7 Tips for Crushing It on Techstars (and Any Other) Demo Day


prepare for a Demo Day

Demo Day is a culmination of the Techstars and other accelerator programs. Companies, investors, mentors and the community come together to review the progress that companies made and to celebrate their hard work.

Here are seven tips for how to maximize the impact of your Demo Day:

  1. Set clear goals

Whatever you do– set the goals and have a plan. Don’t come to Demo Day unprepared thinking that great things will magically happen for you. It won’t work. Have clarity on what you want of the Demo Day and focus on that. See my GMT post for more on how to do this.

Want to meet investors? Review who is coming and how you can connect. Want to generate more business? Run a special. Want to create buzz – connect with the press and post on social media. Whatever your goals are, plan ahead to make sure you hit them.

  1. Deliver an awesome pitch

Your pitch is the key ingredient of the Demo Day. Make it awesome, make it memorable and make it amazing. You are up against other companies and, even worse, against people’s phones. Make investors, press and everyone else pay attention. Here are the pitch tips from David Cohen, founder and Managing Partner at Techstars. And make sure the pitch is clear.

  1. Make a splash

Have a trick up your sleeve? Big announcement? Big new customer? Big promotion? A great new angel investor?Announce it onthe Demo Day. This is the place and time for big news and big reveals.

  1. Meet investors

Most companies coming out of Techstars and other accelerators look to increase financing. Demo Day is a great place to connect with investors, particularly angel investors. Make it super clear during your pitch how investors can connect with you. Plan ahead, understand who is coming, understand who is relevant to you, reach out to them and book your meetings. Have a strategy for meeting investors during Demo Day. Quickly connect, get their contact info and follow up to schedule a meeting.

  1. Put your entire team to work

You have a team and a Demo Day is a great place to put your entire team to work. Don’t just rely on your CEO to do everything. CEOs will be busy with the pitch, investors and media. Plan ahead and help your CEO. Every founder & early team member should be able to do the elevator pitch, look for investors, meet the pressand help sift through people and schedule meetings.

  1. Generate Buzz

Identify the key reporters and reach out to them ahead of time. Explain your business clearly and concisely. Emphasize progress and articulate your roadmap. Also, engage heavily on social media. Prepare tweets and Facebook posts and ask your team, family, friendsand customers to amplify your message during the Demo Day. Press and social media buzz will help you get more investor and customer interest.

  1. Make plans for after Demo Day

Demo Day is not the end of your journey, but just the beginning. Maximize the Demo Day by planning for weeks ahead. Schedule investor meetings and press interviews. Announce more things in weeks after the Demo Day. Come up with a plan to execute your fundraising and sustain the buzz around your company.


Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by Nikki Pfahler

About the author: Alex Iskold

Alex Iskold is the Managing Director of Techstars in New York City.

Previously Alex was Founder/CEO of GetGlue (acquired by i.tv),  founder/CEO of Information Laboratory (acquired by IBM), and Chief Architect DataSynapse (acquired by TIBCO).

Alex routinely writes about entrepreneurship and startups at Alex Iskold.

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