What Investors Look For When Evaluating Your Pitch: Laith Zraikat, Senior Investment Manager, Arzan Venture Capital

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I prefer startups ask for help and advice as opposed to pitching. Their questions will hold everything I need to know: team, product, traction, challenges, what they’ve learned, and how I can add value. That said, if you manage to get me to watch you do the pitch thing, here’s what I’d be waiting to hear: 

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1. INTRO

Who are the team? What are you out to solve? What do you know that others don’t? What have you proven to be true that others believe is false? Use simple terms, and no buzz words.

2. TRACTION

Talk about traction if you have any. Show some usage metrics, revenues, and explain user behavior. If you don’t have much traction, share some early customer stories and prove that at least some people love your product.

3. DEMO

Show me your product. Your product demo will put everything into perspective. It will also show that you can execute. User experience is very important. If you have a beautifully-built product, you’re halfway in.

4. LEARNING PROCESS

Demonstrate a learning process. What worked, and why? What didn’t work, and why not? Startups usually don’t stick with the exact same idea they set out to build on day one. Being dynamic and having an iterative experimental methodology is essential.

5. VALUE ADD

How can I help? Although money is very important, team is everything. A VC is part of that team. What value can I add and why is it going to be rewarding to work with you?

Laith Zraikat

Written By

Laith Zraikat, a Senior Investment Manager at Arzan Venture Capital, founded his first startup in 1997 with the aim to bring more people and more businesses in Jordan onto the World Wide Web. Three years later that business pivoted into what became one of the most notable startups in the Arab World -Jeeran.com. As co-founder of Jeeran, Laith served as Developer, Designer, Product Manager, Vice President, and Chief Technology Officer. His role was primarily overseeing and executing the company’s product vision, and growing its user base from a handful of close friends and acquaintances to nearly 7 million unique visitors. As Jeeran matured, Laith decided to leave in 2012 and pursue his true passion, working with startups. Since then he has worked with startup founders as a mentor, advisor, and sometimes as part of the team, on solving technical, product, and operational challenges. What he is proud of most are the hundreds of jobs he created for talented young women and men who all went on to start their own startups or assume leading roles at other companies. A self-taught technologist and a geek at heart, Laith enjoys working closely with passionate developers and designers on new and bold ideas. He still codes almost daily, and speaks fluent Arabic, English, Objective-C, PHP, C#, JavaScript, SQL, CSS, HTML, and a little bit of Python. Laith holds Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the University of Jordan.