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How to Fill Out a Pitch Application
Questions 1 -10. Four pages max, please provide clear and succinct answers. Quantify answers when possible. Answers must be in non-bold Calibri text 10-point Font size. Commercializable projects may have only partial answers for Questions 5 – 6 – 8 – 10.
Provide a brief compelling summary (elevator pitch) for your start-up company or commercializable project . (In a few sentences describe your company, the pain/problem addressed, what’s different/innovative about your product/service/solution, how you create value/revenue and identify/acquire customers, and what you are asking for in this pitch.)
Make the statement clear, concise, and easy to understand. Be sure to identify what your product is or what your company does.
2. Value Proposition
What is the pain/problem/situation your start-up company or commercializable project addresses, i.e., the main drivers/rationale for the company or project?
How do your products/services/solutions provide relief to customers and impact the customers’ bottom line?
Briefly describe how your product, service, or solution addresses/solves the problem and how it impacts your customers (for example, reduced costs, improved efficiencies, increased sales). Identify the improvement you’re offering as compared to existing products. State the value proposition in economic terms, if possible.
3. Technology – Product – Process – Service
What are the underlying technology, science, and engineering innovations upon which your products, services, or solutions are based? Where was the underlying technology developed and by whom? How does your product work?
Are there digital and/or physical prototypes to demonstrate your innovations?
Have you made one? Have they been evaluated?
What evidence is there that your approach is technically feasible? To what extent has it been validated?
Provide proof of concept that your technology is feasible. Who has done validation to support any product claims? What are the results of those tests?
What are your future technical and validation timelines and milestones?
What key technical achievements will indicate to investors that your company or commercializable project is on track to create a viable growing business?
Who will pay for your products/services/solutions and why?
Be specific and identify the customers you are pursuing or will pursue. Quantify savings and value for potential customers.
To what extent have you engaged with potential customers and what have you done to align your products, services, or solutions with customer needs (e.g., received customer feedback first-hand, prototype testing with customers, beta-testing, etc.)?
Describe your interactions with your potential customers and how they have influenced the evolution of your business or commercializable project.
What’s your strategy for identifying customers and assessing their needs? Have you considered national level and global sales?
5. Market Analysis
How large are the target markets for your products/services/solutions?
Describe the size of your target market, what portion you plan to capture, and how? Be realistic, quantify information, and cite sources.
What is the projected rate of growth of your target markets?
Describe the projected growth rate of your potential markets. How big do you anticipate them growing?
Is your business/commercializable project scalable to other market segments? If so, which segments?
6. Marketing and Sales
How will potential customers learn about your products, services, or solutions? What is your “go to market“ strategy (e.g., through in-house sales team, third-party resellers, etc.)?
Describe how you will engage distributors, customers, and other downstream channels. What is your market entry strategy?
What are your future marketing milestones and how will you attain them?
What key marketing achievements will indicate to investors that your company is on track to create a viable growing business?
7. Competitive Advantages
What or who is your competition and how are your products, services, or solutions different?
Who/what is your competition? How are you and your business partners going to address the competitive challenges?
What are your competitive advantages (e.g. higher quality, greater efficiency, lower cost, less pollution, etc.) relative to other companies and/or solutions?
Describe other alternative solutions to the problem you address. Do you have clear advantages?
What is your IP status?
To what extent are current and future investments protected by your current patents/know how? What is your future IP strategy going forward?
8. Business Model
Describe your business model.
Describe how your will make money/generate revenue? What are your product costs and how are they competitive?
How will you scale the business (i.e. ramp up sales) and what are your key performance indicators (e.g., number of orders, sales, revenues, profits)?
Describe your anticipated implementation, deployment, scaling strategy.
Do you currently have or anticipate having strategic industry partners? If so, who are they and what are their roles?
Describe any current or future strategic partner(s), when they will be engaged, and the expected roles of each (e.g. develop and test prototypes, engineering assistance, marketing assistance, etc.).
Complete the following financial model summary. You may not be able to fill in every box – this is OK.
What is the status of your management, technical, and/or sales teams?
Provide a compelling statement about your team to convince investors that you can steer your product, service, or solution to
commercial success.What is your team’s history of success and experience with i) the identified market and industry, and ii) working with startup companies at your current stage of venture and growth? Describe your team members’ expertise and background.
What are the current and anticipated gaps in your leadership team and how will they be addressed?
What are your plans for developing/expanding your leadership team? What additional expertise do you need?
Who are your current investors and other financial partners?
Who are your major investors, if any?
What are the main qualifications of your board of advisors and/or board of directors?
Have you organized an excellent board of advisors or do you have highly engaged and appropriate advisors?