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A persuasive pitch for an early-stage startup


Being an early-stage startup founder is complicated. It’s a mix of figuring out markets, assembling a team, launching an MVP, and of course… coming up with a persuasive pitch. 

Anxiety, anyone?

It’s true; a successful pitch can represent a startup’s lifeline. However, the vast majority of startup pitches fall flat, even if they outline incredible innovations. Call it inexperience or lack of marketing insight, but making a persuasive pitch doesn’t come that easy.

Unfortunately, a weak pitch can pose a significant setback for developing a startup, dramatically increasing its risk of failure.

Let me make this clear: I’m not here to debate what to add to your pitch or in what order you should present your facts. Instead, I want to go over a few things that make others want to learn more. 

So, what’s in a persuasive pitch? Let’s dive right in!


It flexes storytelling

I’ve come across pitches that talk about ‘the problem’ in such a cold and removed manner that it feels like I’m reading side-effect symptoms out of a prescription bottle. Tell me, who cares for that!

A persuasive pitch leverages facts and narrative. Hence, it outlines the solution to a problem in a way that captivates the imagination. Also, by combining emotion and rationale, you can bring your audience –aka investors or whoever you’ll pitch to– into your world. 

For instance, beyond just stating what’s your user’s problem, try also telling a story about what’s at stake to infuse emotion. So, building anticipation is an effective way to poise your innovation for a win. 


It follows a user-centric journey

A persuasive pitch tracks your user’s transformational quest from failing to winning. So, to achieve this, lean on a cause-and-effect narrative to make your story real in someone else’s mind. Therefore, follow a logical sequence of events to showcase how your user discovers, interacts, and benefits from your product.

In the end, a compelling user-centric story will help others empathize with your user’s struggles. Once they recognize your user’s problem is real and needs urgent solving, they can begin to validate your solution.


It has a well-defined purpose

An early-stage startup has diverse operational needs to address. For instance, fundraising, recruiting, and sales pitches leverage different angles. Hence, following a one-size-fits-all pitch strategy can fail to produce the expected result. Instead, curate each pitch based on your ask.

To create a persuasive pitch, begin by defining the specific outcome you expect. Then choose information that will help your audience act upon your ask. Also, this way, you’ll make your presentation concise and easy to follow.


It presents your founder’s vision

An early-stage startup’s inherent status quo is things aren’t quite there–yet. As a founder, it’s on you to get others to believe in your vision. Therefore, your passion and credibility are as critical as the business opportunity you present in a pitch.

Proving you’re the right leader is essential if you’re in the early stages. To set you apart from others, become one with your pitch. Don’t be afraid to showcase your originality, ingenuity, and entrepreneurial vision. Similarly, work on developing a memorable personal brand. An excellent first impression can go a long way.


I hope these narrative tools can help you create a persuasive pitch. If you have any questions, I’m here to help!



About the Author

Alejandra Copeland cut her teeth as a visual communication expert by producing and editing video content for MTV Networks, NBC Universal, and Viacom. Since 2004, Alejandra has pushed Andromeda Productions as a premier marketing video production agency. She has created enduring client relationships with multiple Fortune 500 companies such as MasterCard and Sony Music US Latin.


Leveraging 20 years of experience with visual storytelling, I’ve created Ok, Yes! a toolkit for the early-stage startup. It’s loaded with how-to guides to creatively empower founders tackle things like:

– 𝚆𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊 𝚙𝚒𝚝𝚌𝚑 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚞𝚙

– 𝙿𝚛𝚘𝚍𝚞𝚌𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚍𝚞𝚌𝚝 𝚍𝚎𝚖𝚘

– 𝙼𝚊𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚞𝚊𝚜𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚌𝚊𝚜𝚎 𝚜𝚝𝚞𝚍𝚢

– 𝙲𝚞𝚝𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚖𝚘𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚕𝚊𝚞𝚗𝚌𝚑 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚍

– 𝙲𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚑𝚎𝚕𝚙 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚑𝚘𝚠-𝚝𝚘 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚗𝚝

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