This week RevRoad welcomed three new companies into its portfolio: The Simple Associate, Hypercraft, and Localeyes. RevRoad’s application process is intentionally extensive in order to match ourselves with companies that we can help successfully grow. While paying close attention to various KPI’s and projections, RevRoad also takes immense care when interviewing and getting to know the leadership teams of each company. After-all, great leaders build great companies. So, let’s dive in with an insider look at the newest RevRoad portfolio companies.Continue reading
How does one select unicorn companies? For most, it’s a numbers game. The more companies you bet on, the higher likelihood of selecting winners. This is true to an extent, but we’ve always tried to be more purposeful than that. The #1 thing we have recognized is of pivotal importance is the…..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.
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.