pitch, whether you’re an expert in pitching or not!

1. There’s no one size fits all for startup pitch content

Don’t just reel off the same pitch to every investor. With an investor pitch, you should individually tailor your startup pitch content to suit the investor. Every investor has different areas of expertise, which you should brush up on and play up to.

2. Ask for what you want

Know exactly what you want from your investments and make sure you ask for it. Explain clearly why you want it, and show you’ve done your research. This won’t be the same for every investor you talk to; different investors offer different benefits.

Learn your figures and projections for your startup pitch content

3. Know your figures

No, it’s not deja vu, we did already mention this above but it bears repeating. Learn your figures inside out and then learn them again. Investors are looking to be impressed by your precise financial knowledge. If you need to, get an expert to help you prepare and make sure nothing has been overlooked.

Investors will be looking to see you have confidence in how your startup will make money and that you know the market you’re going into. They’ll also want to see that your figures are backed up by data.

4. Get their attention in the first ten seconds

If there’s one thing about knowing how to pitch to investors – it’s how to make a scene. And we’re not talking absolute chaos here, but you do want them to leave the meeting still thinking about your proposal. 

Your startup pitch content needs to convey the essentials in the first ten seconds. I know we keep harping on about it, but investors have to listen to a lot of pitches, so make sure they know you have something interesting to say. Get your value proposition across, and get the investor eager to hear more.

If your elevator pitch is dull or vague, the investor will switch off and you’ll have lost it.

5. What problem are you solving?

Clearly explain what problem your startup solves and how/why people will pay for it. Again, clarity is key here; don’t shroud it in technical jargon. It doesn’t make you look clever or important and the investor will see right through it.

6. Know your market

Investors want to see that you know your market and your customers. When creating your pitching idea, make sure you’re explaining how you’re going to grow within your industry space, and how you’re going to get customers. If you can show proof that your ideas work, all the better. If you already have to pay customers, get a short testimonial from them. Hard evidence that your startup works in the real world will really make your investor’s ears perk up.

7. How do you make money?

Pretty important, this one. Not only for your startup pitch, but this should also be your core focus when thinking of how to pitch a business idea, to anyone Clearly explain how your revenue model will make money. Price points and deals aren’t crucial during the early stages. Instead, focus on the logic behind your revenue model.

8. What’s your USP?

How will you keep competitors away? Investors will want to see that your startup idea can’t be easily copied and that it doesn’t exist already – this could be your intellectual property or an existing deal with a customer.

Think about why your market positioning is better – what makes you unique compared to your competitors?

9. How will you spend their money?

Investors will want to know how their hard-earned cash is being spent. It’s a good idea to create a roadmap that shows how you’ll build out your product and how much cash is needed for each stage. It’s also fine to say you’ll be spending money on new hires if you need to expand your team.

Get your startup pitch content right and you'll get the investor shaking hands in no time

10. Restate your value proposition

End with your value proposition again. It’s a great way to remind your investor why they should be investing with you.

It’s a lot to take on board, but a great pitch combined with a solid pitch deck could see you sail through to investment.

And finally for your startup pitch…

Now, before we address what content to include in your pitch, here are some basic pitching tips that will help you go down a storm:

We can’t stress this point enough. We’ve all seen those cringe-worthy episodes of Dragon’s Den where a naive entrepreneur gets torn to shreds because they don’t know their figures. Don’t let this be you. Investors will want to see that you know your stuff inside and out and can answer any question thrown at you with flair.

Practice your pitch, know your figures, and know the space you’re operating in. This will give you a solid starting point from which to pitch. Oh, and a strong pitch deck too.

Like we said, investors sit through tons of pitches on a daily basis. Give them a reason to remember you. Investors want to see that you’re confident and enthusiastic. It’s up to you to make them excited about your startup.

Thinking of raising investment for your startup? Check out our investor megalist.

This article is part of our startup investment series. You can read about the types of investors, where to find them, how to pitch, and an introduction to investment legal. Read more.


After studying English Literature at university, Vicky decided she didn’t want to be either a teacher or whoever it is that writes those interminable mash-up novels about Jane Austen and pirates, so sensibly moved into graphic design.

She worked freelance for some time on various projects before starting at Twine and giving the site its unique, colourful look.

Despite having studied in Manchester and spent some years in Cheshire, she’s originally from Cumbria and stubbornly refuses to pick up a Mancunian accent. A keen hiker, Vicky also shows her geographic preferences by preferring the Cumbrian landscape to anything more local.