Pitching Your First VC


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Presentation to StartupWeekend in Toronto.

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  • These guys are usually very good at what they do ... it ’ s all they do ... cannibals to dinner.
  • Traction is the foundation of the promise of tomorrow ...
  • Pitching Your First VC

    1. 1. 1BUILDINGEXCITEMENTWhat To Know WhenPitching Your First VC@MarkRuddock
    2. 2. 2If you remember only one thingfrom this presentation ...
    3. 3. This is how you want a VC to see you
    4. 4. This is NOT how you want a VC to see you4
    5. 5. 5Venture Capitalists arePeople Too ...
    6. 6. VC’S WANT TOUNCOVER GEMSThey want to be excited, butthey are by their nature alsovery sceptical.6
    7. 7. THERE IS POWERIN RELATIONSHIPSThe value of your company isnot always intuitively selfevident to a VC. Get to knowyour prospective VCsearly ... get on their radar.7
    8. 8. A REFERRAL ISWORTH 1,000COLD CALLSVCs typically see far morepitches than they canabsorb. They depend on anetwork of trusted advisors tofilter deals for them.8
    9. 9. IT’S ALL ABOUT ACOMPELLINGSTORYYou want to make a clear,credible and compellingcase, generating excitementand desire ... leaving themwanting more.9
    10. 10. DO YOURHOMEWORKWhat spaces, companies dothey invest in. Do they have aparticular bias (stage, sector).Is their interest genuine or justa fishing expedition?10
    11. 11. KEEP IT SIMPLESTUPIDThe initial pitch is aboutdrawing them in. Cover thekey elements but don’t drownthem with details.11
    12. 12. KNOW YOURSTUFFEven though the story will beshort and sweet, you want toleave them with the impressionthat you really know yourstuff.12
    13. 13. LISTEN ANDDON’T BEDEFENSIVEBe professional, listencarefully to questions, don’tget defensive but beprepared to effectively makeyour case when necessary.They are testing you ...13
    14. 14. SHOWTRACTIONIt’s always better to be able todemonstrate that what youare saying is grounded inreality. Traction is verycompelling.14
    15. 15. UNDERSTAND THELIKELY EXITSCENARIOVCs are not likely to investunless they can think of anumber of credible reasonswhy a set of existingcompanies would want tobuy yours.15
    16. 16. VCS BACKPEOPLEIdeas without execution areonly a dream. And dreamsdon’t provide real returns.Great companies are built byexceptional people. Proveyou are one.16
    17. 17. 17The anatomy of a pitch...
    18. 18. Who are you andwhat problem areyou are solvingHow compelling isthe opportunity(risk/reward)Whats so specialabout your team andyour approachHow much do youneed and whyAnatomy of a Pitch
    19. 19. What makes youuniqueWhat you need to knowWho are yourcustomers andwhat’s their buyingrationaleWhat are your keyfinancial projections,metrics, etc.Are therecomparablemetrics (exits andoperating)Do you understandyour strengths andweaknessesWhat’s your core goto market strategyWhy do we want towork with you inparticularWho are yourcompetitors andwhy
    20. 20. DON’T FORGETTO CLARIFY NEXTSTEPSTry to ascertain their interest atthe end of the pitch andidentify next steps. Don’tleave without them.20
    21. 21. 21If you remember only one thingfrom this presentation ...
    22. 22. EXCITEMENTBuild it. Grow it. Don’t ever lose it.
    23. 23. 23@MarkRuddockwww.MarkRuddock.comThanks andenjoy theride!