When it comes to pitching your business idea to investors, it’s important that an entrepreneur understands where the investor is coming from, says Kenyan Tonee Ndungu.
Ndungu is a serial entrepreneur who has experienced both successes and failures in business. His latest company, Kytabu, is a textbook subscription application on a low cost tablet that allows students to rent all the textbooks in the Kenyan education curriculum on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis. Kytabu has recently managed to attract US$350,000 in investment.
“I think, as an entrepreneur, there are three very valuable resources you must have [for attracting investment]. The first is your sales pitch. It has to be crystal clear, it has to be short and precise, and you have to have identified a very practical and executable [solution] to a need you are trying to solve.”
He added that it is also very important for entrepreneurs to be able to articulate their vision to investors in a manner that addresses both what the entrepreneur and investor is looking for. Ndungu explained that before he pitches his business idea to investors, he always does a bit of research on the investors to understand who they are, where they are coming from, and what they are looking for.
“The third thing that an entrepreneur needs to do – and this is of extreme importance – is that an entrepreneur must be able to relate to, and be related to, by the person they are speaking to. So if I’m going to talk to you I must be able to empathise with you but I must also give you the opportunity to empathise with me and the people I am trying to target,” he explained.
In addition to running Kytabu, Ndungu is also a motivational speaker on entrepreneurship and has facilitated a number of business conferences and seminars over the years.
During a Skype interview with How we made it in Africa, Ndungu outlined tips for African entrepreneurs to use to impress investors during their business pitches.