Every six months at Entrepreneur First, founders from our latest cohort deliver 3-minute pitches to a gathering of the world’s top seed investors. We’ve held over a dozen “Demo Days” to date, most recently for the EF9 and SG2 cohorts.
For the startups, Demo Day is the culmination of over 6 months of hard work: forming a team, developing an original idea, building a product, gaining initial customers, and getting ready for institutional investment.
One might think that the “easy part” is delivering a pithy, memorable, exciting 3-minute pitch. And yet this is often one of the most difficult tasks at EF.
By watching hundreds of founders as they craft their stories, we’ve learned quite a few lessons along the way. What we’ve learned is that founders with memorable Demo Day pitches tended to:
- Find a way to escape the “curse of knowledge” — that knowing so much about something makes it harder to explain it to others
- Inspire curiosity and FOMO in the investors — sought to generate questions not pre-empt them
- Follow a familiar format—but “with a twist”
- Rely on stories over facts
- Don’t merely describe the “rocket” they’re building — but the “moon” their rocket can reach
Many of these lessons are useful not only to founders at EF, but to anyone looking to fundraise or just talk about their company.