Education, entrepreneurship, pitching, startup

How to Pitch Your Startup


Yours truly live on stage at LeWeb in Paris pitching “Gauss - The People Magnet” (Image CC @francois_tancre)

How to Pitch Your Startup

I see a lot of startup pitches and pitch decks. And most of them suck. So let me share some basic knowledge to help you avoid my rookie mistakes and to help you massively improve your pitch so that when you potentially try to secure either something similar to small business loans in Orlando or before you reach out to investors, to start raising that funding round you have something more solid to present. It’s so important to clearly explain your business and its goals. You should also mention who your target market is. This will allow investors to understand the sort of demographic that you’ll be appealing to, allowing them to work out whether or not there is a gap for this business. Once a business has worked out who the target market is, they’ll be able to engage in personalized marketing. This can build customer loyalty and trust, whilst also increasing sales. Perhaps businesses should find more online about personalized marketing. It could be impressive for investors.

(If you like this post, you’ll probably love the much more in-depth Pitching Masterclass.)

There are actually three pitches you need to master. Read on to master them all.

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entrepreneurship, Events, pitching, startup

There’s a new startup event in Cologne: Introducing the Rheinland-Pitch!

As you probably know, I’m passionate about pitching – because we SUCK at pitching here in Europe! So when the new Cologne-based incubator STARTPLATZ asked me if I would be interested in getting involved in a new program to help our regional startup entrepreneurs becoming better at pitching, I wasn’t hard to convince.

So say hello to the Rhineland-Pitch!

The Rhineland-Pitch is a pitch competition event held at STARTPLATZ every last Monday of each month that aims to heighten the quality of our regional startup pitches by providing intensive training to the applicant entrepreneurs and letting the winners pitch to a select and exclusive audience of entrepreneurs, press and investors.

A week in advance, all applicants get a one hour intensive crash course on pitching and after a rapid-fire elevator pitching session, the winners get an additional and immediate four hours of individual pitch training from yours truly.

At the end of the individual training sessions there’s immediately another selection process where the entrepreneurs present the pitch they’ve prepared and the best get invited to the Rheinland-Pitch event the following Monday.

So what do you win except for the glory? Well, a chance to pitch in front of and meet with investors, get critical feedback – AND a video of your final pitch to boot! (So you better make your performance count!)

And it’s all for free! So apply now for the next Rheinland-Pitch May 27th!

Last Monday April 29th saw the first ever Rheinland-Pitch and here are some impressions from it:

Some stats from the first round:

  • 17 applicant teams
  • 7 teams with the best elevator pitches received individual pitch coaching
  • 5 teams made it through to the Rhineland-Pitch event

And the winners are:

  1. Mighty-Office
  2. Versicherungsordner24
  3. measurADz
  4. meetjockey
  5. Offensiv

Image CC Thomas @boydroid Riedel
See Thomas @boydroid Riedel of NERDHUB’s gallery for more photos of the event.

And check out this bonus video to learn more about the competition, coaching and selection process:

If you didn’t make it the first time, practice and try again! See you there!

entrepreneurship, pitching, startup

Your pitch sucks.


Pitchcademy is a new service that teaches you how to pitch like a pro. Record a video of your pitch directly in your browser, get reviewed and scored by a network of professional coaches within 24 hrs. Rinse, lather & repeat!

UPDATE – Pitchcademy morphed into the Pitching Masterclass over the years:


If you’re a startup entrepreneur, chances are you’ve already been to a lot of pitching events and you may even have pitched investors yourself already. You may have noticed that most pitches at these events – especially if you’re in Europe – suck!

Now take a minute and think about your own pitch: Are you completely confident that your pitch doesn’t suck? It’s always the others that suck – riiiiiiiiight?

Well, Francis Dierick and I certainly have made our fair share of bad pitches. We’ve been around. But along the way we picked up a couple of tricks on how to improve our pitches and learned a lot. At least enough to win several competitions and get invited to events as pitch coaches.

So we thought that we should share the secrets we picked up. We think everybody should have the chance to nail that perfect pitch. That’s why we decided to introduce Pitchcademy.


Pitchcademy teaches you how to pitch like a pro. Record a video of your pitch directly in your browser, get reviewed and scored by a network of professional coaches within 24 hrs. Rinse, lather & repeat! Try it now for free!

Events, News

Greetings from Startup Weekend Stuttgart

Oh, and this week I’m also in Stuttgart Nov 17-18 scaring the bejeezus out of young entrepreneurs coaching startups at Startup Weekend Stuttgart. See you there – And don’t forget to grab your ticket for Startup Weekend Cologne before we sell out too! :)

About Startup Weekend:

“Startup Weekend is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington, USA, that organizes 54-hour weekend events during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, and/or presentation by Sunday evening. Startup Weekend has grown into an organization with a global presence. As of October 2012, 672 events had been held, involving 57,000 entrepreneurs across more than 300 cities in over 100 countries, and over 5,000 startups have been created. The Kauffman Foundation, Google and Microsoft are sponsors.”