Dtac demo day pitching guide for startup founders looking for investment


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Advise for startup founders pitching on demo day to investors. Tips about writing your pitch deck, preparation for before and after the pitch and getting your first meeting. The emphasis is getting a meeting, not funding from the 8 minute pitch.

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Dtac demo day pitching guide for startup founders looking for investment

  1. 1. ! Alexander Jarvis - Partner DTAC Accelerator - 8th August, 2014
  2. 2. • Partner at Jungle Ventures • Invest and support companies across APAC ! • Helped build some big companies: ! ! ! • Succeeded in learning a lot by failing and being poor: ! ! ! • Also used to be a banker in another life (where I learnt a lot but definitely wasn’t poor) Me (Alexander Jarvis) Stuff you didn't hear about
  3. 3. Follow and connect with me • @ADJBlog ! ! • https://angel.co/alexander-jarvis ! ! ! • sg.linkedin.com/in/alexanderdjarvis/
  4. 4. • You can find this presentation here: ! http://www.slideshare.net/AlexanderJarvis/ ! • This is written as both a presentation and reading material • Do not think this is best practice for your deck! • I talk fast and cover a lot of material to put info into your brain • You will start dreaming of an IPO and stop paying attention, I know that, so read it after Relevant notes
  5. 5. • Objective of ‘Demo Day’ • Your deck • Presentation preparation • During presentation • Preparation for after the pitch • At event • After demo day • Secrets We are going to cover (fast)
  6. 6. Objective of “DemoDay”
  7. 7. Get the investor to…
  8. 8. But wait, you totally have it twisted
  9. 9. • This is not your pitch, this is to get a meeting • Only need to show investors enough that they want to meet you to learn more • Do not force a meeting, it doesn't lead anywhere.. Get a meeting, not $
  10. 10. • This means: • Will make $: Big market. Have a business model (not a business plan) ! • People will buy: Real pain ! • It is useful: Solution is going to solve the pain ! • Able to write cheque: Asking for money for amount they write and category they will cover Give enough to get investors to meet you
  12. 12. Key learning
  13. 13. • It only feels like it is important as it is a milestone ! • If you can say you have already started raising your round it is impressive ! • Some people have closed round before demoday…. ! • This isn’t a big deal so get over it Demoday is a huge letdown
  14. 14. Your Deck
  15. 15. • Be the star • Focus has to be on you, you don’t want them staring at screen • Investors invest in YOU not the deck • Keep it simple • Do not have multiple bullets per slide, have a header and a picture • If people are reading you are failing Slides support the story… YOU are telling • You could do the presentation without a deck (but better to have one)!
  16. 16. • What - We are uber for carrots (Put company in a box) • Vision - We have a big vision to revolutionalise carrots by x • Problem - Vegetarians have a huge problem with carrots. I couldn't make my son eat them • Solution - We have listened to the people and made a unique app to make them love carrots. Our tie up with the national grocers creates barrier to entry Key parts (1 of 2)
  17. 17. • Market size - There are 230m vegetarians in our 4 targeted markets that spend lots of cash. Our focus is on 5% of these • Team - We are the best possible team for the job because we have done it before etc • Traction - What this team has executed so far, key milestones (We get things done) • Product/tech - Our product is beautiful and it works, have a try! (Quality UI/X matters now) • The ask - We want $521k to get to these milestones when we will raise S-A in 13 months. We want investors who have regional expertise and focused on healthcare Key parts (2 of 2)
  18. 18. • For market size I want stats, and referenced (other wise, yawn) • These must actually make sense. If they are BS you lose credibility • Put a footnote of where the support for market size numbers come from • Many VCs were bankers and this is an inside credibility thing only bankers get • I don’t trust you, and whilst I don’t trust Euromonitor, I trust them more. The fact you found them also says something positive Market size means stats and reference Source: Some really important company, year This is a source
  19. 19. • Almost no one goes viral and it is simply bloody luck • How you ‘scale’ is absolutely key • Even if it is through boring ways, that’s better than saying something dumb like a make a viral video • Read my presentation on this topic• http://www.slideshare.net/AlexanderJarvis/growth-hacking-conference-presentation-how-to-get-creative-with-marketing-when-paid-channels-are-too-expensive-or-customers-arent-looking-for-you How you will grow matters, do not say viral
  20. 20. • You are not 12 • Keep it simple NO transitions and animations
  21. 21. Presentation preparation
  22. 22. • Jobs was great because he made it look simple, but was obsessive about rehearsing • Compare Apple to Microsoft… • Get a camera and record yourself (everyone selfies these days anyway) • I am not joking. Get your camera and a friend to do this now • Get people who don’t like you to review your performance • Better now than later Practice till perfect
  23. 23. • Have a backup on USB • Have printouts • These can potentially be more detailed and ideally unique and engaging • Bring your own laptop and ensure you have connectors for AVG and HDMI • Someone else on the team as an understudy • If the speaker gets ill, someone else has to step up Be prepared for the fact things go wrong
  24. 24. • I like and hate stories, many go too far and don’t get to the point • Stories help investors relate • Stories help people relate to real issues they have and your solution, or to problems they don’t have but ideally lots of people do • You want to spark an emotional connection to what you are doing so people relate to the size of the problem • Keep to the point! Make it a short story • These can work if the stories are light AND apply to your business model • Sometimes they are bedtime stories and put me to sleep • A good ~story is “My dad was using this software for work and use to swear how much he hated it. Lot’s of other people hated it too, so one day I fixed it” Be careful with ‘stories’
  25. 25. • I care about product and results • Show me product, demo it or screenshot • It shows you actually build stuff even if it sucks • Put yourself in a box, because I will and its faster if you do it first • Once I get what you are doing I can spend time listening, so you being ‘uber for carrots’ helps • State your enemy, who are you going to make angry (Do not say you don’t have competition) • Nothing is new under the sun, everyone has competition • Who is your goliath and why are you going to slay them? Other tips: results, box, enemy!
  26. 26. During Presentation
  27. 27. • Relax and be confident • Smile! • Have energy and passion • Look respectful, but don’t wear a suit (i’m not) • Know what you are saying, don’t have notes • It is better to be talked about than not at all, so be bold and take (moderate) risks • Have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong • Roll with the punches. You get respect for dealing with adversity well Be the kind of person girls like to talk to
  28. 28. • Nothing is personal, have think skin • Never get annoyed at questions. Everything is a data point • This is a game. You need to ‘pick up a girl at a bar’ • The stage is your first impression, your ‘entrance’ • This is also a numbers game. If she says no you find another • Ask for what you want • If you want money ask for it • You don’t get what you don’t ask for • Dont talk her to death! Keep to your [6] minutes • Give a next step • “Meet us outside. We are wearing pink t-shirts” Be the kind of guy that is actually successful
  29. 29. • Speak English - I need to understand! • Better to have non-ceo speak if English is bad • Start by specifically saying what you do • I have given ‘feedback’ that “I have no idea what it is that you do after your whole pitch!” • Keep to the point and be succinct • You do not need to give details • High level, leave ‘em wanting more • Don’t run out of time, you don’t need all the time you think you need • Running over time means you are unprepared • Don’t write essays on slides, just headline and picture How to not fail (Hygene factors)
  30. 30. Preparation for after the pitch
  31. 31. • Have business cards • Hustle and get a group discount together! • No excuse. Can get the next day • Don’t buy fancy ones, don’t get cheap crap ones • Keep simple (I use evernote to photo them with OCR) • Get the attendee list before the event • Ask for the list • Know who you are pitching to. Research what they invest in- not everyone is interested. Why are they your ideal investor? • Make a check list to prioritise who you want to talk Get business cards and the attendance list
  32. 32. • Know what your objective is and be clear about where you are • Do you want to raise money? How much and when? You will be asked so you need a clear answer • If you don’t need money do you want intros or advise? Who specifically? What advise on what? • Do you know your key milestones? If you are live do you know your numbers • Be ready 2 days before the event • Sleep the night before well and work out so you have energy • You will fail if you are tired and not passionate • This is more important than messing with slides • Day before should be spent working not preparing pitching, you are still building and traction matters more than powerpoint Know thy self and be ready 2 days before
  33. 33. At Event
  34. 34. • You only have limited time, people leave • Spend enough time to build a ‘friend’. Contacts are people in linkedin. A friend will actually reply to your email and help • Leave them wanting more • Try get a definite ‘next step’ • Do not spend too much time, that you miss other people • Bring your whole team • Everyone has cards, everyone’s job is to raise money • The more people you have creating ops the more ops you have • Your geeky dev needs to suck it up and contribute Divide and conquer
  35. 35. • Be the energizer bunny • Passion sells. If you aren’t excited no one else will be. Your energy can be infectious • Work the room don’t be a wallflower • This is awesome opportunity to meet people, so don’t miss out • Meet everyone, you know them now. That will help you get to meet other people Be a social butterfly
  36. 36. • Check off who you talk to • When you talk to the investor knowledge is power • Have something I want to talk about, like my portfolio companies • Ask for one of my portfolio companies to talk to (again more network building) • Try give value before you take it. Pay it forward. People don’t do that enough and you will be notable • Make notes of the discussion • Write on the back of the card • Date met • Key takeaway Use your checklist and your research
  37. 37. • Smile and shake hand (firmly) • Put index finger on their pulse • Get their name and use it 3 times • People love their own name, so “Say my name, say my name..” • Make friends not contacts • Exchange cards • Get email if they don’t have (or ran out of cards) • Ask if ok to add them to your update list • to periodically send updates on your traction • Ask if this is something they can or would invest in • If not why (Do NOT be defensive) Key things to do when meeting people No suit though
  38. 38. After demo day
  39. 39. • Follow up before the sun sets • Read how to win friends and influence people • Send a simple email with your deck referencing your chat. No essay! • Can use a dropbox link to aid download speed • Use evernote for business cards, photo and dispose (auto add to linkedin) • http://blog.evernote.com/blog/2014/05/07/ evernote-linkedin-perfect-business-card/ • Get feedback, if no, get a meeting if you didn’t already • Follow up… nicely. People are busy Use your contacts!
  40. 40. Secrets
  41. 41. • VCs are more interested in the person sitting next to them than you • They like to talk to each other and have fun • You are NOT important until you are • If you don’t get attention you lose it • Will not pay attention if your hygiene factors are fails • Personality sells more than anything else, particularly if everyone else sucks • I gave a prize to someone because he was funny and his idea was crazy big • Also, we didn’t like everyone else… • He made the whole audience laugh so much everyone loved him. Popularity matters Get attention, investors don’t care about you Investors on phones
  42. 42. • I will look for you if you are good • You only look for me if I am not interested • If you look for me and are eager for feedback I am more interested • Genuine interest in learning is hallmark of great founder • Ask real questions to learn to get better and will get feedback • Do not take things personally • What gets people excited? 1. Traction, exponentially rising metrics 2. Revenue 3. Product awesomeness 4. Technology – unique and defensible 5. Design excellence Get excitement and interest up
  43. 43. • Make contacts, don’t ignore those who say no (now) • Your network makes the world go round. Make friends with everyone… be cool • Don’t waste time with people that clearly aren’t interested • Some people wont be interested for many reasons • Be polite and move on • I don’t want to get into the details now • If you meet me just give me the key points and get a meeting if I am interested • Lots of people are talking and I am not going to remember everything • You also need to spend your time working the room to get more meetings and feedback • If you say “I know it’s crazy now and it’s not the best time to get into details”, I will have more respect for you, you seem to ‘get it’ Make friends, network , act like you are in the know
  44. 44. • We don’t know who you are • We have done no research • There are only ever 1-3 extroverts that will ask questions in the audience • Often people ask questions because no one else will and we want to make you feel good • If no one asks you are either very good or irrelevant, normally it is the latter VCs do not prepare for events
  45. 45. Remember this is hard, go to war!