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The phrase ‘no pain, no gain’ isn’t just about slinging kettle bells followed by a 20K run; it can apply to startups. For instance, if you’re not thinking about how your product solves a customer’s pain point, which investors can relate to, you’ll be out of the funding game.


To get specific insights on pitching investors, TELUS Talks Business spoke to Elan Eisen, co-founder of PatientSERV, which offers a secure, cloud-based and innovative platform that enables effective billing and collection for all unfunded and uninsured services delivered in a Canadian medical practice; Russ Armstrong, CFO of Limelight Platforms, an all-in-one experiential marketing platform; and Martin Yang, back-end specialist and co-founder of Nvest (pictured with his team, above), a performance-tracked stock recommendation platform that helps investors gain credible information about the market.


Eisen, Armstrong and Yang participated in the TELUS-sponsored “Going Global: INcubes & 1871” event in mid-January, where 10 high-growth startups from Toronto and Chicago pitched their businesses.


2Elan Eisen Headshot.jpg

The entrepreneurs agreed: whether you have five minutes for an elevator pitch or you’ve secured a one-hour meeting with an angel investor, take time to describe your vision, paint a picture of the future, share your progress and describe the expertise of your team.


Eisen (pictured, left) said, “You want your presentation to be punchy, straight to the point. And that’s tough because you have so much you are enthusiastic about.” Tips from the entrepreneurs (edited and condensed for clarity) follow.


Know your audience

Russ Armstrong: “Know whom you are presenting to. Know what their expertise is; what their backgrounds are and that will allow you to tailor your presentation to their needs.”


Lighten your slide deck

Elan Eisen: “Start with the problem; talk about the solution as briefly as you can – six, seven slides, maximum – talk about how big the market is and you let them make their our own decision.”


Answer key questions

Martin Yang: “What have we done so far? What problems are we trying to solve? How big is this problem? Why does this problem exist and what are we doing specifically to target the aspects of this problem that no one else is doing? What have done that is really impressive?”



Highlight your customers

Russ Armstrong: “Let the investors know you listened to what your clients are actually demanding and you built a product that clients want, not what you think clients want. Gaining that initial traction and having paid clients and getting feedback is a key component to building the right product for the market.”


If your startup needs a technology partner, TELUS has a whole world of business technology solutions waiting to grow with you right here