RevRoad is a Venture Services Firm that helps companies maintain control, increase revenue, and improve their network.Continue reading
Written By: A.J. Rounds
As a member of the founding team at RevRoad, I’ve reviewed hundreds of pitches and learned a few things that may be helpful for you as an entrepreneur.
Bring Your A Game
When you pitch your company to venture capitalists, investors, or other partners, bring your A game. I’m not just talking about the 10/20/30 rule coined by Guy Kawasaki (although, also extremely helpful). I’m referring to answering crucial questions in your presentation.
Pitching is an art, and there are few who do it well. Out of the entrepreneurs I’ve seen pitch, about 25% present extremely well, while 20% pitch on an average level and give the basics. The remaining 55% need to read this article.
My goal in writing this is to help you secure the resources and partnerships (in some cases Venture Services) you need to succeed.
What should you include in your pitch?
Let’s dive in.
Know your customer
Before you begin building your pitch, answer the following questions.
- Do you know your audience?
- Have you identified your target market by needs, demographics, geography, and ability to pay?
If not, that’s step 1. It is also helpful to understand what their experience level is when it comes to using your product or service. What do they currently say about your company?
Now you are ready to begin constructing your pitch.
Can you explain what you do or offer in one sentence? If not, please practice.
Frame it in terms of the problem your target market has and how you solve it.
Additionally, ask yourself if your market is big enough. Is your solution good enough? Putting your audience through a long, tedious exercise of trying to understand what your company does, the problem you solve, and how you are different from other options in the market will not help you.
Make it quick, easy, and obvious.
Revenue Model, Projections, Timeline, & Financial Outlook
Remember, often you are pitching to an audience that is financially minded. Be sure to spend time on your business model or revenue model.
Questions you should answer include:
- What is your revenue model? Is the revenue recurring (preferred)?
- Do you have multiple streams of revenue?
- What is the price point of your product and corresponding profit margins?
- What is the lifespan of your product or service?
- How have you funded your business to this point?
- Who else is on your cap table?
- What does an exit look like for you and when?
- What is your current valuation?
- Are your financials and projections realistic?
- What is the timeline to revenue milestones?
One of the things I expect to hear about when listening to a scalable company pitch is traction achieved.
Maybe that’s a revenue number. Or, if you are pre-revenue, maybe that traction number equates to followers, an email list, or even submitted pre-orders.
Closely related to traction is your market size. You should also be very familiar with this information.
Please don’t present an unrealistic TAM when pitching your business. I often hear the statement, “If I can just convert 1% of the population of China or the U.S. market, then we will have achieved our goals.” This is an instant turnoff for educated investors or partners.
Talk more about your Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) or what portion of the market you can realistically reach.
Defensibility & Competitors
In your pitch, include how your product or service is unique and defensible. Do you have intellectual property or patents filed?
Risks are mitigated when your closest competitor can’t easily copy your value proposition—which brings me to competition.
Who are your competitors? Are they well-funded? Do they have large market share? Where might your product overlap with theirs? There are many templates available that can help you create a competitor analysis report.
Discuss your team. Who are you? Who are your teammates? Why did you get into this vertical?
Talk about your successful exit(s) or epic failure(s). Maybe even both. This shows you’re an experienced entrepreneur that understands the roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship. If done right, talking about these items will give you credibility and show your passion for your company.
If you have an advisory board, which is highly recommended, discuss who those individuals are and the value they bring to the table.
It’s also helpful to mention who’s working full time in the business and who is not. This is critical. At RevRoad specifically, we seldom work with companies that don’t have at least one founder working full time in the business.
Summary and CTA
Include a concise summary and clear call to action as the last slide of your presentation and boom, you are ready to pitch!
As someone who listens to entrepreneurs pitch for a living, I recommend that you follow these guidelines. Your chances of a successful pitch will skyrocket.
Whatever the pitch event, be it the annual Entrepreneur Competition hosted by RevRoad, a pitch to become a RevRoad portfolio company, or a community pitch competition like the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit Competition, incorporate these tips and you’ll nail your presentation.
Savology, a Utah-based fintech startup providing free financial planning, oversubscribed a $750,000 seed round of funding to make financial planning more accessible and affordable than ever before.
Several strategic investors participated in the funding round, including:
- Brady Murray, CEO of MassMutual Intermountain West
- Derrin Hill, CEO of RevRoad
- Bruce Miller, Founder & CEO of PROFi – The Professional Financial Company LLC
- Ben Tejes, Co-founder & CEO of Ascend Finance
“Savology has the potential to fundamentally change the direction of personal finances in America,” says lead investor Brady Murray. “I look forward to seeing the positive impact that Savology will have on both households and the broader industry as they improve access to financial planning and other financial services.”
Savology boasts a considerable lineup of financial service provider partners that include the likes of MassMutual, Acorns, Lively, M1 Finance, Self, Blooom, The Zebra, Credible and many others. Savology is on track to expand the network of partners to 50 providers this year.
“We are grateful to the early investors and partners who believe in our mission and make it possible for us to elevate Savology to new levels,” says Spencer Barclay, Founder and CEO of Savology. “We know that we have an incredible amount of work ahead of us, but we are up for the challenge to help millions of households achieve financial security.”
To date, Savology has helped nearly 10,000 households improve their personal finances with its free financial planning platform. With the current economic uncertainty and recent stock market declines, there has never been a better time to help Americans with their personal finances. Savology plans to use this funding to help 100,000 users build free financial plans this year.
For more information about Savology visit savology.com.
For media inquiries, please contact Bri Ray, Communications Specialist, at (801) 472-2124 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Your financial future starts today
Savology is a free planning platform where you can build a free, unbiased, personalized financial plan in about 5 minutes. Your Savology plan will give you action items to start working on as well as an overview of your current financial situation. After you have made some progress, Savology can connect you with some of the world’s top providers to help you accomplish your financial goals.
When growing a business, you as an entrepreneur have several options to scale your company. However, what options do you have if you don’t have a lot of resources, need to hire expert team members, and want to grow quickly? What if there were an option to grow your company? Now there is.Continue reading
Savology prepares fast and free personal financial plans. In just 5 minutes, a user can receive a comprehensive plan, holistic report card, and personalized recommendations to improve their short term and long term financial wellbeing.
Savology joined the RevRoad portfolio in October 2019. In a recent case study, CEO Spencer Barclay had this to say about his experience, “We were at a point where we needed either an investment or a partner that could help us get to launch. We joined RevRoad in July 2019 and in 3-4 months we had over 1,000 users.”
Hear Spencer Barclay’s full RevRoad review here.
One of the first steps the marketing team took with Savology was collaborating on a brand refresh.
Brand Color Exploration
Finding the primary and supporting colors for a company’s brand.
View the before/after of the Savology logo below.
As you can see, the initial logo color was bright and disjointed. The initial font was fairly thin, spacey, and difficult to read; however, the hexagon, abstracted money sign, and simplicity behind the idea were strong.
The revamped logo highlights all of the strongest features of the initial logo, yet the slight changes help accentuate Savology’s true tone and overall brand. The rebranded logo allowed Savology to better fit within the fintech industry and target the desired audience. The font was also given a custom upgrade to make it more difficult to replicate.
Product Design and Development
Step two was designing and developing a working product software that takes each customer through the financial plan process quickly, efficiently, and easily. With the help of both the RevRoad and Savology UI/UX teams, the full Savology software was built. The clean and clear design layout makes navigation and function simple.
Savology came to RevRoad with a simple, entry level website. In collaboration with the RevRoad marketing team, a custom marketing website was built to motivate potential clients to fill out a free financial plan.
Social Posts and Templates
Growing a social media presence can be helpful when establishing a company within a specific demographic. One of the hardest pieces of social media is knowing where to start. Below, you’ll see examples of some custom instagram templates RevRoad designed and delivered to help Savology maintain a clean, professional aesthetic digital platforms.
Press Release and Launch
On October 24, 2019, Savology officially launched to the public. The RevRoad Marketing, PR, and Communications teams worked with Savology to make some waves. The successful launch resulted in Savology being mentioned on 80+ media outlets including Forbes, YahooFinance, Business Insider, Market Watch, MorningStar, and Entrepreneur.
Read the full press release here.
In July of 2018, Karmel Larson and the Momni team joined the RevRoad family. It was among the first drops of what will grow to be a tsunami.
Within weeks, Karmel secured coverage on the Dr. Phil Youtube channel. The story about the global childcare crisis caught the attention of more than a million viewers, and soon local press took notice.
Moms from around the country joined as Momnis, apps were published, and a rivulet formed.
On Friday, the Momni team turned those first droplets into a roaring river. She and her team secured a total of more than $2 million in funding to aggressively develop new features and open new markets for caresharing around the world.
The round was led significantly by Tamarak Capital, a Utah family office, and was accompanied by investors from Utah venture service firm RevRoad and angel investors.
“Now the Momni family is getting bigger, bigger and bigger and I”m feeling so grateful today,” Karmel said during the signing celebration. “I am so grateful for all the support I’ve received as Momni has taken off.”
Larson was inspired to start Momni after learning about the global childcare crisis in 2017. The company released iPhone and Android apps earlier this year to help moms connect with one another digitally.
Momni’s platform connects moms’ existing network of friends they already know and trust. Most recently, the company was featured on the Dr. Phil Youtube channel.
Fighting back tears, Karmel expressed thanks to her first supporters — her husband and children.
“Brigham was our first investors and the secret behind the power of Momni,” she said, “And my children have sacrificed so much to have their mother be a part of Momni. Thank you so much for supporting their mother so other mothers can have childcare.”
Funding for Women-led Startups
Before the signing part on Friday, Karmel expressed gratitude to Tamarak for seeing the promise in her company.
“Statistics show that it’s hard for female startup founders to get funding, and I am encouraged by the overwhelming interest we’ve received to help moms worldwide support one another with a cutting-edge and network-based childcare platform,” she said.
“Few things are as socially significant as what Momni is focused on” said Nate McBride, partner at Tamarak Capital. “Momni is making a difference for families worldwide by harnessing technology to both improve the quality and accessibility of childcare in our communities — all while allowing Moms an additional source of income to improve their own lives. We have been so impressed with the Momni team, their product, and the impressive traction they’ve generated so quickly. They are a very talented team, working on a significant challenge, and we are proud to work with them in solving it for good.”
Larson considers Momni’s recent round to be an encouraging step in the right direction for female entrepreneurship, although female founders still encounter difficulty in raising funds.
A study released by the Boston Consulting Group and MassChallenge, a network of startup accelerators, found disparity in the size of deals as well. The average female-founded startup received $935,000 in funding, compared to $2.1 million awarded to the average male-founded startup. That’s despite the fact that female-founded startups performed better, bringing in 78 cents on the dollar in five years compared to 31 cents for men.
For Karmel, the funding is a sign of progress for women in entrepreneurship. But most importantly, it shows the power of what Momni will become.
“We are growing from a drop to a stream, to a river, to an ocean, to a wave, to a tsunami, she said, brimming with joy. “We will conquer the earth with this Momni tsunami.”
Momni is a revolutionary, sharing-economy tech company that seeks to link all moms everywhere for caresharing. Momni offers instant access to trusted care by mothers in your Momni Circle and community. The company works closely with the Momni Foundation to provide caresharing opportunities to women and families in the developing world as a solution to the global childcare crisis.