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Pitching a NYC Climate Tech Startup to Investors: 7 Strategies for Success

Updated: Jun 10


Pitchiing a NYC Climate Tech Startup to Investors cover image

This year’s Climate Week New York is scheduled for 22-29 September 2024.  The time to prepare for this incredible event is now, especially if you are a startup founder in the climate tech scene looking for investors in your company. As a climate tech startup, learn how to pitch to investors in NYC starting with these 7 strategies to prime your pitch for maximal effect. 


Crafting a Compelling Pitch for NYC Investors


A woman in a black blazer standing beside a white board is pitching to new investors

Strategy #1:  Know thyself

A clever hook is not enough. You need to be able in real time to explain to anyone your why:  Why this problem?  Why this solution?  And most importantly, why should you be the one delivering it?  Your pitch should present concrete reasons, not flashy gimmicks, as to why someone would want to purchase your product or service in order for potential investors to see a need to invest in your startup.


Strategy #2:  Understand your market

Investors will be the first to ask what is your unique selling proposition and to explain your place in the market.  This means you have to have an understanding of what your competitors do and do not provide.  Doing your research and supplying potential investors with data on market size, growth potential and trends pulled from reputable sources is a must.  


You also need to understand the pain points of your target customers and be able to articulate how your climate tech solution will save them time, money, or both.


Strategy #3:  Articulate your business model

If you can’t explain how your product or service will make money, no one in their right mind will invest in your startup.  It is absolutely critical that you can clearly describe your revenue streams and also how your business can be scaled in the future.  


Strategy #4:  Introduce your team

When an investor places money in your startup, they are placing trust in the people you have working for you.  Your team should be introduced in such a way that there is no doubt they are the very best at what they do and their competencies and achievements support the startup’s mission.  Bonus points if you have already secured an advisory board, which shows that you are not flying blind. 


Strategy #5:  Financials on point

If you are not on top of your finances, it is going to be very difficult for someone else to hand over a large sum of money to you.  You need to be able to answer in very direct terms questions on your financial status, including revenue, expenses, and profitability and to present data to back it all up.  


Strategy #6:  Make your ask

Be 100% clear on how much funding you are seeking and what purposes you will put that money to.  Investors are not running a charitable organization and are looking for startup candidates which can make them money.  You need to have calculated a figure for return on investment and given thought of an appropriate exit strategy.


Strategy #7:  Be gracious and be grateful

Even if your pitch does not attract a particular investor, that does not necessarily mean that it was terrible (unless it actually was due to lack of proper planning and preparation).  Some of the most recognizable businesses today, like AirBnB, were rejected serially, before eventually finding the right investment team. The world is small, so always be gracious toward anyone who took the time to listen to your pitch and consider any feedback they may provide.  And never forget to thank people for their time and for giving you the opportunity to meet with them.  


Identifying Potential NYC Investors to pitch to for Climate Tech Startups


If you are considering coming to NYC for Climate Week specifically to look for investors of a Climate tech Startup to pitch to, it is critical that you do your research. Find firms who have a successful track record in climate tech investments.  And research firms which are in your area of climate tech which have already been funded to discover who invested in them.  Crunchbase and PitchBook are both useful resources to begin your investigations.  Venture capital firms working with climate tech startups include Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Congruent Ventures, and Energy Impact Partners.  Investment funds with a foothold in climate tech include the Green Climate Fund and the Clean Energy Venture Fund. 


Another great tool at your disposal to seek out investors is through your advisory board.  Prior to attending an event like Climate Week NYC, you should inform your advisory board well in advance and schedule meetings with them to strategize your time while there.  If a member of your advisory board is able to open a line of communication between you and a potential investor, you have just become that much closer to securing funding.  


A woman standing in front of a white board is pitching to potential investors

Navigating the NYC Investment Landscape at Emerald Summit


The Emerald Summit, sponsored by Wallet Max, will be co-located with Climate Week NYC from September 19-20, 2024.  During these two days, a blockbuster group of speakers and investors will converge, focusing on environmental, social, and governance impact led by female founders.  The Emerald Summit will provide a wealth of opportunities for participants to meet potential investors and learn from successful female entrepreneurs in the climate tech space.  Whether you already have a business up and running or if you are seriously considering starting one, the Emerald Summit is an excellent place to learn and to make connections, regardless of where you are on your journey.  


Series A vs Late-Stage Startups: Key Differences in Pitching Strategies


Although the strategies listed above are useful to anyone pitching, it is important to remember that you should modify your pitch content depending upon the kind of money you are looking for.  


Generally speaking, Series A funding can range from hundreds of thousands to several millions of dollars.  Late-Stage funding is magnitudes larger and can range from $10 million to a half billion dollars.  


The table below provides an easy comparison of the approaches you should take when pitching, depending upon which type of capital you are trying to attract.  


Series A

Late Stage

Focus

Traction, growth, placement in the market

Demonstrable profitability

Emphasis

Vision

Scalability

Data

Early and Projections

Historical

Pitching Style

Narrative

Data-driven

There’s no better time than now to get prepared for both Climate Week NYC and the Emerald Summit sponsored by WalletMax.  Sign up for news and updates for each event and come prepared to learn and grow, regardless of where you are in your startup journey.  






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