How much time should be spent on expandability in front of investors?


I have five minutes to present a web app in front of investors (well, actually they are contest judges, but they are still looking for an app that will take off), and then I get five minutes for questions. The judges are looking at both the quality of the app and the room for expansion. My business partner thinks we should spend a lot of time on expandability because it sets us apart from our competitors. I, however, am skeptical about the idea of presenting our least developed features. So how much time should we allot for expansion and future growth?

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asked Jun 21 '12 at 05:18
103 points
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3 Answers


I'm an angel investor and lawyer.

I've been to fast pitch events and demo days.

Why not:

go with a plan to spend half your time on the app quality and the other half on expansion?

You need to do both so you have to convince judges you are strong on both.

When you actually give your pitch to the judges, try to gauge the body language of the judges and adjust it based on their reaction when you're presenting.

This requires you to practice your pitches and practice pivoting to spending more or less time on app quality depending on the judges' non-verbal communication.

answered Jun 21 '12 at 16:36
81 points


I, however, am skeptical about the idea of presenting our least developed features.

Don't be! If your base version is not something unique go through it quickly and focus on future development, which makes you different and potentialy interesting for investors.

Suppose you wanted to do facebook with some revoulutionary features. Would you spend time describing what facebook does, or would you say something like: hey we are doing social network which works pretty much like facebook, but has some extraordinary features which do that and that.

In my opinion you should definitely focus on expandabilty (4:1)

answered Jun 21 '12 at 07:22
Matej Zlodej
273 points
  • 4:1?! I'm not saying we would leave out all the features, but is it a good idea to spend that much time presenting something for which we have little to show? Hardly any of the code had been written for these features, and although it would help the growth of the app, how would we show it? – Tyjkenn 8 years ago
  • 5 minutes presentations are not about demonstrating but more about presenting ideas. Even if you could actualy show them every feature, still they couldn't check everything in 5 minutes to make sure it really works. They want to hear an idea, understand and judge it then decide whether it has potential or not. – Matej Zlodej 8 years ago
  • I guess that makes sense. There are other things we are being judged on beside the five-minute presentation (the crowd's reaction to our booth, and a prototype we checked in). So should we save these features for the five-minute at the end or explain them throughout? – Tyjkenn 8 years ago


Your friend is right, investor is interested ONLY in future growth and expansion. Who cares about the over-optimistic ideas, they need pessimistic view of future instead.

answered Jun 23 '12 at 06:40
Andrew Smith
211 points
  • What about ability to execute? I am guessing investors would be concerned about that. If it is just an idea, how can an investor take me seriously? – Tyjkenn 8 years ago

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