Ein Unternehmer sollte in der Lage sein, seine Geschäftsidee innerhalb einer Fahrt im Aufzug überzeugend zu präsentieren, sodass der Zuhörer anschließend mehr hören möchte. Hieraus resultiert der Name für die Kurzpräsentation vor Investoren, der Elevator Pitch.
Glücklicherweise haben Start-ups in der Regel etwas mehr Zeit als nur wenige Sekunden, um ihre Geschäftsidee zu präsentieren, kommen aber dennoch häufig an die Grenzen ihrer Fähigkeiten. Es mangelt oft an Selbstbewusstsein oder Schlagfertigkeit. Aber das kann man beheben – mit Übung.
Raum und Zeit, um zu lernen, wie man einen guten Pitch aufbaut und präsentiert, gibt z.B. auch die Blue Factory, der Inkubator der ESCP Europe Business School. Wir sprachen mit Rachelle Belinga von Blue Factory über die Arbeit des Inkubators, die häufigsten Fehler beim Präsentieren und Erfolgsrezepte für einen erfolgreichen Pitch.
Für-Gründer.de: Hello Miss Belinga, the Blue Factory helps entrepreneurs and startups „make their way towards success and profitability“. What exactly does this mean? Could you introduce the fields of operations?
Rachelle Belinga von Blue Factory: The Blue Factory is the European Startup Incubator of the business school ESCP Europe. Our philosophy relies on three aspects:
- Community: We foster the collaboration between the startups and organize many networking activities between our entrepreneurs, the students, the professors and the Alumni of the ESCP Europe.
- Creativity and innovation: We pay particular attention to the sustainability of the startups –economically, socially and environmentally
- European: we are present in Berlin, Paris, London, Madrid and Turino.
Our program includes coaching and mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs, expertise in various fields such as Finance, Law, SEO, Marketing or Growth Hacking, contacts with Business Angels and VCs, and projects with the students of the ESCP Europe.
Für-Gründer.de: Among other things you offered a workshop about how to build and deliver an inspiring pitch. Why is that important?
Rachelle Belinga von Blue Factory: A pitch is the verbal short description people will remember of a project. Because they are starting up something new, entrepreneurs will necessarily have to explain their project, for convincing investors, acquiring the first customers or recruit employees. It is therefore essential for an entrepreneur to be the most convincing and inspiring he can be. That requires specific skills that our workshop’s participants learnt and practiced.
Für-Gründer.de: One lecture was given by Christoph Sollich. What characterizes a successful pitch?
Rachelle Belinga von Blue Factory: A successful pitch is a pitch that conveys the right message to your audience. You must be able to tell in a very few sentences what your project is about and why it’s going to work. There is indeed a small secret about it that we are going to reveal in our next newsletter!
Für-Gründer.de: How do entrepreneurs prepare a successful pitch?
Rachelle Belinga von Blue Factory: They need to write down all those key elements and to organise them in a clear way, so that when they pitch, they have in mind all what they want to say. They should be aware that a good pitch requires a lot of practice!
Für-Gründer.de: What are the common mistakes that are made?
Rachelle Belinga von Blue Factory: The most common mistake is forgetting that your audience is not an expert in your field.
Our advice: pitch as if you were pitching to your grandma and if people want more technical details, they will ask you. one of those elements.
Every entrepreneur knows approximatively what he or she needs to say in a pitch, but with a lack of preparation, stress or even a lack of knowledge they will forget one or two very important things. For example, they will present their project but forget to add their call to action. There is no point in a pitch if there is no next steps and no possibilty of action for the audience.
Für-Gründer.de: What have been the most important questions in the workshop?
Rachelle Belinga von Blue Factory:
How to structure a pitch? In what order? How can I make my IT project sound clear for a non IT initiate? Etc.
Für-Gründer.de: The second workshop leader was Rob Rodgers, an American theater director. Which secrets did he reveal to the participants?
Rachelle Belinga von Blue Factory: Rob Rodgers works with several exercices inspired from improvisation and theater. Among them, there was one that made the participants realize that they all have their own style, their own way of speaking, and that they should respect it. If you are funny, you should try a funny pitch, but if you are not, you should not force it because the result will be worse than a serious presentation. He helped them practice how to bring more emotions to your pitch and how your own body language can influence the audience.
Für-Gründer.de: What kind of feedback did you get from the workshop participants?
Rachelle Belinga von Blue Factory: We had very positive feedbacks, we were really satisfied. Mostly the combination of the two workshops, one in the morning on how to build a pitch and the other one in the afternoon on how to deliver it verbally, happened to be really relevant.
Für-Gründer.de: To sum it up: What are the most important do’s and dont’s in view of a successful pitch?
Rachelle Belinga von Blue Factory:
- Pitch as if you were pitching to your grandma
- Be conscious of your own social character and make use of fit
- Practice a lot, that’s how you are going to get better at pitching!
- Take part in a pitch training workshop
- Don’t come on stage unprepared
- Don’t get into many technical details or use complicated words
- Try to be funny if you are not or to behave the way you think you have to behave, if it’s not natural for you
- Storytelling is extremely powerful and catches people’s attention
Für-Gründer.de: What are your next activities?
Rachelle Belinga von Blue Factory: We are concentrating now on the organisation of the EntrepreneurSHIP Festival on the 22nd/ 23rd of October at ESCP Europe with the students of the school. Creative and innovative startups are going to hold their own events during the Festival.
Für-Gründer.de: Thank you for the interview.