All You Need to Know About STAN Pitching Sessions

Congratulations, your startup received the message that it was selected to pitch to STAN Angels. What's next?

We’ve prepared detailed guidelines and recommendations for you explaining what our pitching sessions look like and how to best prepare to maximize your chance for success.
1) Pitching Schedule and the Event

First, you will be provided with the agenda of the pitching session event, where you can see the location and the timeslot of your pitch. Each startup is given 5 minutes for pitching and 5 minutes for the Q&A session with the angels. So overall, each pitch takes 10 minutes + 5 minutes for the post-pitch discussion between angels.

The pitching event usually has a networking session between the startups and angels. So for those startups that are present on-site, it is an excellent opportunity to ask questions, get more feedback, and connect with the investors. The founding team of the startup or at least one of the founders are expected to be present at the event. That way the founders will be able to get the most out of networking. It can look questionable if the founders are unable or unwilling to pitch personally.

The STAN pitching session is an invite-only closed event. It is not open to the public. To ensure proper confidentiality, only the selected startups are invited to the pitching room. Note that there is typically a photographer present at the event, who may ask each team member to take a photo at the venue. Those materials may be used by STAN in the future for marketing purposes.

2) Pitch Presentation

Your presentation is the most important component of your pitch. Ensure that the information you present verbally during the pitch matches the data in your on-screen slides and on the Gust platform (especially your funding, post-money valuation, and other specific figures and data). The investors review Gust applications after the pitching session, so it is crucial to keep them up to date. You can read more about correctly filling out your Gust application here. If you pitch online, make all the technical checks (microphone, camera, etc.), and ensure a proper internet connection to avoid any unexpected issues.

Practice your pitch as much as you can and rehearse potential questions that investors might ask during the Q&A session. Anticipate questions about your business model, revenue projections, scalability, and more. This preparation will help you respond confidently and succinctly.

Consider outlining a strategy for engaging with investors after the pitch, especially if they express interest. Plan how you'll share additional information, respond to their inquiries, and keep them updated on your progress.

3) What to Expect From STAN Angels

STAN’s typical ticket size is from $30K to $100K. On average, the STAN investment per startup is around $50K. STAN Angels are comfortable co-investing with investors from other angel networks if the ask of the startup is larger than STAN’s commitment.

After the pitching session, the STAN team sums up the interest of angels in particular startups. Interested angels will have several follow-up calls with the teams they like to go deeper into details. When you're having follow-up calls with interested angels, make sure to personalize your discussions based on the individual angel's interests and questions. Tailoring your approach can help build stronger connections and demonstrate your commitment. In some cases, angels may also visit the startup offices to see the status “behind the scenes.”

Based on the meetings and the follow-up due diligence process, angel investors make their decision and formulate their investment commitment. From that information, the STAN team prepares an investment agreement (SAFE or a Convertible Note). Angels transfer the investment amount upon signing the agreement. It may typically take a few months to finalize the follow-up process and get an investment, so be patient and prepared for all the steps.

4) Emphasize Your Strengths

Research STAN Angels' portfolio on our website and previous investments to understand their preferences and areas of interest. Tailor your pitch to align with their investment focus, showcasing how your startup fits into their portfolio and adds value to their investment strategy.

Emphasize any traction your startup has achieved since the initial application, such as user growth, revenue milestones, partnerships, or product developments. Highlighting progress can make your pitch more compelling and demonstrate that your startup is making strides toward its goals. It’s always a good idea to also share financials with investors if you have proven traction and good unit economics that prove your growth hypothesis and will provide another reason for investors to fund your startup.

5) Be Flexible and Transparent

Acknowledge potential risks and challenges your startup might face. Being transparent about these challenges and explaining your strategies to mitigate them can show your awareness and preparedness to handle obstacles.

While it's important to have a well-prepared pitch, be ready to adapt if the conversation takes a different direction. Investors might have unique perspectives or questions that you haven't anticipated. Being flexible and adaptive in your responses can showcase your ability to think on your feet.

Conclude your pitch with a clear call to action. State what you're looking for from the investors (funding, partnerships, etc.) and what steps you'd like to take next. A well-defined call to action guides the conversation toward the desired outcome.

6) General Tips

Some additional information regarding the event:
  • Pitching is done in English.
  • It is always a good approach if a single person does the pitch.
  • Another best practice is to have the same person who pitched answer all the follow-up questions. Even if you have a business background, but technical questions are asked, it is much better to prepare for those questions and answer them yourself.
  • Be concise during the Q&A session to make the most of it. Do your best to listen to the questions carefully. Don’t be shy; if necessary, repeat the question and confirm that you understood it correctly.
  • Properly communicate your ask (funding needed, valuation, what you will spend it on, and what you will deliver with that funding).
  • Despite all the technical checks, complex presentations (with video, a specific sound, or animation) don’t always work. So, consider keeping it as simple as possible.
  • Practice your pitch, ideally in front of people who can give you informed feedback. And refine your pitch based on the feedback.
  • Participate in public demo days and watch demo days of well-known acceleration programs (e.g. 500 Global, Berkeley SkyDeck, etc.).
  • Reach out to peer startup founders for tips on successful pitching and angel relations management.
  • Be smart with the valuation of your startup. Keep the balance between your expectations and offer a fair valuation to the angel investors given your traction, readiness of your product, and other factors impacting the value of the startup.
  • Try to avoid emotional appeals. Remember, this is a business transaction and angels are business investors. You must have passion for your idea and product, but appeals to emotion won't make up for shortcomings in your business model or other essential omissions. Keep the pitch about the functional side of things and tangible benefits and less about how much of a labor of love your startup is.
Final Remarks

By incorporating these suggestions into your pitch, you'll be thoroughly prepared for the pitching sessions with STAN Angels.

Despite the result of your pitch, remember that you are the architect of your success. Keep learning, keep chasing your dream and always keep a positive attitude and good luck!

“Ideas are a commodity. Execution of them is not.”

Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies

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