Like everyone, investors also use emotions. No matter how rational the investors think they are, in the end, they will still follow the feeling at the end of the day.
That’s why when you conduct a financing roadshow, a good story is often more important than anything else. If you can incorporate your emotions when telling a story, you will have more advantages. Investors want to know who you are, what is driving you, and want to feel for yourself what brings your team together. After all, the best way for investors to build trust in you in a short period of time is to reveal your values and motivation through a short story.
If you want to grab the attention of investors, you need to find out the exciting stories. A good story can combine your personal, your product’s story and your company’s mission. Recall that when you first came up with that creative moment, what inspired you to take the step of entrepreneurship? What makes you so excited every day and ca n’t wait to get into work? Why does your startup have an impact on your industry at this moment?
Let me tell a story. Verizon has set up a multi-million dollar prize competition to reward the world’s top innovators, one of which involves education. My first startup was a gaming company that published games for business education, such as “Billionaire” and “Retail Empire”, so I think I meet the requirements for entry.
A month later, I passed the first level. As I passed a new round of selections, I became more and more confident. When I entered the finals, I was determined to win the grand prize. I started to conceive my story carefully. This is the most important part of the competition. There are two main points that must be told.
First, to tell a story of your own, mainly to emphasize that I have been creating a non-violent educational game since high school, because I believe this is the best way to educate young people.
Second, I linked my game to the biggest problem facing the United States at the time. At the time when the subprime mortgage crisis broke out, many Americans did not understand the most basic financial knowledge and signed floating-rate loans that they could not repay, and eventually lost their houses. I told the judges that such a situation must not be allowed to continue.
Next, I told the story of several game players who learned the danger of high interest rates through our games, not only quit the habit of credit card swipes, but also cleared the debt. I also introduced the use of our software by some middle schools and universities around the world to carry out business, mathematics, and economics education.
I finally concluded that we intend to use the bonus to introduce “Retail Empire” to the mobile platform. At the end of the speech, when I looked at the judges’ eyes, I knew they had grabbed their attention. I am about to pick the fruits of victory.
Over the next few weeks, Verizon sent an employee to shoot videos for us, and constantly hinted that we are one of the most optimistic teams. As you can imagine, we are very excited, because the prize money is as high as 1 million US dollars, and we do not need to give up any equity of the company, there are such good things.
The day of the awards ceremony is finally here. I was full of confidence, but when the second place was announced, I heard the host shouting “Retail Empire”. I can hardly believe that we did not win the first place. Is there a better story than educating young people during the economic crisis?
A young man from Israel boarded the championship podium. When he started speaking, I realized why he lost because he had a better story-by developing learning software to help him get the father of withdrawal brain disease.
The best stories always win, why? Because human beings understand the world through various stories. Since the time when our prehistoric ancestors still lived in caves, we have learned to gather around a campfire to tell about our lives and the feats we have done. Passing on from generation to generation, we pass on our knowledge and culture through storytelling.
The same is true of news, which is a variety of stories. When you open the Wall Street Journal, what you see on the front page will never be just a series of facts and figures, but some interesting stories about people and related events. Knowledge will also be packaged in various stories, because only in this way can we better absorb and process information. Without a story, it is difficult for most people to remember that series of facts. But once these facts are tied to a touching story, it is hard to forget.
So when you talk about your startup, remember that the story you tell is most likely to impress investors. When investors leave the room, most of the facts and figures will disappear from their memory. The next day, only startups that told an unforgettable story might receive a call back.