PUBLIC’s Programme and Marketing Manager Edd Elliott provides four quick tips on effectively communicating your GovTech idea to investors and the public sector.
PUBLIC receives almost a pitch deck a day. Many are fantastic, bursting with innovative applications that have huge benefits for the public sector. Needless to say, however, not all spring from the screen.
Communicating your company’s idea effectively is vital for everything from gaining business to securing funding. So many GovTech startups, however, overlook this key skill. It’s understandable: why agonize over a few sentences when you have a product to build! Time is always short for a startup – so use this cheat sheet of four quick tips on communicating your idea effectively.
On average, audiences read eight words per slide. That’s the same number of words as the last sentence. If you want to get noticed, you need to explain what your company does and why it does it quickly and efficiently – whether it be in writing or speech.
Wondering how to do this? Practice explaining your company in:
- One Written Sentence (no more than 18 words).
- One Written Paragraph
- One 30-Second Spoken ‘Elevator’ Pitch.
- One 2-Minute Spoken Pitch.
Have these in your backpocket and communicating your startup becomes a lot easier.
Problem First, Technology Second
“Problem first, technology second” is a mantra members of central & local government repeat constantly when talking to startups. What does it mean? Public sector buyers want to know first and foremost that you are solving their problem. How you solve it – technology or otherwise – comes second.
Don’t fall into the trap of over-emphasising your technology: many startups do. Even if you’ve spent months slaving over your new chatbot solution, it isn’t, for the most part, what interests government buyers. Prove that your solution can viably solve a problem, whilst saving time and money – then begin to sell them on machine learning/blockchain/smart-sensors.
Demonstrate You Know the Sector/Domain
To gain any confidence that you are capable of solving a problem, you have to be able to demonstrate that you know that particular problem inside-out. You will not win over investors or public sector buyers unless you can show that you have an intimate knowledge of the sector or domain you are looking to transform.
Lots of great GovTech entrepreneurs come out of the public sector looking to solve a problem they have encountered. If this is true of you, do not hide this fact. It is the quickest and best way to give your company credibility – and a clear area of advantage entrepreneurs have over incumbents.
(NB: If you haven’t come out of the public sector to form your business, be able to demonstrate you have done the necessary research: you have talked to domain specialists, you have advisors who are experts in the sector.)
Avoid the Tropes
For an industry hell-bent on fashioning the new and creative, startup culture is remarkably infected by cliched language. In fact if a business could be constructed that generated revenue everytime a startup introduced itself as “We’re the Uber of…” or “We’re like Airbnb but…”, it would be well on its way to unicorn status.
Don’t overuse the term disrupt; don’t create a quadrangle and insert your company in the top right. Anyone who has been to more than one Demo Day will find it tired and tiring. Just be clear and concise about your company, using terms anyone can understand. Clarity and honesty will be refreshing for investors and public sector buyers alike.
Join us at the GovTech Summit in Paris, on 12th November 2018 to bring entrepreneurship to the European public sector & transform democratic practices!
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