Villa Blu • Article fond 1

Jun 28, 2023

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How to pitch?

In charge of FidMed for the past 10 years, Francis Papazian shares 5 proven tactics for effectively presenting his project to investors

Over 10 years, Francis Papazian has organized 13 editions of FidMed, 9 in Bouches-du-Rhône and 4 in Alpes-Maritimes.

We were delighted to host the latest edition at VillaBlu on June 27th.

Three of the startups accelerated at VillaBlu presented their project to a crowd of curious and enthusiastic investors. Meanwhile, we took the opportunity to ask Francis about the secrets he'd noticed over the years for mastering this indispensable exercise...

From this rich exchange, we have compiled the five most pertinent pieces of advice to help you succeed in your pitch, whether you're a budding startup or already well-established...

1/ Stay natural: authenticity first

Francis notes that a large number of startup founders transform into "pitch professionals," which can sometimes mask the true entrepreneurial spirit. His advice?

"Don't lose sight of why you embarked on this entrepreneurial adventure.

Authenticity should remain at the heart of your pitch and allow you to stand out by showing your sincerity and commitment. Don't hesitate to show your personality, express your uniqueness, tell your story. It's by being yourself that you'll succeed in creating a strong connection with your audience and arouse investors' interest."

Francis emphasizes, "It's essential to passionately convey the very essence of your project, everything that represents your deep motivation."

2/ Take care of financial aspects

However, beware: forget excessive storytelling. Your FidMed audience is very much grounded, and while entrepreneurs usually have a good grasp of the context, product, and market, they often neglect... financial aspects!

Yet when it comes to pitching to investors (family offices, business angels, investment funds, or even bankers), the importance of this section is understandable.

Francis explains, "Investment world players will appreciate hearing about your figures, which will simply enable them to evaluate the overall viability of your project and their desire to get involved."

3/ Adapt to your audience: play detective!

This advice might seem obvious, Francis tells us, but it's crucial "never to adopt a monolithic approach.

Adaptability is a key element of a successful pitch: it won't be the same in front of a bank or a potential business partner."

It's essential to understand your audience's motivations and expectations so that you can personalize your approach accordingly.

Thorough preparation and a little investigation into your audience can maximize your chances of success.

4/ Include often overlooked Important points: Security, IT Systems, and Intellectual Property

Over the years, the points of focus in a pitch have evolved significantly.

Francis highlights some often overlooked aspects:

  • Firstly, it's crucial to address achievements in cybersecurity audits. This issue is increasingly important nowadays and should be included in any presentation.

  • Secondly, IT systems audits are often necessary to give financiers a tangible view of technologies that investors may not fully understand.

  • Lastly, the valuation of an intellectual property audit can work in your favor during a pitch to investors, as it enhances your credibility and reassures them.

5/ Turn the tables: dare to surprise

When we asked Francis about the most memorable story of the last ten years, he recounted an anecdote of an entrepreneur who started his pitch and then abruptly interrupted it, saying, "I'm not sure you really deserve me accepting your investment in my company."

This unexpected provocation caught the jury by surprise, but Francis immediately recognized the relevance of this question.

He even invited each jury member to briefly introduce themselves and explain why they might potentially invest in this company.

This little provocation, though to be used sparingly, can be seen as a way to start a conversation and arouse the interest of investors.

In conclusion, to succeed in your pitch and make a lasting impression, it's essential to stay authentic, pay attention to financial aspects, adapt to your audience, include the three often-overlooked points, and sometimes dare to surprise. Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey and see you soon…

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