Master the basics: what UK investors are looking for in your pitch

Having a great pitch deck is only half the battle! You've spent hours honing your pitch deck, but now you want to know what investors are looking for when you take it to them.

Here we share first-hand learnings from UK-based investors about what they look for in pitches from tech scaleups, giving you tangible and actionable advice you can apply next time you’re in the boardroom.

We have taken these learnings from a fantastic pitch practice session we hosted for Urban Innovation, where a cohort of cleantech scaleups from Berlin practised pitching to VCs and investors.

Your pitch is an opportunity to tell your story.

Have clarity

Investors want to build a picture of you as an entrepreneur and judge your potential as an investment, your pitch is an opportunity to tell your story. It should be clear and concise; it’s essential to explain your business model and why your offering is in-demand and align it with trending sectors when possible, especially in the UK market.

For example, if your business has green credentials, lean into that; it’s something many investors will be looking for.

Know your audience

Tailor your presentations based on who you are presenting to. Focus on what part of the business will bring revenue first, and then later, you can focus on the broader scope of what can be achieved. It’s easy to try and fit everything into one presentation, but that can be confusing and time-consuming. Ultimately, investors want to hear how you can bring value to your target audience.

Remember it’s important to project your voice too - they want to hear what you have to say!

Body language

Make eye contact, avoid crossing your arms and stand up straight. Remember it’s important to project your voice too - they want to hear what you have to say! How you present yourself says a lot about you, so ensure you’re sending the right message.

Good body language shows an investor that you’re confident and in control. It shows that you’re a person who is capable of achieving what you say you’re going to. Bad body language, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect. If you slouch, fidget, tremble, or avoid eye contact, you can put people off.

Be upfront

Don't hold back. If you're looking for funding, let potential investors know that immediately. Don't waste time on lengthy introductions or explanations of your business and its history. Make sure you don’t hide away significant figures and stats, shout about your successes and be forthcoming with this data.

Remember, too, that when you're talking to potential investors, you're not just making a pitch. You're looking for a partner. That means you need to be upfront about the risks of your business and how you plan to get around them.