"You should start a startup, your technology is amazing," they say. And off you go. You team up, you build prototypes, and of course, you apply to one of YES!Delft startup programs.
You can expect to go through the following process:
- Fill in the Application Forms
- Send in Selection Day Pitch Deck
- Send in your Pitch Video
- Pitch at the Selection Day interview
Your chances of getting accepted depend on your ability to convince the selection committee, at each of those four steps, that you've got what it takes to become tomorrow's leading firm.
In this series of articles, you'll learn a few pitching tips especially relevant to technical founders that'll help you get accepted to Europe's leading tech incubator.
Tip#1: Talk value, not tech!
A technical founder wants to tell how awesome their tech is; how it works and how it's built.
A selection committee wants to hear how awesome the business could become, and if the team has an entrepreneurial potential to make this business work.
Do you see the issue here? Don't mistake presenting your tech with pitching your business! Sure, you should be able to explain what you're building and how it works in a few sentences, of course! But more than that, the selection committee wants to hear your (educated!) guess about the specific customer segment that is 'the most desperate,' the most in need for your solution. At the very least, you need to have an idea why those customers will fall in love with your solution.
Watch out! Customer love never comes from the solution itself, it comes from the benefits that this solution brings. The benefits are 'What' they're buying. Your product is 'How' those benefits are being delivered to them.
An example. I hope we agree that SpaceX Falcon Heavy is a remarkable rocket! I still get goosebumps when I see it's boosters land, but their customers don't care about the boosters! Wait, what?
The main value for the customer is a lower price!
They can save a lot of money if they choose to launch their satellites with the Falcon. The impressive tech that allows its boosters to land and to be reused is what enables SpaceX to drastically lower costs per launch. Elon can pitch it as; "We bring your payload into space for one-third of the price." Being more affordable (never say cheaper, it sounds 'cheap!') is why customers choose to launch with SpaceX.
Benefits all come down to making or saving customer's money, saving time, providing security, pleasure. That's what you're selling.
Engineers talk about solving technical problems. Entrepreneurs talk about creating value. While tightly connected, those two are worlds apart!