If you added up all the time our team has spent pitching, investing in, and building some of the biggest brands in the world, you’d have more than a lifetime of experience. Our Founders have worked with some of the top business leaders ever, like Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Phil Knight. It’s fair to say that when it comes to scaling businesses, we know a thing or two … or three or four.
Our business model is to help founders with more than just a financial investment. We take a hands-on approach, and our Founders benefit by leveraging our learnings so they can leap ahead. A crucial element of building any successful business is fundraising. We have learned a lot over the years and have used this experience to build systems and processes that help our BrandProjects bypass the pitfalls of fundraising, ensuring a successful round. These pitch philosophies are part of our BrandProject DNA.
Richard taught us the importance of pitching succinctly and articulating the consumer benefit clearly and with minimal fuss. He challenged us to always explain how our business would disrupt the category it competes in by offering a solution that doesn’t currently exist. The best ideas can usually be explained in 30 seconds or less.
Phil Knight’s philosophy on pitching is to bring the future to life – today. Some of the best pitches at Nike take visionary concepts from idea to real life. If your business is in the early conceptual stages, think further down the line and mock up the product or service as if it existed today – this will help avoid a few obstacles you would likely run into along the way.
As part of our pitching process, this week we completed a series of meetings for a #BrandProject company which is beginning the process of Fundraising to support their next stage of growth. We set up appointments with investors, industry and consumer experts to expose the Founders to the rigors of pitching – before actually pitching.
The intensity of rapid-fire questions, knowing numbers and metrics, margin improvements, acquisition costs and thinking on your feet are among the keys to being well prepared for entrepreneurs trying to raise money. The beauty of our approach enables entrepreneurs to go from good to great in seven days. It’s like a fundraising boot camp.
After each meeting, we debrief; internalizing what has been heard and learned, figuring out where the gaps are, and thinking about the tough questions that need to be thought through prior to a real pitch where one wrong answer can cost you the deal. At the end of the debrief, you’re left with a clear plan for improvement.
Fundraising is a critical element of building growth companies. The fundraising bootcamp process used at BrandProject prepares our Founders for success, and we’re excited to see the results of our efforts when the real pitching begins.