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How to Succeed at Your Next Startup Pitch Competition

Every year the world’s best startups gather in Berlin for one big startup pitch competition: Investors Day & BETAPITCH Global! The competing startups are selected at local BETAPITCH events around the globe. They’ve prepared their pitches, sweated on stage and won! To convince a jury like that you need a really good pitch – here are some tips to succeed at your next startup pitch competition!

Let’s start with a simple one: what is a pitch competition?
As most of you know, it’s a competition where the contestants have a limited time to present their business idea in front of an audience and a jury. Startup pitch competitions offer a great way to spread the word about your company, find funding and get valuable feedback.

What should be included in a pitch?
In a nutshell, a pitch should include: Vision, The Problem, Product/Service, Market Opportunity, Revenue Model, Marketing & Growth Strategy, Competitors, Team, Financials & The ‘Ask’.

Of course, the key to a great pitch is a clear ask. Keep the ask as specific as possible, so the audience can envision exactly what you need. If it is financial Investment – then how much? Are you looking for partnerships – then with whom? etc..

How do you deliver a good pitch?
Capture your audience early – the human attention span is short, actually even shorter than a goldfish’s. With that in mind, it’s clear that you have to use your first 30 to 60 seconds wisely.

Make your business relevant – define the problem early on, and then introduce your solution. Have the question “why now” in mind when preparing your pitch, “why is your product relevant right now?”.

Offer concrete facts and plans – divide your target market into smaller segments, present a well-thought business plan, show traction with future milestones etc. Or how Aristoteles would’ve put it: your pitch needs logos!

Take on the stage with confidence – show that you believe in your product and explain why you and your team are the right people to fulfil this market need. Avoid bullshit and make sure you don’t come across as arrogant.

Be memorable the jury will hear several pitches in a short amount of time. To keep your pitch in their minds you might want to end it with a joke, a great anecdote or some sort of gesture.

Treat the Q&A as an opportunity to further convey your message – answer the questions you get, transition into what you want to talk about and stick to the message of the pitch. Also, keep in mind what is shown on your last slide – it’s very likely this will be shown during the whole Q&A session.

Learn The 7 Key Components of a Perfect Elevator Pitch and Become Pitch-Perfect: How to Win a Startup Pitch Competition.

Where do you find the best startup pitch competitions?
Besides our own BETAPITCH competitions, we also recommend the weekly pitch event at betahaus: betabreakfast. Which is a great way to practice your pitching skills in front of an attentive audience and prepare for the stages of the best startup competitions.

For more, check out this startup competition guide and keep yourself updated with upcoming events in the EU on

You’re on stage. The hushed sound of a waiting crowd is filling your ears and the spotlight is hot on your face. It’s time to deliver. 5 minutes, that’s all you got to impress the jury. Sweat is dripping. First slide, second slide – the minutes are passing by quickly. You’re starting to feel comfortable up there. You even manage to make the audience laugh. You’re owning it! Thank god you read this BETAPITCH post about how to succeed at a 
startup pitch competition! 😉

Want to take what you learnt to the test?  Our next Investors Day & BETAPITCH Global will happen on November 15th 2018 and it’ll be filled with pitch opportunities. Sign up here.

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