Story prioritization

Some startups have a technology platform that can be used in multiple markets, and often the startup is not completely clear (yet) about how to prioritise them. In a first 20-minute investor pitch this creates a highly confusing story; an investor can only take in so much information in 20 minutes and probably will not buy that a 5 person startup can conquer all these markets (she is probably right). Here is a potential solution:

In the first 20 minute cold pitch:
  • Set up your platform business situation
  • Pitch 1 (maybe 2) markets properly (the most promising ones)
  • Hint at further upside in the other markets (1 quick slide)
If that went well, elaborate more in follow-on meetings about the other opportunities and provide a discussion framework about possible prioritisation, and you can even ask the potential investor for advice.

Do not try to spring all 10 stories in the first 20 minutes, you will fail.