Our team recently had the opportunity to be a guest-speaker at this year’s International Leadership & Innovation Festival 2021, where BIC spoke about what investors look for in early-stage startups. Our panel speakers included the founders of ANGIN and UMG Idealab, two of Indonesia’s active investment players based in Jakarta. A key talking point in the conference was the impact of COVID within the start-up environment. The general view was that the current constraints are an incredible opportunity to build the businesses of tomorrow. To entrepreneurs, there is always a “pandemic-like” scenario. The road to success has never been easy, there is no perfect landscape. We believe that entrepreneurs who can make their business work during COVID times will see even more success when the world returns to normal. Of course, access to funding is vital when considering growth and money will come from making a good first impression with investors. Here are some of the key considerations that investors look for during the pitch. Make yourself shine.


1. Keep It SHORT
Investors want to see you can explain your business in a clear and simple way. Keep you pitch crisp and powerful and give more time for questions. You can always have back-up slides to do deep dives. Otherwise, focus on the overview and key info.

2. Know WHY You’re Special
Most entrepreneurs have great ideas but fail to explain that clearly in presentation. Let your audience see you’ve looked at the competition, focus on what makes you unique and why that matters to customers.

3. Learn Your NUMBERS
This is one of the most important parts of your pitch and since you’re presenting to receive funding, you need to show investors that you know all the important numbers for your business. This is often a big let-down, so take time to learn them.

Many entrepreneurs dream of skyrocketing revenues. While dreaming big is important in starting a business, it’s best to model against rainy conditions. Run your numbers in the worst-case scenario (eg. COVID climate) and dial-up from there.

5. SELL Your Team
Apart from positive returns, investors look first and foremost at the team. Prove to investors that you are the right leader and that you have the best team for the job. Investors fund teams, not companies, so focus on the value your team brings.

6. Believe In YOURSELF
Pitch for funding is an achievement on its own. It means you have created enough of a business so far that you can actually present it to others. Remember what you did to get to the pitch room and channel that feeling. Be proud, stay humble.

7. Embrace TOUGH Questions
This is where you are being tested. Show investors that you can handle any question without breaking a sweat. This will tell your audience that you can manage stress well in your business and can deal with time-pressure problems on a clear head.

8. Be Funding READY
This is the last point and a big decision factor. Show investors that funding is the main thing you now need to grow the business, and that you will spend the money wisely. Explain where you’ll need help and be ready for the next step.


Take some time to understand your pitch from an investor’s point of view. Great companies bring great ideas to life, not the other way around. Show investors you have done your best to prepare for what is coming next. Prove that you are worth the risk. We are in the middle of a new wave of global creation and to us, the perfect time to build the future is now. The world is becoming more sustainable, so build a business around the greater good and don’t be afraid to ask for help or to make mistakes. It’s how humans learn and how we progress.

Small steps lead to big achievements. Believe in the process. Keep pushing.

Think you’re ready to take the next step?

Apply for funding with BIC, we’d love to hear about your project.