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Mastering Startup Pitches with the Art of Storytelling

Min Bhogaita

Nobody Studios

Powered By:

hsbcinnovationbanking logo

Mastering Startup Pitches with the Art of Storytelling

Min Bhogaita


Nobody Studios

Watch this episode on SpotifyWatch onListen on YouTube
Min Bhogaita Nobody Studios
Full transcript here

About Min Bhogaita

Episode 135: In LAB #28, Amardeep Parmar from The BAE HQ, welcomes Min Bhogaita, Chief Scouting Officer at Nobody Studios.

In this podcast episode, expert Min Bhogaita discusses the transformative power of storytelling in business pitches, emphasising its importance in engaging and persuading audiences effectively. The conversation delves into practical techniques for using stories and visuals to enhance pitches, create a connection with listeners, and set the stage for successful investments.

Min Bhogaita

Nobody Studios

Show Notes

00:00 - Intro 

01:06 - Reflects on using storytelling to engage audiences, drawing on his extensive career at Deloitte.

02:50 - Explains storytelling's emotional impact using Disney movies as examples.

03:49 - Highlights the need for a narrative arc in storytelling to connect with the audience.

05:00 - Emphasises focusing only on essential details in storytelling.

06:15 - Stresses the value of personal connection and authenticity in storytelling.

07:33 - Compares storytelling to a hero's journey in film, underscoring authenticity.

09:32 - Stresses understanding customer problems deeply before proposing solutions.

11:42 - Recommends using simple visual aids to maintain audience engagement.

14:36 - Discusses creating curiosity and space for follow-up in narrative pacing.

16:18 - Covers storytelling strategies, starting with questions and concluding with insights.

19:42 - Recounts a lesson-learning failure from Deloitte’s analytics lab.

22:20 - Talks about tailoring storytelling to various contexts and delivering insights.

24:38 - Discusses storytelling pillars like honesty and credibility.

27:09 - Advises on clarity and conciseness in storytelling and pitch refinement.

29:05 - Details adjusting storytelling formats from quick pitches to comprehensive presentations.

30:02 - Describes using storytelling to engage stakeholders and promote startups in his current role.

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Min Bhogaita Full Transcript

Min Bhogaita: 0:00

I found that by telling stories, I could be much more successful and engaging with my audience than just look at all of these products and features. Can you buy this now, please? All right, and that's the power of storytelling.

Amardeep Parmar: 0:16

How to tell a story and use visuals effectively while pitching, why storytelling is so important, the eight pillars of storytelling, using visuals to bring the story to life and how to create a curiosity gap so the investors come back to you for more and more. To help us answer that question, we have our expert with us today, Min Bhogaita, who's the Chief Scouting Officer at Nobody Studios, which is a high-velocity, crowd-infused venture studio. He's also a NED and Advisory Board member to several startups and had a 25-year career at Deloitte. He's super passionate about this, so you're in for a treat. I'm Amar from the BAE HQ, and this podcast is powered by HSBC Innovation Banking. So, Min, so great to have you on today and to share your wisdom with the audience today. Could you start off with telling us why is storytelling so important when you're pitching?

Min Bhogaita: 1:06

No, thank you so much, Amar, for inviting me to your lovely podcast. So this started for me many years ago. The first 25 years of my career were in the corporate world. I was at Deloitte for 25 years and sitting in the back of the audience and listening to, you know, consultants and clients, you know slide one of 40, and it's like a 30-minute meeting and it's like come on, what are we doing here? And you could see people, like you know, sneakily having a little look at their watch when the phones come out and you know, and then you've got that annoying thing of you've got the 40 slides and then it's like you skip a few slides because it's like yeah, yeah, we don't need to go there and it didn't really make the audience feel special.

Min Bhogaita: 1:48

And for me it was like, you know, you've lost your audience literally within the first two minutes because you know there's so much thing and for me and I guess it comes back to the indian heritage it's of uh, you know my being the only son. My parents live, live with us as well and breakfast, lunch and dinner. You know my dad tells us stories and jokes. That's why I do the dad jokes on linkedin and even though we're like dad I think we've heard this one before he tweaks the ending but there's so much more engaging and for me, you know, storytelling has been sort of at the heart of you know. How do you actually sort of, you know, engage with an audience? How do you, kind of, you know, teach them things, but how do you actually learn? So, yeah, it's something that I've really been passionate about my whole career, so much so that, coming from a technical background as well to then move more into sort of management and business development, I found that by telling stories I could be much more successful and engaging with my audience than just look at all of these products and features. Can you buy this now, please?

Min Bhogaita: 2:50

All right, and that's, that's the power of storytelling. I mean, you only need to look at Disney. Every movie is pretty much the same movie, right, one of the parents dies quite early on, and you know, you know it's going to be all right in the end. But you have the highs and the lows throughout the thing and very much that's. You know the techniques I teach around. You know, in a pitch, for example, don't just make it about all the amazing things that your company does. A bit of humility, a bit of the trial and the tribulations goes much further than working, you know, saying you've got everything figured out.

Amardeep Parmar: 3:29

Yeah, and I think everybody knows what bad looks like, right, when it's somebody else doing it, but I think I don't know what it is. But people aren't very good at telling it themselves. Right, they can tell somebody else did on a bad presentation, but they can't tell they've done a bad presentation. And if we just look at like the skeleton right, like what's the basics that people need to get in their storytelling, just the ground level, like the entry stakes, what do people need to get in their storytelling, just the ground level, like the entry stakes. What do they need to make sure they have in their pitch?

Min Bhogaita: 3:49

I would say, you know, it's a bit it's called like the, the storytelling arc, right, where you don't just go straight in and talk about. You know your idea and the pitch. It's very much like let the audience warm to you because you want to be one like one of the characters in the movie, right, so they're like they're gunning for you, they actually want you to do well and you know so, be humble, you know, talk about some of the things like, well, you know, initially I, you know, had this, this inkling for an idea, but you know, um, and because I saw no one was really doing it, there's this really pain, pain point and you know, every time I looked, no one was really doing it. So, paint yourself as that character, you know, tell a bit of that story and also kind of some of the things around, things that didn't actually go well, some of the false things that happened. But then you're like, yeah, actually I thought this was gonna be amazing, but no one returned my calls. I thought this was going to be amazing, but no one returned my calls, and that's that moment. I then had that, what I call the aha moment of. Actually, this is the thing that I'm really going to focus on for this idea and that was the genesis for the startup. So you're kind of really engaging with people. You've not even talked about the startup and all your grand plans for the next five years and becoming a unicorn blah blah blah no one really cares about that. And you know that'll happen if it happens.

Min Bhogaita: 5:05

But by using this technique of, yeah, start off with your character, show humility, show your humble, and that might some people might think that's kind of the reverse thing, because you know vc will just want to listen to someone that's, you know, powerful, got it all figured out. Trust me, you know, in the role I have in the, in this, in the studio, that work for that's not what we're looking for. You know there's people that can help you along your journey. You actually just want to have the initial bare bones of someone that you actually can work with, who is humble, who you know is passionate as well but, you know, has a bit of a story. So, you know, talk about that. Don't worry about your background and the 30 other things that you've done.

Min Bhogaita: 5:48

One of the pillars of storytelling that I really like is a bit like a director's cut. If it's not essential to the story, just leave it out. Right, there'll be plenty of time for questions. If someone wants to do a deep dive, do that. Sometimes, less is more, so what's the bare bones of that story that you can tell to then, kind of, you know, invite people to ask you questions forward from that, but very much about that aha moment of okay, then what was that turning point? And then what did you do from that point? How did you actually validate that?

Min Bhogaita: 6:15

This is an idea that you know should some other people should focus on with you why you need that, funding, etc. So the more people can engage with you as a human, then the other stuff will take care of itself, and that's where the stories come from. Right, I think, in this world where everything thinks you can do it, pay by numbers, and it's very robotic, and you know that, if anything, it's getting harder because the, the startup world is open to everyone. So how are you going to stand out from the crowd and for me you know a hundred times of a hundred it's the, the personality, the individual you know and you know have they got that grit? So you know again, it's kind of intuitive where you kind of talk about I tried stuff. It doesn't fail, but for me I love hearing about that stuff rather than the humble brags.

Amardeep Parmar: 7:05

Yeah, and it's so true, because there's so many people who, if you seem like everything has gone perfectly so far, it probably looks like to the investor. It would look like to me as well. So you probably haven't actually tested it that much, right? Because no idea is perfect first time around. There's always something that goes wrong and it pivots, and things like that. And when you can see that somebody's journey, that they've been able to go through that and work it out, makes them more likeable, right, you think that it's you said the story's in the arc there the hero's journey.

Amardeep Parmar: 7:33

It's a classic thing in every film, right? Where somebody's seeking redemption, and they do something wrong and then they try to fix and they don't quite get it right, but then over time they're able to work it out. You want to be that person, right, but if you try and start off as prince charming and everything so amazing, then people are going to, they're going to distrust that, right, it's a weird thing, I guess, but we distrust when somebody seems too good to be true. You've seen it as well with some of the say ftx.

Amardeep Parmar: 8:01

We've seen some of these very super charismatic founders. Actually, it hides something underneath which maybe isn't that great and one of the things, too, about the storytelling is that could you give us any like tips and tricks in terms of different methods you've used that maybe make somebody stand out a little bit more so you can show the humility you can show the things that have gone wrong? Is there any methods you've used that really seem to work?

Min Bhogaita: 8:26

Yeah, so I, I, um, I. I talk about the various sort of stories, pillars of storytelling, and some of my favorites are things like you know walking in your, you know client shoes, or you know the persona of the person that you know you're trying to solve for. So make it very much about them, right, really live in their world, and then that'll help you with, okay, what's their story? What are they really struggling with? What's going to make a difference for them? Right again, so many of the, the startups that I, you know, I listen to pitches on, is very much about the technology and oh, isn't this cool, we've incorporated AI, because obviously you need to say AI in every single pitch, right, and they forget about that fundamental thing. Also, the number of companies I've seen which have gone in stealth mode for 12 months, two years. It's like, sorry, I can't tell you my idea, because if I tell you my idea then someone might steal it, to which I always say, well, that's fine, I don't need to hear your idea right.

Min Bhogaita: 9:32

Ideas in their own essence are a dime, a dozen, and it's very much in that execution. So walking in your customer's shoes and really understanding that pain point is, for me, the most important thing. Focus most on that. There's a lovely saying about fall in love with a problem, not the solution, and that's what I want to hear, because as an investor and in the role I have, it's very much do I kind of align with what they're saying. Is that really really a problem? And then, if I'm interested in that, then I'll give you my time in actually listening to how you can plan to solve it. But so many people will just gloss over that. And then most of the pitch in the story is about look at this thing we're going to do to solve it, but I'm really being convinced yet as to if this is really a thing that needs solving.

Amardeep Parmar: 10:17

And another aspect of this, too right, is the visualizations and the different ways you can use things within the picture itself, right? How can you visualize your story, bring your story really to life throughout your pitch as well?

Min Bhogaita: 10:21

Yeah. So one of my other um pillars of storytelling is very much about you know the. You know say with, say with pictures, say with visuals. You know if someone's kind of coming closer to the screen because you've got so many words on that, again you've lost them right and what you want to do is you want to keep the focus of your audience's attention on you, not you know your font eight size thing, about every single thing you know, about this thing on your slides. So less is more and they talk about.

Min Bhogaita: 10:54

Some VCs will openly say if the deck has more than 12, 13 slides, they won't even bother opening it right. But also, if there's so much content there, they're not going to be listening to you as you're doing their pitch, they're going to be sort of starting to read it. So how can you use visualizations to really bring to life the topics that you want to? You know, sort of bring out there, but make them simple, don't make them complex. But then if you're using even things like you know a visualization to show your projections not that you're really going to know, to be honest, what's going to happen in the next five years the traditional hockey curve and things like that there's things known. There's a technique known as the the guest start principles, of how do you actually create charts that regular humans can understand?

Min Bhogaita: 11:42

Because, you know, one of the the things I talk a lot about is our attention span is every year going less and less right. We've now got to the point of our attention span is less than a goldfish's memory. We're now at that point of, literally, you've got, you know, seven seconds before someone's already thinking about what they're having for lunch or, you know, going to tennis in the evening, and for that reason, if they have to use that sort of cognitive load, as I said, to try and interpret something complex you've got on a graph or a chart, then you've lost them. They're not going to bother, right, really simple things.

Min Bhogaita: 12:16

Of one of the techniques I love to use is just because you can doesn't mean you should start off with a visualization that's just in gray. Use two colors, one color, and then use spots of colors just to highlight, say, and here's where I am, here's where we could be, or whatever, and that's going to be much more effective than saying look at me, I've discovered 3d. You know visualizations and pie charts don't get me started on pie charts, by the way. But you know, sometimes people think they need to be more complex than they need. As humans, we have these basic things of you know, just understanding and just trying to be the smartest person in the room because you've got some funky, complex things, to be honest, don't work at all.

Amardeep Parmar: 12:59

We hope you're enjoying the episode so far. We just want to give a quick shout out to our headline partners HSBC Innovation Banking. One of the biggest challenges for so many startups is finding the right bank to support them, because you might start off and try to use a traditional bank, but they don't understand what you're doing. You're just talking to an AI assistant or you're talking to somebody who doesn't really understand what it is you've been trying to do. HSBC have got the team they've built out over years to make sure they understand what you're doing. They've got the deep sector expertise and they can help connect you with the right people to make your dreams come true. So if you want to learn more, check out hsbcinnovationbanking. com.

Amardeep Parmar: 13:38

There's a few different things you mentioned there, which I think is quite interesting, and I think one of the things that sometimes people try to do is almost innovate within their pitch deck and it can be just a distraction from your actual product and your actual innovation, right, and that's why, like I said, we're keeping to what works and the time old principles is sometimes better. And another thing I think is interesting too you said about the length of the deck, right. So saying about 13 slides is like a maximum kind of rule. Yeah, how do you decide what you put into the deck versus what you keep outside of it? And what I sometimes think about a pitch of as two is it is this like a standalone movie, right of everything kind of needs to be wrapped up in that pitch, or is it actually like the first episode of a series or a mini series, where this generally, in most cases, it's not one pitch and somebody invests, there's multiple rounds, right, so you need to create that curiosity gap at the end.

Min Bhogaita: 14:36

It's exactly that. You know. Think of it as, yeah, it's, it's yours, or you know, knock on the door. Can I come in, please, and think of your pitch like that. It doesn't have to be the thing where you have to tell them your whole life story and every single thing, because you know if they're interested, if it resonates, if it fits in with the thesis of you know an investor or a vc, for example, then they'll, they'll come and you'll have that. You know, more detailed conversation.

Min Bhogaita: 14:59

But I also say save some stuff for later. Don't feel as though you need to within that. You know, five minute pitch or whatever. Tell every single thing that you know about this topic. Which brings me on to another sort of pillar of storytelling, which is provide that context.

Min Bhogaita: 15:14

Although you might have been living this thing for you know the last few years, etc.

Min Bhogaita: 15:20

You know, for for someone on the outside they won't have that context around.

Min Bhogaita: 15:26

You start throwing in all the acronyms and and things, because you know you think you need to mention all these buzzwords. You know, throw that out the window. You know, straight away, assume you know that they don't, or you know they've just been, they've seen 20 other pitch decks just before yours. So set the context again, walk in their shoes, set the context, don't use buzzwords and, you know, just make sure if nothing else I'll repeat it again. They really kind of align with that problem and that resonates with them, or you know that they could see that that's kind of something that that could be relevant for the industry, that they're focused on, um, and that's a real success for me in terms of a pitch that they want to follow on and say, hey, can we, can we follow this up? And, you know, go into the detail, you'll have plenty of time for that. It's a classic mistake that a lot of founders make that they think they need to tell that life story within the next five minutes.

Amardeep Parmar: 16:18

Yeah, I think, like you said that bit about wanting the investor to have questions, and I think it's also important to be able to have the answer to those questions. Right, it's like they've got a question because you didn't explain something, but then you say, okay, we've got all the data for that, we can send that across after the presentation. It's whenever somebody says that if I'm, if I'm questioning somebody, they can tell me something like that, like oh, yeah, we've got all the information for this, like we can send it across to you afterwards and I'm like, okay, cool, I'm impressed now a bit right and it does help, I think. But if they just had it all on the slide, I'd be like they just don't understand storytelling and I think it's that interesting dynamic of knowing what to keep, like you said, for the pitch versus what to keep outside of it. You've also, I think you've mentioned three different pillars so far about storytelling. Can you share? What's the overall picture there? What are all of the pillars and which ones have we not covered yet?

Min Bhogaita: 17:10

Yeah, so there's, there's eight pillars in in in total and they all come from. So my my last role at Deloitte. I was the director for the analytics lab and, um, we did a couple of things which were quite radical back in the day. Uh, for how do you actually engage with your audience? So typically my audience were, you know, footsie, 100 clients. You know CEOs and their boards. But we, we adopted a quite sort of risky sort of a thing of right.

Min Bhogaita: 17:42

I banned power point from the lab from from day one. I said we're going to engage with our audiences in a completely different way get the lego out, make it much more engaging, let them talk more than we talk, and obviously that has to work for a pitch because otherwise it'd be a bit awkward, right, but it's very much like fundamentally kind of changing how we actually talk to humans rather than the comfort blanket of power point. And looking at having run hundreds of sessions for clients, I kind of distilled it down to these eight pillars of storytelling, and the first one, which is a story in itself and that's what we're talking about today on this podcast, write stories, is this one. So I'll set the context first. So when we first set up the lab. It was very much about engaging with the rest of the firm and saying, okay, excel isn't really analytics. There's all of these amazing things that you can do. How can you make better decisions by using using analytics and technology? So my role was both internal kind of you know, aligning all of our different teams across the firm as well as externally, helping clients better understand what this landscape looks like. So my first, first few weeks I went around all the different parts of the firm handing out my flyer saying, hey, we've got this analytics lab, we've got VR, we've got robots. It's super cool. We're going to really kind of explain what you know the power of how you can make better decisions for your part of the business by using analytics.

Min Bhogaita: 19:12

And the first couple of days came and went, had a team of data scientists and creatives and everyone, and we were just like waiting for a knock on the door. No one came, no one was really interested. And then one day we had a knock on the door and someone said, oh, is this the new analytics lab we've been sort of hearing about? I've got this black flyer. Yes, this is us. You know, come on in. We're not sure where we're ready to come in, but you know, here's some data off. You go, we'll come back in the morning and, uh, you know, you can tell us how amazing you know, your analytics lab is.

Min Bhogaita: 19:42

And because we're so excited, because it's our first ever client and we wanted to do so well, I said to my team right, phone home people. We're going to stay awake all night, we're going to amaze these people with our big brains and we're going to show them the power of of analytics. So, you know, everyone rang home and I said get the coffee machine on. And they're like min, you don't need that coffee. You're hyper enough as you are, so you calm down. And so we worked through the night. We did all the correlations, the analytics. We were like, so proud of ourselves. We were like, yes, we got this.

Min Bhogaita: 20:13

And uh, in the morning, the, the internal team, came. They came with some of the very senior people, including some partners. So we all kind of bowed because that's what you do, right. And uh, we started off when we put up the first. It's kind of a bit of analysis that we did and they looked at this analysis and then they looked at each other and they all stood up and they're like this is nonsense. What a waste of time. We're never going to come back again. Thanks for nothing. Seriously, this is a true story.

Min Bhogaita: 20:44

That was the first ever experience of the analytics lab. My first thing was I'm so fired I'm not going to make it to 24 years in the firm that what. What was I thinking? And that led to the first pillar of storytelling for me, which was begin with a question. Right in my excitement to get my first client, I was like, yeah, give me that cd, because back in the day of cds that it wasn't even usb sticks. Right, give me that data. We had no idea who these people were, what that data even contained.

Min Bhogaita: 21:14

But, more fundamentally, what was this problem they were trying to solve? Right, we just randomly created some correlations and some fancy things because we had these new tools that had just come out, you know, like from Tableau and Click and things. So we created this like explosion of color and things, without actually saying what we needed to do was really pare it down. So from that day onwards, I learned a really valuable lesson, which was you know, every session we did, you have to make sure there's a regular human in the room who actually knows what the problem is that you're trying to solve. So then we can work with them without analytics, big brains. So that's our first fundamental thing of if you don't have a problem, if you don't have a question you're trying to solve to begin with, then yeah, you've kind of lost the audience and they'll probably walk out like they walked out of me many years. We obviously learned very quickly after that. But yeah, that kind of led to the fundamental thing about beginning with a question. I don't know what your experience has been around that.

Amardeep Parmar: 22:20

Yeah, it happens a lot where people they want to talk to you but they don't really understand why.

Amardeep Parmar: 22:22

Yeah, and you then got in a call like I don't know why I'm here, yeah, and then they just kind of talk at you about really realizing what you do. I always say to people, when I do an introduction to myself, I always keep it as short as I can. Yeah, because then by the other person you're choosing themselves, I can work out what's most relevant for them. Yeah, which have people just talk for five minutes like, well, none of that at all is relevant to me at all. Yeah, but you've just wasted your time.

Amardeep Parmar: 22:42

And yeah, this whole thing about being quick about your story yeah at the beginning, because then you can add more, like you don't have to. You tell this bit of the story, but you tell the rest of the story once it becomes relevant there's the, the, the my.

Min Bhogaita: 22:56

My second pillar is about ending with an insight. I always say if you can't learn something useful you know from that part of your pitch, then it's not worth telling, so that you know that. So what's thing always think about when you're sort of devising your story why have you just told that bit and make sure there's an insight where people remember the insights? As I said, you know 90 percent of the stuff that you actually say people remember, but they remember the anecdotes and they remember the stories. That's like why I like I tell that story about the full thing, about the lab, because that really paints a picture. But then I ended it with an insight around. What did I actually learn from that? What sounded like a terrible experience, because that's, as a founder, what you know, as an investor, you're looking, say, well, okay, it's cool, you know things went wrong, but then what have you actually learned from that? So you know, just don't spout facts and you know lots of like numbers and things that people you know actually tell them what the relevance is with the, with the insight. So so that's like the, the second pillar, um, that's that I. I talk about um. We've talked about some of the other um pillars as well. But you know there's a thing about um. One of the, the third pillar, is about telling a compelling story. And you might say, well, of course, you know that's the whole idea of a pitch. But again I'll say, you know, take them on the journey with you. People remember stories, not not just the, the raw bones of the data, um, all that other stuff they'll forget, but they remember you and it's like yes, you know, this is, this is someone I want to work with. I kind of understand it. So you know that whole thing about the, the heroes arc, etc. Make it compelling.

Min Bhogaita: 24:38

Um, one of my, my heroes is a is a guy I don't know if you've come across him. He's a guy called hans rosling. Unfortunately died a few years ago. I don't know if you've seen any of his youtube videos and the ones he did around. You know he was a kind of a, you know, a data guy like me, but just the way he did his storytelling and visualization was absolutely brilliant and I used to show clips of his uh videos on in in the analytics lab and it was. You know how he combined, you know, the storytelling with the data, with something quite complex, but he made it fun as well and, uh, you know, tell them, tell a few dad jokes, which, which I quite like to do, as you know, on linkedin as well, um, that's for me was, you know, hans rosling was a guy who I sort of, you know, really sort of admire and and follow, because you know he very much had that art of storytelling, of just engaging your audience.

Min Bhogaita: 25:32

Um, right from the, from the beginning, you know, make it make it personal and make it, you know, tell the anecdotes, which kind of leads to another pillar, which is very much about explaining it with visuals as well. You know the, the narrate with words. Paint a, you know a picture. Paint, uh, tells it's a thousand thousand myself, now, right, so you know pictures worth a thousand words and again, sometimes in the pitch decks that I see they're just massive. You know tiny fonts of text and it's like really, you could have just, you know, narrated that with words. You know, focus the audience on yourself, particularly if you're doing a pitch, you know, in person, and just let that be the background for you know the, the story that you want to tell. So, explain with visuals is very much kind of an important pillar for me as well, um, which then leads on to another one, and and again.

Min Bhogaita: 26:32

This is fundamental, and you know why do we love those, those disney movies and, uh, you know the following that that format and one of the my other favorite pillars is about be honest and credible. Right, be, you know, if things don't work, haven't worked out, be honest. And then what you've learned from that. But be credible as well. Don't try and blag an answer. Because someone's asked you a question, you half kind of know what, what the answer is right. Although they might not say it to your face, they basically kind of shut up themselves off at that stage and whatever you say afterwards won't really care. So be authentic.

Min Bhogaita: 27:09

If you don't know, say like, hey, that's great, I'm not 100 sure. You know, let me go and find out and I'll get back to you. But also, don't sugarcoat. You know things that that didn't quite go well and and make them out to be amazing, right, ultimately, your stakeholders will really value for honesty and this is a long road that you're going to go on with your investors, right, it's not just you're going to see them for that 10 minutes and then that'll be it. They'll give you the check for the million pounds and away you go. It's always going to be a journey. There's going to be highs and lows, and if they can't trust you as a person because you've just been saying everything's amazing when it hasn't been, then you're very soon going to get found out and you're just storing up problems for yourself.

Amardeep Parmar: 27:51

I think a lot of people forget, that is, they can be so eager to get an investor on board, but you've also got to remember if your company does do as well as you hope they're going to do, that investor's going to be with you for a long time.

Min Bhogaita: 28:02

There's also a pillar around being clear and concise and again it sounds super obvious. Right, think of it like being a director, every single sentence that you say. You know. The best, one of the best bits of advice I can say is you know, you know you might have heard it before. Go in front of a mirror. Practice your pitch a hundred times. Even better, practice it to your friends and you know your, your, your family, you know people close to you, people you don't even know, and take on board their feedback. And one of the things that you know that feedback might be is that was great, but there was so much there I didn't really, you know, get the core messages that you have. So the more clearer, the more concise you can make it. Remember there's plenty of time at the end for questions and follow up. So, as a like, a like a director, you, director, you know, be ruthless. Remove every single kind of you know phrase sentence. That's not part of the story. You can save them for another time, for the dvd with the extras, um, and start with that.

Min Bhogaita: 29:05

You know, think of the traditional elevator pitch. Okay, you know, you, you've met someone at an event. You, you've literally got you know 15, 15, 20 seconds. So what does that version of your pitch look like? Now you've got a bit longer. You've got the traditional elevator pitch. You might have a minute, and then you've got, you know, five to seven minutes to do your, you know, traditional pitch and then you'll have your thing of. Ok, now you've got people interested. Now what's your 20 minute version version look like? And a little bit like a comedian, you know, with their stand-up routines. It, you know, think of it like everything from your one-liner to your netflix special. You know you have to adjust what that storytelling looks like depending on the scenario and the situation. Sometimes people can't adapt and they'll just want to do that. Oh, I can only do my seven minute pitch. People won't care. You have to go through the iterations.

Amardeep Parmar: 30:02

So just to go to quickfire questions what are you using storytelling for yourself right now? How is it impacting what you're doing?

Min Bhogaita: 30:10

So going on a journey myself. So I now work for a venture studio called Nobody Studios on a mission to create 100 startups in five years and, you know, in my role it's very much about explaining well, what's the purpose, what's the mission of the studio, what do we care for. So I'm using those techniques and really quickly engaging with the audience to say, you know, we want to create companies that are, you know, good for humans and the environment. We've been lucky. You know what startup world's like. There's forever a funding round.

Min Bhogaita: 30:42

When I joined, we were doing an angel round. We did an absolutely amazing crowdfunding round last year, got 1,000 investors, 55 countries, and that was very much where we were using the art of storytelling, because we wanted to make it about. We're called nobodies and it's like we want to be nobodies rather than you know somebody's leave your ego at the door. But we want to help, you know, startups and founders in all the countries around the world that don't necessarily get a chance for a voice. So we've been doing live streams over the last few years on YouTube, on LinkedIn, to really get our story across as to why we think it's so important to give these you know, these founders in countries that you know no one's even heard of a chance to get involved in the world of venture. So you know we've been doing that.

Min Bhogaita: 31:29

We've just kicked off our series eight and again now there's more stories. You know, hopefully we'll get more than the five minutes because we're kind of in a different space to tell that. But every single point we've kind of been conscious about we need to be super humble, which is where the nobody comes from, you know, leaving the ego at the door. And that's what I really enjoyed, because that's where you can use the storytelling to say you know, as, as humans, this is what we really care about. Now let's tell you what our plans are. But, as I said, unless you kind of grab people at the beginning at a human level, they're going to stop listening no, it sounds awesome, so we're going to get to a quick five questions now.

Amardeep Parmar: 32:05

Thanks so much for sharing all your insights so far. So the first quick five question is who are three british asians you think are doing incredible work and you'd love to let the audience know about them?

Min Bhogaita: 32:16

Yeah. So, as well as wearing my sort of studio hat, I I mentor a number of startups and three that come to mind who are just doing amazing kind of uh things. Um, one of them was actually a guest judge at um, a university event I went to recently. Her name's Alisha Alisha Chowdhury, and she's created this offering which is called Mongo Mongo app, and it's very much focused on university students that haven't been taught in the curriculum about financial literacy, for example. So in her generation it's very much as you know, tiktok and how do you get across bite-sized information to help people with? You know financial literacy and savings and you know thinking about the future and absolutely you know great human being and I really like the mission she's on with just helping you know the next generation think about some of these things as opposed to just amassing. You know the next generation, think about some of these things as opposed to just amassing. You know huge amounts of debt and what you can do today to kind of help you with your future. So that's the first one.

Min Bhogaita: 33:24

The second one, who actually is the reason why we connected in the first place? A lovely chap called Rushab Shah with Tutor Hive. Again, a great mission of you know how can education change in the way we've traditionally been doing education? And it's not just it stops when you go to university. We're forever learning right. So when you're in your startup career, your corporate career, you're constantly learning as well. So these guys have created a platform called Tutor Hive and it's very much for you know, right from the early days of you know, support and having experts and tutors to help you with those subjects that you're not so helpful in. But then also in your corporate career, how can you start learning about all the other things to progress in your career for that next promotion?

Min Bhogaita: 34:11

Um, so the second one is that, and then another person who I'm really enjoying working with. It's a guy called Nim who's created an app called Zap Me Up and you know, because in my world, which is very much about events and networking, he's created something where you know it's an NFC card and you can sort of use the NFC card. You tap it on your phone, you don't need to download any apps and it basically gives you. You can put on there all the details you want to kind of connect with someone else. So it has my linkedin profile.

Min Bhogaita: 34:42

It has a little bit about you know my studio I work in and it's a great way, just as an icebreaker, because I, when I meet someone, I'm like you know, they're like I'll come and connect. I get my card out and they're like, oh, what's this? And it's a bit of an icebreaker, but also that it's just different to the traditional thing of oh, can I scan your LinkedIn code? Blah, blah, blah. That's quite boring. So they're doing some great work and the use cases they're coming up with of again, how can the founder highlight you know something to an investor in a slightly different way is is very cool. So I've not gone for the celebrity type things I'd rather give the shout outs to, to early founders are really on their journey, uh, who are doing super cool things.

Amardeep Parmar: 35:14

That's awesome. So obviously, and I wish I have as well, and the other two I'm sure I've come across them as well, so I'll make sure I check them out properly too. And then next question is if people want to find out more about you, more about where you're up to, where should they go to?

Min Bhogaita: 35:36

Yes, so, um, Linkedin, I um, uh, Min Bhogaito on there, a little story there and again we're telling stories, in the early days and, uh, from you know, when I, when I discovered Linkedin, probably you know, 10, 15 years ago, I I was, I was really interested in just saying because I really just enjoy connecting with people on a human level, and I did the traditional thing of what I thought people wanted and, being a bit of a geek, I was talking about all these wonderful forensic techniques and algorithms and isn't this really cool? Apart from my mom, no one really cared. And then I said, actually, I'm going to be true to myself, what do I really really enjoy? And one of those things I used to do in my workshops was just do like some puns and dad jokes and one liners. And I just experimented one week where I said, right, I'm going to forget about all that stuff that I think I thought my audience wanted. I'm just going to put myself out there and I'm going to just tell some puns and some jokes. My number of views went up a hundredfold. Every morning I'd wake up to Min. Yesterday's joke was terrible. Here's a better one to use today. By the way, what crazy startup are you working with this week and it just started a completely different level of engagement.

Min Bhogaita: 36:51

So I would say to people who you know are using tools like LinkedIn and I think it is a necessary thing of just putting yourself out there but B, don't try and just do the humble brag. Don't just sort of you know, say oh, I saw this thing about AI. Let me just copy that with a link. No one really cares. Everyone can Google, everyone knows this stuff. Try and bring out your own personality to make people want to reach out to you. Don't make it about you know can. Can someone help me? Do it the other way, just like you do? I'm not. You know how can you help others? You know, make it about other people as opposed to yourself, and you'll be surprised at the reaction that you get.  

Amardeep Parmar: 37:33

So the next question, which is opposite of that, is how can people help you? What can the audience listening right now do to help you?

Min Bhogaita: 37:36

In the in the studio. You know, we're just about kicking off our series A. We're creating a hundred companies. So if everyone, if anyone, has a super early stage idea, um, that they they want to do with, you know, like-minded sort of professionals. So our team has, you know, created a startup from scratch, got them to IPOs best-selling authors, Tedx speakers and they want to go on the journey because, although you know, a lot of people think, you know, I want to be the CEO and I want to do everything myself. It's actually really difficult, but it's also really lonely and for some people, they'd rather do it in a more of a venture co-creation space where they have experts who have made all of those mistakes and can help you. So, yeah, if anyone has an idea in specific sectors you can find out more about what we really care about at our website, nobodystudios. com. Then, yeah, happy to listen to their ideas and see if it's something that they want to take forward with the studio.

Amardeep Parmar: 38:35

Amazing. So thanks so much for your time today. Have you got any final words for the audience?

Min Bhogaita: 38:39

No, just less is more. Think of the story that you want to tell and be humble with it as well.

Amardeep Parmar: 38:47

Thank you for watching. Don't forget to subscribe. See you next time.

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