Steer Clear of These 5 Pitch Mistakes

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It’s easy to get the impression that any entrepreneur who scrawls an idea on the back of an envelope can get funded these days.

Angel investments hit $24.8 billion in 2013, up 8.3 percent over 2012. And the number of new ventures winning angel funding rose to 70,730 in 2013—up 5.5 percent since 2012, according to newly released figures from the Center for Venture Research.

Nonetheless, many entrepreneurs miss out on critical start-up financing by blowing their pitches to angel investors, say investment insiders. Often, for instance, entrepreneurs get so excited about their concepts that they neglect to dig into crucial business details.

“I was in a pitch session yesterday where there was no discussion of the customers!” said Dave McLurg, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based chairman of Griffin Phoenix, a private investment firm.

“The foundation of our country is entrepreneurship—and I think we should be embracing people who have the courage to put the time and effort into it—but they have to be prepared,” he added.

Here are five deal-killing mistakes to avoid in pitching angel investors, so you can win the funding you need.

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