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One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced founders can make when trying to convince potential investors to invest in their startup is to use a pitch that they don’t believe in. Some founders feel that you have to tell investors how huge their startup is going to be, when they’d be much better off if they simply just let their startup do the work. Most investors are looking for startups that will be successful, but proving that isn’t as easy as it seems.

So how do you convince investors that you’ll be one of the big successes? You need three things: formidable founders, a promising market and the truth.

Most investors decide in the first few minutes whether you seem like a winner or a loser, and once their opinion is set, it’s hard to change it. If you seem like a winner, they’ll like your idea more, but if they dislike it, they’ll tend to focus on why they shouldn’t invest in you. The key to convincing investors is to seem formidable, or in other words, to seem like someone who gets what they want, regardless of whatever obstacles are in the way.

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