Innovation · Investor pitch

What words or phrases should you avoid in investor pitches?

Dinesh sharma Software Tester at code brew labs

March 29th, 2017

I have a week of meetings/calls with investors coming up. My deck and script are close to final, but before I finalize both, I want to screen them for any phrasing that might repel investors. I’m obviously not going to drone on about “innovation” and “disruption,” but I’m interested to hear if there are other phrases that are passe or irritating in the minds of investors.

Joy Montgomery Continuous Improvement for Cleantech Companies, Connector

March 29th, 2017

Avoid any grandiose adjectives or phrases. Test results or testimonials are more important than unsupported words. Joy Montgomery continuous improvement for cleantech companies 925.963.6858 If you want to know more before you call ...

Joe Albano, PhD Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.

March 29th, 2017

Phrases like "I think" make my skin crawl. I don't care what you think. WHY do you think that? What evidence do you have?

If you've talked to 500 potential customers and 78% of them told you something don't say "I think" say "almost 400 customers TOLD us" ... tell me WHY you believe what your customers tell you.

In other words don't tell me how you HOPE your idea will make me money, tell me what EVIDENCE you have that your model represents reality.


March 29th, 2017

As long as your numbers support your claims, you should do fine. THE KEY is the implications of your words. If you claim to "disrupt" an existing market, then you should acknowledge that the existing players won't just stand still while you take away their business. There is a cost associated with disruption - particularly in a regulated market. Uber and Airbnb, for example, have spent millions of dollars in legal fees alone. Same type of argument applies to claims of "innovation," which typically implies money for R&D, customer education, etc.

Also, take a look at this:

I have found it to be an extremely helpful document in the past.

Good luck,


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Last updated on March 30th, 2017

Hi Dinesh, most investors just want to see momentum, quantified by numbers. Their fear is being left out, when others have gotten into a deal. The rest is white noise.

All the best.