Are you applying to the Microsoft Imagine Fund? If you are you have probably already checked out the application form and noticed that we are asking you to submit a short (max 5 minutes) presentation or pitch video. You may already be all clued in on what a pitch is. If this is still new to you read on and we will give you some hints.

A Pitch (according to Wikipedia) is a “short summary of a scenario designed to convince in a few words about the value or interest of a story”. The goal with your pitch is to convince potential investors that they should spend money on funding your idea.It all starts with the idea.  You have an idea. A brilliant idea. But how do you make sure it’s the next great thing before running with it? And how are ideas born? How do you know that your idea is really feasible and that there is a market for your product? How can you “look into the future” and see if your idea and your product aligns to where the market is going?

There are a ton of great resources out there on the topic of ideation, storytelling and presenting your idea – all crucial elements of pitching. We have selected a few that we think are pretty cool. Check them out (and also do your own research):

Ideation/Trend Mapping
Trendmapping as a tool for identifying future trends and build companies around these (Mike Stemple)
How to test your idea (Phil McKinney)
6 features you need to manage your ideas (Phil McKinney)
How to rank your ideas – and ensure you are working on the best ideas that will have the most impact (Phil McKinney)
Where do ideas come from? How to recognize opportunities? (Steven Johnson)

(TIP: Use mind-mapping tools to generate, visualize, structure, and classify your ideas. Check out the top 30 free mind-mapping tools)

Story Telling
3 tricks to strategic story telling (Phil McKinney)
The Importance of Storytelling in Honing Your Pitch (John Brooks)
Storytelling: A story of survival, resilience, and hope (Joseph Kim)

Making the pitch
How to pitch your idea so that you get funding (Phil McKinney)
Making the Innovation Pitch (Phil McKinney)
How to present your pitch (Guy Kawasaki)
Pitch Presentation Outline example (Guy Kawasaki)
What do VC’s look for? (Bilal Zuberi)
How to present your idea and win people over (David S. Rose)
The Art of Pitch in 5 minutes (Ben Piquard)

And, not that we think this is going to happen to you (no way) but check out this article on 12 Ways To Blow Your Investor Pitch shared by North Venture Partners :-)

Best of luck!
Microsoft Imagine Fund Team