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  • Writer's pictureSylvester

The Secret Ingredient for Successful Investor Pitches

Last year was an incredibly tough market for new startups. Venture capital funding worldwide fell by more than half in 2023, nearing the lowest levels since 2015, according to Pitchbook. We have a positive outlook on 2024, but it is still a highly competitive market and startup founders have to be very strategic about how they pitch to investors. Best practices for pitching to investors is a well-tread topic online; if you’re looking for advice on how to create a beautiful pitch deck or sharpen your presentation skills, those posts are out there. But in this post, we’re focusing on the key details investors are looking for in order to make a confident investment, and specifically how a thorough product roadmap can play a crucial role in securing funds. There is no guarantee you’ll get a yes, but if you miss these crucial steps, we almost guarantee you’ll get many, many nos. So, here are some tips for pitching strategically. 

First: Don’t Pitch Your Product, Pitch Your Business

Investors don’t invest in products, they invest in businesses. When you pitch to investors, your presentation needs to encompass your whole business. 

“Investors don't care about your solution but a business model story that promises them a return on investment within a set timeframe,” says Ash Maurya, entrepreneur and founder of Leanstack.

The focus of your pitch should be your business model, and where the product fits within it. If you have twenty minutes to pitch to an investor, 15 of those minutes should be spent on the business and five or less on the product itself. 

Effective Product Positioning: Problem, Solution, Ability to Execute

How you position your product within your business pitch should be simple and straightforward: 

  • The Problem: Prove that there’s a problem in the market that can be fixed, and that the problem is significant and serious enough that people are willing to pay to fix it right now.

  • Your Solution: Demonstrate how you are going to be able to solve the problem in a novel and monetizable way. 

  • Your Ability to Execute: This part is key! It’s not enough to have a good idea. Investors need to see: 

  • A thorough product roadmap so that they know where you’re headed.

  • Documentation and processes that demonstrate your readiness to scale (Formal QA, technical requirements, etc). You don’t have to dive into details in a pitch deck, they just need to know that these exist.

  • The team to make it happen, whether internal or external. 

A note about product demos: short, pre-recorded videos can be effective if there is time in the pitch to show them, but we strongly discourage live demos because of the risk of bugs or hiccups that will almost certainly result in a no. 

The Secret Ingredient to Successful Investor Pitches: Your Product Roadmap

The work you do with your developer to outline your product roadmap and technical strategy can serve the dual purpose of preparing your product for a successful launch with users and securing funds for future iterations with investors. 

An effective product roadmap demonstrates a few important things to investors: 

  • You’ve done your homework and know how to bring the idea to fruition

  • A timeline for bringing the product to market (and hopefully, a return on their investment)

  • Clear business costs and needs

  • Intellectual property protections and competitive advantage

Mile Marker clients have used the product roadmaps we’ve created with them to successfully close funding rounds. 

"I showed Mile Marker's product development plan to my Technology Advisor. He was blown away by their combination of tech savvy, presentation expertise, and affordable pricing. He literally used the word "unicorn" in our conversation. Based on the strength of Mile Marker's work and his recommendation, we have successfully raised funds."

Benjamin Taft, Co-Founder, TRT Speech Labs

With the right developer partner, 2024 can be your year to fund, build, and launch your innovation. 🚀 Mile Marker is a developer team by founders, for founders — we know from experience the risks and rewards of bringing new ideas to market, and we’re here to help you do so with the right strategy and technical know-how. Curious about our approach? Let’s talk.


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