For some inventors, the pitch is the scariest part of the process when turning your idea into an honest-to-goodness product. There’s no skirting around the fact that presenting your prototype design to prospective investors, retailers or business partners can feel like putting on a show. Except you’re an engineer with a killer idea, not a gold-ticket performer on America’s Got Talent, so how do you manage your stage fright, put your best and most authentic foot forward, and earn a positive reaction?
Start with the Basics: The Elevator Pitch
You may already have an elevator pitch prepared and ready to go from the last trade show or conference you attended. This overview of your product or prototype design is the perfect jumping off point because you’ve already done the hardest part: distilling your idea into a quick, concise thought that’s easy to communicate. You can make sure your audience fully understands your product in the least amount of time, giving you the opportunity to start building your case earlier in your presentation.
Know Who You’re Talking To
Unlike encountering a new face at a networking event, you’ll be pitching to a specific person or team of people. Learn as much as you can about them. You don’t need to go as far as their favourite sports team or ice cream flavour, but you should understand a bit about their professional background. How long have they been in the industry? If they’re a VC, what types of products have they funded in the past?
Show, Don’t Tell: Bring that Prototype
Sometimes the most compelling part of a pitch presentation follows the principle that actions speak louder than words. You’ve told your story, your idea is well-formed and clear, you’ve brought the numbers to back it up, now let your prototype bring your pitch home. Enlisting the help of a prototype design firm like MAKO Invent can really tip the scales in your pitch. Having the expertise to build and consult on a fully functional prototype will provide your audience with something tangible to get behind, so you’re not leaving anything up to their imagination.
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!