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13 Aug 2021 | BY Karl Pontau

Preparing for Virtual Shark Tank Investor Funding Programs

For start-ups looking to secure funding from angel investors, pitching in fast-paced “shark tank” type events is as much a challenge as it is an opportunity. With only minutes to tell your story and convey the details necessary to convince your audience that your product is worth their backing, your message needs to be succinct and impactful. An unfocused presentation that goes over your time limit isn’t going to impress.

To complicate matters, new opportunities are often taking the form of virtual events, such as Ann Arbor–based CitySide Ventures’ Deal Tank, which gives early-stage companies from around the world the opportunity to pitch to accredited investors from Michigan and the Midwest, or crowdfunding site StartEngine’s quarterly live pitch competition. While events like these eliminate the challenges of geography that can keep startups from connecting with well-matched investors, they add the complication of trying to engage online. Virtual presentations are difficult to begin with—making a human connection is harder when you’re only engaging as faces on screens. That makes the already challenging task of delivering a perfect pitch even worse.

Finance industry animation

Tell Your Story with Explainer Videos and Animation

No matter how much time you’ve been given to talk, realistically you have to make a compelling pitch for your idea fast. Angel investors or venture capitalists don’t have the patience to wait for you to get through an entire slide deck before they understand the big picture or their potential return on investment. Experts advise beginning your pitch with a story that outlines the problem you’re solving, and animation is an ideal way to do just that. A short animation that conveys your presentation’s key points will grab your audience’s attention from the first moments, allowing you to fill in the big picture with essential details from your pitch deck once you have them riveted.

Cost Reduction Video Animation

A Cost-Effective Solution

Video packs in a lot of information in an easy-to-grasp format that saves time over simply explaining things point by point. However, hiring actors, a camera crew, and editors can quickly ramp up the costs, even if you already have suitable locations and lighting for filming. Animation can achieve the same effect at a much lower cost, and with an even wider range of visual possibilities.

A successful pitch has to have a two-pronged strategy: communicating what’s unique about your product and how it solves the problem you’ve identified, and then backing up your idea with the details of how you plan to successfully bring it to market. Investors need to know that you understand your target market, business model, and marketing strategy; that you can articulate what you’ve accomplished so far; and that you have a roadmap of the next steps, pointing out where their funding can help you accomplish your goals.

When you lead off your pitch with a well-crafted animation, you set the stage to present your data from your PowerPoint presentation with potential investors already primed to understand how all the pieces fit together. Packing a lot of information into the first minutes of your pitch slot without overwhelming or boring your audience also helps you fit in everything you need to share without going over your time slot—one of the deadliest errors in pitching your startup.

Investing in Your Dream

When you’ve put in the time and effort to develop a product you want investors to notice, you can’t afford to neglect the quality of your investment pitch. At Squash & Stretch Productions, we don’t just produce high-quality custom animations that create buzz around your product. We can also craft the stories that help your audience understand why what you do is important, helping your pitch stand out from the crowd.

If you need help energizing your pitch to make it shark-tank ready, Squash & Stretch Productions is your resource. To find out more about how our animations and services can fit into your overall pitch strategy, contact us here to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Ryan: Manager of Systems Engineering & Client

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Creative Director, Fire Tribe Inc.

We engaged Karl to create animation to explain difficult investment concepts in a way people can understand. We were very pleased. The process was easy,... Read More

Ryan: Manager of Systems Engineering & Client

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Founder and CEO | Global Wealth Management | Investment Advisor

I came to Squash and Stretch on behalf of a client who needed to explain the superiority of a new life safety system for firefighters.... Read More

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Debra Hall Consulting

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Ryan: Manager of Systems Engineering & Client

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