• NEXT Venture Pitch

Learn to Craft the Perfect Pitch

4 Tips to Landing VC Funding

NEXT Venture Pitch 2020 is the best place for Carolina-based businesses to pitch, raise VC funds, and network with other entrepreneurs and businesses-owners. This year’s conference is breaking ground in two new ways:

  • It is 100% virtual – allowing businesses to move forward safely

  • A “Pitch Winner” will be announced with the winner landing a spot in the Venture Atlanta Live Online showcase in October

If you’re planning on pitching at this year’s virtual conference, make sure to apply today – spots are filling fast!

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Whether you’re pre-recording a pitch, pitching live online, or pitching in-person, we’ve gathered the best tips to help you craft the perfect pitch.

1. Research and Prepare

Researching your audience and potential investors is incredibly important when crafting your pitch. Depending on who they are, you may need to shift your selling points and how you frame the conversation. The thing that makes one type of investor buy in may make another walk away. Make sure that you understand your market, can clearly articulate your model, and are able to show traction (more on this in #3 below).

Preparation for delivering your pitch is also key – you should practice your entire pitch at least 20 or 30 times across several days and weeks. This will not only make you more comfortable delivering your pitch, but will give you the opportunity to tweak how you phrase things. The added bonus here is that after so much practice, you’ll have your pitch completely memorized!

2. Use A Quality Pitch Deck

Every great pitch has a simple yet strong visual structure in the form of a high quality pitch deck. This structure acts as the lumber and steel supports in a building. Here’s a great format to follow:

Slide 1: Logo & Elevator Speech

Slide 2: Problem

Slide 3: Solution

Slide 4: How It Works

Slide 5: Traction

Slide 6: Business Model

Slide 7: Competition

Slide 8: Market Opportunity

Slide 9: Progress To Date

Slide 10: The Team

For more detailed notes on each of these slides, check out this in-depth post by 500 Startups.

3. Map Your Message.

Not every idea is simple – sometimes complex problems require complex solutions. However, explaining the problem and solution needs to be simple when it comes to pitching. That’s where the Message Map comes into play – it acts as the design and decor of a building that ultimately sells it.

According to Carmine Gallo, “If you can’t tell me what you do in 15 seconds, I’m not buying, I’m not investing, and I’m not interested.”

The Message Map follows a simple formula:

  1. Create a Twitter-friendly headline.

  2. Support the headline with 3 key benefits.

  3. Reinforce the three benefits with stories, statistics, and examples.

Step 1 requires that you explain the purpose of your company in 140 characters or less. Nailing this message is vital.

Step 2 understands that we all have decreasing attention spans (and you’re not the only company pitching). Keep your benefits quick and simple.

Step 3 is where the selling happens. Now that your audience can simply and easily understand the what (Twitter-friendly headline) and the why (3 key benefits) of your company, you can support your claims with data and anecdotes that drive home your pitch.

Looking for more in-depth and tactical information? Make sure to attend the “How to Pitch” session at NEXT Venture Pitch 2020!

Secure Your Seat

4. Keep It Succinct.

Keeping your pitch succinct is important both verbally and visually (PowerPoint). The benefits you explain should be short and to the point – make sure to avoid long paragraphs. Visually, it’s best to keep text to a minimum. Again, no paragraphs on screen as they only serve to distract your audience from what you’re saying.

Make sure to leverage visuals whether they’re photos, infographics, or data visualizations. These are powerful and can help give credibility to the case you’re building.

5. Make The Ask.

You know how much money your company needs to get to the next level. Come prepared with your number, what the money will be going towards, and your expected or projected results within a certain time frame. This will not only show your attention to detail with your business-plan but leave a lasting impression of ambition and professionalism.

Not planning on pitching at this year’s conference but interested in seeing the action? Register today to secure your seat!

BONUS: Want to have an active part in choosing the best pitches? VIP ticket holders receive the exclusive opportunity to vote for pitch winners each day of the pitch competition! Claim your VIP ticket today.

Register Today

NEXT Venture Pitch 2020 will take place virtually (100% online) over 3 half-days from September 15 – 17. Join us for fireside chats, CEO workshops, keynote speakers, educational panels, and more!

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NEXT VENTURE PITCH is a conference hosted by NEXT, an economic development and entrepreneurial support organization located in Greenville, SC. To learn more, visit

Get In Contact with NEXT:


411 University Ridge

Greenville, SC 29601

Call: (864) 751-4845