Pitching skills - What investors most like to hear
Start your pitch with a brief introduction of the name, field and solution that your startup provides. Whether it's an elevator pitch or a standard pitch deck, your presentation should address all of the following: how pressing the issue is, whether your business solution is innovative or not, your growth strategy and last but not least, founding team.
1. Prove that you are solving a painful problem
The more painful the problem is, the easier it gets to attract investors. You can lead in with a story about a particular person or circumstance but also need to back it with data to show that you fully understand the complexity of the problem and have done the market research well (market size, trends, growth potentials, customers, competitors ...).
      Below are some examples of not being able to prove how painful the problem is:
- Airbnb hosts don't know how to do effective marketing for their accommodations to attract travelers → this sounds generic and is not backed by data.
- On average, accommodations on Airbnb are unoccupied for 15 days per month → okay, so what, why is this an important issue?
Instead, you can say:
- We have interviewed more than 300 Airbnb hosts and realized that 55% of them need more than 3 months to find customers → this proves that you have spent time researching the market
- On average, Airbnb hosts lose $ 2,000 of their monthly income because they can't find a customer → the problem has now been backed by data, which makes it more understandable, painful enough to trigger a solution. 
2. Show the difference in your solution.
Explain to the investors the weaknesses of current solutions available in the market and prove to them that your solution is innovative, unique, and superior (either faster, cheaper or better). It should be something that customers are craving for and willing to pay for it as it will make their lives a lot easier. You can briefly present your business idea by using Business Model Canvas, bring along the prototype or MVP to the pitching and prove the effectiveness of the solution with some metrics like Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), conversion rate, sales, margins, the cash flow over the next 3 years ...
In addition, investors are more likely to invest if you already have a number of customers willing to pay for the product, a scalable business model and potential to become a unicorn.
3. Present your development strategy 
This part is where you propose the plan to use the investment capital. How much money do you need and for how long? How will you distribute the finance to achieve the milestones you have set for your startup? Every investor wants to know how their money will be spent and whether it will help the startup meet its goals.
If the startup already has revenue and has raised capital from several investors before, startup representatives can mention the name of these investors and the reason why they decided to invest in the startup. This not only makes your business look more appealing in the eyes of potential VCs but also helps them a lot in making investing decisions on your startup. 
If your startup has yet to create revenues (mostly in the case of early-stage startups), you need to come up with a go-to-market strategy to attract more customers. This way, investors can see where the business is heading for and therefore, more input to make decisions as well as give advice on the startup’s growth strategy. 
4. Founding team:
This is an indispensable slide in any pitch decks because, for startups, human resource is such a vital element that usually makes up for more than 90% of the startup’s success. It is the human resources (the founding team) that create unique ideas and pull off successful business plans. A common founding team includes the founders, key personnel and mentors.
In this slide, the company should present the most general information about its founding team and its working culture. Some points to be stated:
● Skills and work experience of founding team members
● Roles and contributions to the business
● The amount of time the team have worked together
You just need to prove that it has to be your team who have the ability to execute the business plan stated earlier and lead it to massive success. Even if your team is not experienced in the industry, just introduce them in a positive light and with trust. Sometimes the best founding teams are made up of people with different expertise and have fresh perspectives on the market. They are not necessarily the best, but the most suitable with startup’s vision and goals. 

For part 1 and part 3, please visit:
Part 1:  http://startup.gov.vn/Pages/chi-tiet-tin-tuc.aspx?l=Tintucsukien&ItemID=320
Part 2:  http://startup.gov.vn/Pages/chi-tiet-tin-tuc.aspx?l=Tintucsukien&ItemID=322
Tác giả: Bùi Thị Thanh Mai