What's wrong with my pitch?
It is no secret that women face more challenges than men in the business sector. Access to financial capital is one of the major problems women entrepreneurs face. Investors are more likely to choose men due to the social stigma women face of expected failure in business. Entrepreneurship is dominated by men and associated with masculine traits. Therefore, when men pitch their venture ideas, they are rewarded for their assertiveness and dominance, whereas women are reprimanded if they behave the same way and are told they are being "too bossy" or "too cocky." Due to these biases, investors are more likely to ask promotion- focused questions for men (e.g., what do you hope to achieve with this funding or what value does your company provide), while women are asked more prevention-based questions (e.g., how will you avoid risks or how will you overcome challenges?). These types of questions matter because promotion-focused ones allow you to appear confident and competent while envisioning your goal whereas prevention-focused ones revolve around the downsides of your venture.
Example: The pitch
"There are more than 22 million tall women in the U.S. Who account for $1.7 billion in annual retail sales in tall women's clothing. Unfortunately, three-quarter sleeves, 33-inch inseam jeans, and crop pants are a part of the wardrobes of most tall women. As a tall woman myself [6 feet, 1 inch], it's been difficult to find clothing to fit my taller-than-average frame. Clothing for tall women often lacks style and fit, so Height Goddess wants to bring both to the tall women's clothing market. Currently, we market our products online at HeightGoddess.com as well as in boutiques in Texas and California. We would use the funds to continue to produce our fall 2010 line, to gain brand presence for direct-to-consumer [efforts], and to get into retail boutiques." Judges' comments This pitch was well received and was awarded funding. However, the judges said this pitch would be better if the entrepreneur gave a little more focus to the end result, defined what is considered a "tall woman" and clarified who the designer of the clothing line is. Overall, the judges were impressed by this pitch.
Thank you for reading and good luck with your pitch!