November 26, 2019

TripActions CEO Talks About the Art of Pitching

Every year, WebSummit brings together tech leaders from around the world to share their experiences and innovative ideas with over 20,000 attendees. TripActions was thrilled to join several of WebSummit’s panel talks and roundtables this year to share our journey with the dynamic speakers and unique audience.

TripActions CEO, Ariel Cohen, joined Michele Romanow, Co-Founder of Clearbanc, in a panel discussion on the art of pitching. Whilst there is no secret formula to this art, there are, of course, ways to improve your odds. With insights from Ariel growing TripActions to a $4B valuation, along with Michele’s career as a founder and Dragon’s Den entrepreneur, here are four core takeaways to improve these odds.

Disrupt a Big Market

Pitching an idea becomes easier when it solves a problem in a large market. “TripActions disrupts the travel management space,” explains Ariel. “We offer companies a platform that their employees will love, provide 24/7 365 global travel agents and ultimately, help them save money. It’s a pitch everyone understands.”

Make sure your product or service sits within a big market, that is ready for disruption, and that it’s something that people will want.

Choose Your VC Wisely

Selecting investors is even more important than the terms of the round. The relationship you have with a VC is like a long-term marriage. “You’re giving up equity you won’t get back, they’ll be a part of how you build the company so it’s important to choose an investor who backs you 100%,” Michele explains.

Building a good relationship with your investors is so crucial because you need to know that they’ll support you from both a financial and advisory point of view — even when things are not going well.

Create Alignment with Your Investors

Solving problems costs money and initially impacts your metrics. You need to be able to describe what your journey is going to look like and how you’re going to do it to your investors.

For example, our investors at TripActions are aligned with our need for our own travel agents to solve travelers’ unexpected changes whilst on the road. TripActions measures success with an SLA metric and, after scaling, see that our travel agent response time is less than a minute and our traveler satisfaction is more than 90%.

Get Your Story Ready

In addition to demonstrating that your product falls within a big market ready for disruption, you need to show that you are the right person to do this. “Define what unique experiences you have had that make you the only person in the world who can deliver and execute this,” Michele said. “That’s the story you need to tell.”

It’s also important to prepare yourself with the mentality that you’ll need to do 100 pitches in order to get one or two VCs who you really like and who are interested. Having this long-term mentality makes the inevitability of some rejection easier.

If you’re interested in hearing more from TripActions leaders or to meet more of our team, take a look at our upcoming events.