After developing a credible product or service, we create a compelling narrative in complex markets to attract impact investors, customers and talents. Building these narratives goes well beyond “pitching”: It is a deliberate process of describing how an idea works, how it creates value, and how it catalyzes change – with storytelling at its heart.
Going Beyond Pitching
While storytelling is rightly emphasized as an important part of the entrepreneur-investor conversation, it’s also critical for entrepreneurs beyond the investment raise: Growing a company requires ongoing investment in brand building, and brands are forged through promises and stories.
We work with small and growing businesses to find the narratives that will attract financial capital, customers and talent for growth. These narratives help young brands create the organizational underpinning to bring together investors, consumers and employees alike.
In working with social entrepreneurs as they seek new rounds of capital, I have observed two essential best-practice approaches to help early-stage companies craft compelling narratives as they build market traction and proof points.
MVP with Demonstrated Profitability – The only solution to work in the face of gloomy market conditions
How are entrepreneurs going to raise capital when even its more established peers in the marketplace were facing financial challenges and fueling doubt among investors?
We always work from the first principles: the customer value proposition.
The market had been struggling because the pressure of financial maximization by traditional venture capitalists has caused traction-based startups to promise gains that were largely unrealized—hence latent demand not given enough time to be converted to actual demand. To build customer trust and win investor confidence, we realized it must flip this prevailing market narrative. Our approach is hence to focus on demonstrating the profitability by customers’ demand from as early as the stage of minimum viable product.
Strategically Planned Partnership – Aim higher by joining a larger narrative
When entrepreneurs recognize that their innovation could offer a sustainable approach even in challenging markets, often time, their narrative had to go beyond “invention” in order to gain investor traction and spark the necessary systems-level change.
We use our pitch to spark partnerships with key agents in local economies, catalyzing interest from corporates, strategic and infrastructure investors, even that means we need to track them down across the globe. We position our founder and their brand as a unifying symbol of community collaboration.
Lasser focus on identifying impact investors who commit to value maximization
We identify unifying narratives that are already familiar to impact investors, partners and companies, such as the circular economy, sustainable innovation concepts, etc. We go back to the crafted purpose story — a commitment to all stakeholders, partners and community alike, instead of just a small portion of traction-lusting venture capitalists. Most times, we will have to turn down offers from investors who have very different values from ours.
Our pitching approach, grounded in a customer value proposition, is refined to attract meaningful capital, build assets and drive company growth. But it also serves to build brands and grow business value. When leveraged strategically, purpose storytelling is a powerful mechanism for bringing together investors, customers, employees and promises that, hopefully, create meaningful—even transformational—economic and social value.
Let’s find the voice, the customers, the partners and the investors that make your purpose a reality.