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Crush Your Pitch With This Investor’s Proven Strategies

Crush Your Pitch With This Investor’s Proven Strategies

Crafting the perfect pitch to deliver to investors can be time consuming. And, if you don’t have the right resources, understanding the venture capital world can be intimidating. That’s why tapping into others’ expertise can be valuable.

Elly Truesdell spent nearly 10 years at Whole Foods, sourcing new brands as global director of product innovation, before starting her venture fund, New Fare Partners. The fund has backed powerhouse brands such as Omsom, Midday Squares, and chef Bobby Flay’s premium cat food line, Made by Nacho.

Elly has experience both pitching investors and receiving pitches from founders. Ahead, she shares her strategies for pitching and actionable tips for aspiring business owners. 


Drafting short and organized emails

Investors have limited time on their hands and receive a large number of pitches. If you can break your cold email into small digestible sections and clear objectives, it’s more likely someone will get back to you. “Length is so important. Keep it tight and make your point quickly,” Elly says. 

Adding a personal touch 

Having a personal anecdote will go a long way. “I need to know why you, as a founder, have gone out and put your life on the line to build this business, not just that you’re chasing opportunity,” Elly says.

bobby flay feeds his cat nacho made by nacho food.
Bobby Flay had inspiration beyond just wanting to build a profitable business. He wanted to bring his cat Nacho’s favorite dishes to the world.Made by Nacho

Making your brand as personal as possible will help convince investors to take a chance on you. It’s best to have a few stories that explain the larger impact of your business, what it means to you, and why the connection is so strong. “Get me excited and interested beyond you just making money,” Elly says. 

Find out what is going to tie that fund, angel investor, or high net worth person to your business. Story will go a long way to making this connection. “There needs to be something tangible and more personal to you and them, because I need to know no one else could do it the way you’re doing it,” Elly says. 

Knowing your audience

Find personal anecdotes that connect you to each fund and thoroughly research each investor you pitch. Check in with other founders who can give you first-hand advice, improving your chances of securing funding. “Know their past investments and motivations to set yourself up for success, and talk to those other founders, because they will be honest,” Elly says.

Putting yourself in a good position to pitch your brand in a way that’s suited to an investor is key. “We try to keep very up-to-date notes with specs on investors, with their website, key players, typical check size, their stage, and current portfolio, so that we’re walking into the conversation as if we’re a student of the fund,” Elly says. 

As important as it is to research funds, it’s important to know your competitors as well. “It’s tough when I get pitched a product that says they’re the only person doing X … and I, just off the top of my head, know three or four other brands who are doing it,” Elly says.

Practice makes perfect

Going through the pitching process isn’t easy. As difficult as it is to put yourself out there in front of investors, you’ll get better at it over time. 

“In my early days of Made by Nacho, we had a couple sample pitches on Zoom calls with funds and people that we knew either wouldn’t invest or were not people that we really wanted to invest, just to practice,” Elly says. If you can do so without wasting anyone’s time, use your connections to work out your pitch and practice feeling confident. 

Doing a few test runs is important. It will be even more helpful if you have other people that you’re raising money with, because there needs to be a bit of choreography to your pitch. 

As a founder, you’re going to face many rejections, but it shouldn’t stop you from pushing onward. 

Discover more of Elly’s fundraising tips and hear how she developed her career on the fullShopify Masters episode.

This article originally appeared on Shopify and is available here for further discovery.
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