5 Mistakes Startups Make When Pitching to Corporate

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

A post on LinkedIn cited these 5 mistakes startups make when they pitch 

1. No personalization. Some startups use a generic investor deck to pitch to VCs, corporate innovation teams, and customers. Market size and revenue potential aren’t relevant to customers. They want to know how you can help them solve their pain. Don’t waste time on irrelevant background information. 

2. Lack of clarity. When asked to review a startup, they read their deck and website and could only gather a connection to Last Mile delivery, but left the reviewer with no idea of what problem was being addressed and how it would be solved.

3. Reacting defensively to questions. When corporate reps ask questions about different scenarios to understand how the solution works, some startups answer defensively.  If you pay attention to the questions, you will get a valuable preview of industry needs. 

4. Underestimating corporate complexity. In their attempt to succeed and sell their solutions, some startups overpromise their ability to scale and integrate quickly with a large organization. They are unable to keep up with fast scaling, which may paralyze or even kill the startup since they direct most, if not all, their resources to one (big) client. It’s tough to recover when you underdeliver and lose credibility and attention. 

5. Not taking no for an answer. You can admire their determination. However, these startups reach out to different executives after the relevant SMEs already said no. This causes the executives to ask the same experts to assess the startups again. And say no again. 


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