How to Write a Startup Story

2 min read Storytelling is a key skill for any startup raising funding. In the early days of a startup, the product and team aren’t fully developed, and customers are typically not fully engaged. The investors look to the founders to understand the potential of the business. The founder who can articulate a clear vision of the company and fill in the gaps can win over the investor. Such a skill demonstrates to investors the ability to win over potential employees, future customers, and critical partners to make the business. Let’s discuss how to use storytelling more. 

Crafting a Good Startup Story

To pitch an investor, you’ll need a carefully crafted startup story. Tell the story in your own words as if you’re talking with a friend at a bar. Show how the story is relevant to those in the audience, something everyone can relate to.

Keep the story simple. It needs to be tight and keep the audience engaged. Instead of starting at the beginning, start from the first big event whether it be a disaster or a success.  Show the mistakes you made that others can learn from. Talk about your values and those of the company. Demonstrate authenticity along the way. Finally, have a message about your company’s brand that you want to communicate and use the story to build up to it.

Three Key Startup Stories to Tell Your Investor

There are three stories every startup should be able to tell to investors. The first is your origin story which tells why you started the business to begin with and how you got to where you are today. This story answers the question, “Why are you doing this?” which usually comes from the storyline, “I had a problem. I couldn’t find a solution, so I created my own.” 

The second story is that of your customer and the problem they have. This story starts with a day in the life of a customer. It describes what they do, how they work, and what problems they face. The customer has this problem, it costs them this much each year, and they are motivated to find a solution. You then drop your product in as the ideal solution.

The third story is: We can make the world a better place. In this story, you paint a big vision of a bold future where everything is better. It states, “Imagine if we had this problem solved, how much better off everyone would be.” You then show how your solution gives everyone that better world.

 Write out your version for each of these three stories and practice it before talking with an investor.

Read more on the TEN Capital eGuide: How to Craft a Startup Story

Hall T. Martin is the founder and CEO of the TEN Capital Network. TEN Capital has been connecting startups with investors for over ten years. You can connect with Hall about fundraising, business growth, and emerging technologies via LinkedIn or email:

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