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The Power of Pitch Videos in Startup Funding Applications: Making an Impact Online



This article highlights the importance of pitch videos in funding applications, particularly within the context of the Amsterdam Academic Angel Fund (3xA Fund). Pitch videos allow startups to showcase their personality, passion, and drive, helping investors connect with them on a personal level. Visual storytelling through pitch videos engages investors by presenting the startup's journey, milestones, and success stories. Different types of pitch videos can be used based on the industry, market, and nature of the startup. Key elements of a winning pitch video include a clear structure, visual appeal, authenticity, and concise messaging. As 3xA Fund assesses startups solely online, video pitches are crucial, as they enable a deeper understanding of the founders' personalities and mindsets. We value video pitches in the form of elevator pitches and product demos. This way, startups can share short and clear overviews of what they develop, the problem they solve, the traction they achieved and the team behind. By using the right tool and sharing the right message, they can significantly increase their chances of unlocking funding.


Introduction


In today's digital world, the traditional methods of pitching to investors have evolved. As an online-focused fund, we understand the significance of embracing innovative approaches to assess startups. One powerful tool that has gained momentum in the funding landscape is the pitch video. In this article, we explore the importance of pitch videos in funding applications, specifically within the context of our fund. Discover how pitch videos can help showcase your startup's potential, and personality, and secure the funding you need.


Unleashing Your Startup's Personality


When investors cannot meet founders in person, pitch videos provide a unique opportunity to showcase your startup's personality. It allows you to convey your passion, drive, and charisma, helping investors connect with you on a more personal level. Craft a compelling narrative that captures the essence of your vision and demonstrates why your startup is a compelling investment opportunity.


Visual Storytelling


Pitch videos offer a dynamic medium for visual storytelling. Utilize this platform to engage investors by presenting your startup's journey, highlighting milestones, and sharing success stories. Incorporate visuals, graphics, and animations to effectively communicate your product or service, leaving a lasting impression on the viewer.


Types of Pitch Videos


There are different types of pitch videos which you can use for your funding application. Some of them can be:

  • Elevator Pitch: A concise, attention-grabbing video that captures the essence of your startup in a short time frame. Keep it succinct, compelling, and persuasive.

  • Product Demonstration: Showcase your product or service in action, emphasizing its unique features and benefits. Provide a clear understanding of its value proposition and how it solves a problem in the market.

  • Founder Story: Share your personal journey as a founder, outlining the problem that inspired your startup and how you are uniquely positioned to solve it. This helps investors understand your motivation and commitment.

Choosing the right type of pitch video highly depends on you, but it is important also to remember additional variables, such as:

  • Industry/Market: the type of industry you are in will highly influence your choice of video pitch. You can understand that the FinTech industry will be completely different from the Media/Advertising industry. Some require a touch of creativity, while others need simple and clear communication.

  • Your Startup: this highly influences your pitch video, especially whether you provide products or services, whether you are B2B or B2C, etc. A good example is the differentiation between software and hardware products. Often, hardware companies would focus more on showing the product itself and how it is being used in a real-life use case. On the contrary, software companies usually demo videos: short clips showing the interaction with their app/software and the user interface. A useful resource for demo videos is available here. Airtable company is the perfect example of a clear product (software) demo.

At Amsterdam Academic Angel Fund, we value video pitches in the form of elevator pitches and product demos. As we invest in early-stage startups, it is important for us to have a short, summarised and clear overview of what the startup develops, the problem they solve, the traction they achieved and the team behind.


Key Elements of a Winning Pitch Video


  • Clear Structure: Start with a compelling hook, deliver a concise and well-structured pitch, and conclude with a strong call to action.

  • Visual Appeal: Use high-quality visuals, engaging animations, and professional editing to create a visually appealing video.

  • Authenticity: Be genuine, showcase your enthusiasm, and let your passion shine through. Investors value authenticity and a genuine connection with the founders.

  • Concise Messaging: Keep your pitch focused and concise. Highlight your unique value proposition and key differentiators that set your startup apart.


Maximizing Impact


  • Practice, Practice, Practice: Prepare and rehearse your pitch video to ensure a smooth delivery and a compelling presentation.

  • Get Feedback: Seek feedback from mentors, advisors, or peers to refine your pitch video. Incorporate constructive criticism to improve its effectiveness.

  • Tailor for Your Audience: Customize your pitch video to align with the interests and expectations of our fund. Highlight aspects that resonate with our investment criteria.


3xA Fund: who we are and why are video pitches so important for us?


For our fund, video pitches hold even greater importance. As we assess startups solely online, the pitch video allows us to gain a better understanding of your personality, mindset, charisma, and more. It enables us to connect with you on a deeper level and evaluate your suitability for our (following) investment criteria:

  • Problem: the problem your startup is solving; mentioning the pains that your customers are having in the current market stage.

  • Solution: your solution to this problem, in the form of a product or service. What are its features, and what unique selling proposition(s) defines it?

  • Market: the market description, its size and the portion you aim at capturing (e.g. TAM, SAM, SOM)

  • Economics: have you achieved sales/profits already? If not, what are your projections?

  • Traction & go-to-market: what have you achieved so far, proving the feasibility, desirability and viability of your idea? What is your strategy to capture the market and target your customers?

  • Team: who are the people behind your startup/idea and why are you the best team for making this company a success?

  • Current needs: what do you need to develop further and make more impact? What will you do with the investment we could offer?

  • Fit: how well do you fit 3xA Fund and our investment thesis?


Amsterdam Academic Angel Fund, a.k.a 3xA Fund, is backed by the Vrije Universiteit and the Universiteit van Amsterdam. Our mission is to back people and ideas. We believe the academic environment has one of the greatest impacts on society.

Therefore, we offer financial support to entrepreneurial students & alumni with promising business ideas. Our investment thesis can be summarised as follow:

  • Amount: EUR 10,000

  • Form: Convertible Loan

  • Stage: Pre-seed

To be eligible for the investment, the founders should have a great idea and be students or alumni of the two universities.

Describe your business or idea, traction & achievements, and your team. Specify what the funds will be used for and what milestones you will reach. Everything is filled in our platform. After submitting, we invite a pool of experts to review your startup and give you a grade within 2 weeks. Did you receive a score above 2.4? Success! You’re accepted to receive the funding. More details on the eligibility criteria and the selection process are available on our website.


3xA’s convertible loan is used for business development and to get your startup rolling. It should offer enough runaway to test your market and validate your idea, for example by building your MVP (minimum viable product, or prototype).


Conclusion


Pitch videos are an invaluable tool in the online funding landscape. They allow you to convey your startup's personality, showcase its potential, and make a lasting impression on investors, even without face-to-face interactions. By following the tips outlined in this article and creating a compelling pitch video, you can increase your chances of securing the funding you need to propel your startup forward. Embrace the power of pitch videos and leverage this dynamic medium to make an impact in your funding applications.


Remember, at our fund, we value innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Craft a pitch video that exemplifies your startup's potential, aligning with our investment criteria. Together, let's embark on a journey to transform your vision into reality.



 

Bibliography


Entrepreneur (2023). Use This Game-Changing Tool to Make or Break Your Pitches To Investors. Retrieved from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/starting-a-business/how-to-use-video-to-deliver-a-standout-pitch/444018


Faster Capital (2023). The top best startup pitch videos of all time. Retrieved from: https://fastercapital.com/content/The-top--best-startup-pitch-videos-of-all-time.html


Forbes (2013). Why A Video Elevator Pitch Will Improve Your Market Share. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/10/10/why-a-video-elevator-pitch-will-improve-your-market-share/?sh=625715af3910


Meg Prater (2022). 18 Impressive Product Demo Videos You'll Want to Copy. Retrieved from: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/demo-video


StartupNation (2022). How Pitch Videos Can Help Your Startup Get Funding. Retrieved from: https://startupnation.com/start-your-business/fund-your-business/find-funding/pitch-videos-startup-funding-payne/


Video Creek (2022). 7 Tips to Create a Pitch Video for Your Startup. Retrieved from: https://videocreek.com/blog/7-tips-create-pitch-video-for-startup/

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