Pitching Investors

Could Your Startup Answer These 23 Pitch Competition Questions?

Asked and answered. These real-life pitch questions from Steve Case's Rise of the Rest tour can help give you an edge on your next pitch.
Could Your Startup Answer These 23 Pitch Competition Questions?
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Entrepreneur is on the road with startup platform Rise of the Rest. Check out Startup Anywhere for stories from the October road trip as well as for insights from thought leaders and community leaders showing there’s an entrepreneurial world outside Silicon Valley.

Pitch competitions are a reality of startup life, as common as coffee mugs that say “Hustle Harder” or thought leaders expounding on the need for “grit.”

Still, even the smartest entrepreneur isn’t always ready for what competition judges might ask. During Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest tour, a seven-city road trip across the U.S. highlighting entrepreneurs outside the major startup hubs, founders in Phoenix participated in their own mock pitch competition, allowing them to practice and polish their answers.  

We’ve collected a curated selection of questions during the competion, some asked more often than others. 

To prepare for your next competition, get prepping with these potential questions:


1. What’s your top priority in the next six months? What metric are you watching the most closely?
2. What’s your exit strategy?

The basics

3. How does your product/service work?
4. Who is your customer?
5. Do you have contracts and if so, how often do they renew?

The team

6. Why is your team the team to bring this to market?
7. You say you’ll have 100 staffers in five years. You have six now. What will those new staffers do?


8. Why is your product/service better than what’s already on the market?
9. Who are your competitors?
10. Do you have a patent?

Related: Join Entrepreneur on the Road This Week With Steve Case's 'Rise of the Rest'


11. If you win the investment, what would that partnership look like?
12. You’ve secured a strategic partnership. Is that partnership exclusive? And if not, is that a liability?


13. What’s your barrier to capacity?
14. What’s your expansion strategy?

Pricing and revenue

15. How much of your revenue is from upsells? And how do you see that changing over time?
16. Everyone says they can monetize the data they collect. What’s your plan?
17. Can you explain your revenue model?
18. What’s your margin?
19. Are you charging too little?
20. Are you charging too much?

Related: Steve Case on Opportunity Outside Silicon Valley: 'There's Still Work to Be Done'

What’s ahead

21. How will you get to 1 million users?
22. Is this trend sustainable?
23. What regulatory approvals do you need and how have you progressed so far?


Edition: October 2016

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