Use your 7 minutes wisely! – Pitch training at Aalto Startup Center

Pitching is crucial for startups to draw the full attention and create an immediate interest of potential investors. A one-day training at Aalto Startup Center focused on how to create a successful seven minute financial investor pitch.

Steinar Hoel Korsmo, training participants and ASUC Team
Steinar Hoel Korsmo, training participants and ASUC Team

A rainy Thursday in November was a powerful pitching day for Aalto Startup Center’s startups participating in an interactive investor pitch training. The objective of the one-day training was to make sure that the pitches of the startups are investor ready for the coming Slush, the world’s leading startup event. 

The training was given by Steinar Hoel Korsmo from Norway. He is the Founder and President of Seed Forum Global. Korsmo knows his business, as he has trained and presented over 2 500 startups to investors in more than 50 countries. He has himself done 17 startups and five successful exits. 

“A financial investor pitch is an up to 7 minutes teaser for creating immediate interest of your company’s potential investor. In Slush and other forums you need to spend those seven minutes very wisely”, says Korsmo.

In addition to the contents and presentation of a 7 minute investor pitch and a 30 second power pitch, Korsmo introduced the idea of networking, methodology and negotiation techniques with investors. 

The training was part of Aalto Startup Center’s coaching activities which aim to help research-based and innovative deep-tech startups to build healthy, sustainable and scalable businesses.

Steinar helping the startups
Steinar helping the startups

Point out the value drivers

Six startups participated in the training which was held in Aalto Startup Center’s premises in Otaniemi. One of them was AIVisionEye, which provides smart trash and craffiti detection and damage prevention service for shared mobility business. 

“I am here to better understand the mindset of the investors and to improve my pitch deck. It’s a different task to sell your products to clients than to sell the investment target to investors. We are heading for Slush and for that I want to develop my 7 minute investor pitch”, says Harri Keskinen, the CEO and Co-founder of AIVisionEye.

A financial investor pitch consists of the business conceptual part and the financial part. A seven minute pitch talk shall be supported by maximum 12 slides, the contents of which follow a logical order. 

“In the pitch you should envision yourself to the investor mindset. The first ten seconds shall explain your business with no more than 15 words. The ten subsequent topics also follow the investor’s mindset”, says Korsmo.

The main trigger points in the pitch are the value drivers which are the arguments for why to invest in the company. Commercial competence of the team, first mover advantage and scalable business model are some examples of important value drivers.

“A persuasive investor pitch holds the full concentration of the audience from the start till the end. You may present a fantastic investment opportunity but without energy and enthusiasm, no one will listen to you”, Korsmo continues. 

Pitching moment
Pitching moment

Heading for Slush!

During the day each participant presented a draft pitch they had prepared in advance. The presentations were followed by detailed feedback and ideas for lifting the pitch to an investor ready level. 

“In a pitch you shall not sell your product, but shared ownership of your company. Investors are looking for companies with high growth potential and team which will succeed”, Korsmo says. 

DeepFRST is a science-born startup working on more profitable and sustainable forest management. DeepFRST is a collaboration between the Aalto University School of Business and University of Helsinki

“We have been in a lot of contacts with potential clients and partners, and now it is time to approach investors. As I have learnt, talking to investors is a different ballgame. In today’s training my pitching skills have improved substantially. Aalto offered us a stand at Slush, and who ever I can catch there I will be giving my pitching talk”, says Philipp Back, the future Co-founder of DeepFRST. 

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