Making the VC pitch


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If you are an entrepreneur hoping to gain favor with venture capitalists, you'll find this presentation helpful. For 12 years we've been coaching executives and entrepreneurs on how to tell the story of their companies and products. As executive leaders ourselves, we learned these lessons the hard way. If you want to be invited back, follow these rules when making your pitch. Good luck! And take advantage of our free consultation offer. Presented by KickStart Alliance:

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Making the VC pitch

  1. 1. Making the VC Pitch How to engage venture capitalists so they invite you back for the more important second meeting Presented by:
  2. 2. • test You’re on the calendar! You just scheduled a meeting with a VC or angel investor. You’re excited about having an opportunity to show your new product idea. You have 20 minutes, maybe, to make your case. Do you know what you are going say? What is it, exactly, that you want from them?
  3. 3. VC Presentation Horror Stories Let me tell you about myself. I’m awesome. I did this, and this, and this. Everything I touch turns to gold. Have I told you about me? Guess what? It’s not about you! Tip: Don’t get too wrapped up in yourself. The Mummy: An entrepreneur spent 20 minutes talking about himself. It’s about your customers and the problem they are trying to solve. Well, it’s very nice meeting you, but I’m sorry, we’re out of time.
  4. 4. VC Presentation Horror Stories Twenty years ago, the WDE industry adopted a predilection for applying sophisticated MQT algorithms to unify the UPG code- base to include open source, SaaS and now cloud based solutions that hyperscale . . . Speak the language of your audience. Tip: Leave the jargon to a minimum. The Mad Scientist: An entrepreneur began his presentation with a very technical introduction. What are you talking about? I still don’t get what you do. VCs are business people, not technical experts.
  5. 5. Hi. We know the same people. How do you know Fred? What do you think of Fred? How do you like the city? How’s your family? How about them Giants? Be respectful of the clock. Tip: Control the agenda. The Time Sucker: An entrepreneur spent all his time on small talk. Great meeting you. Too bad we didn’t have time to talk about your product. Time is precious. Get to the point. Don’t waste your opportunity. VC Presentation Horror Stories
  6. 6. We don’t have a business plan yet (I didn’t know I needed it for this meeting). But I have a lot of great ideas. First let me tell you about market growth in China. The feature set could be broad and general, or we could customize it. Oh, and don’t let me forget . . . Be prepared and professional. Tip: If you cannot deliver a compelling business case in 20 minutes, you are not ready. The Incoherent Monster: Beware of the unprepared presenter. Come back when you have a business plan. Avoid presentations that look like you pulled random ideas or slides together. VC Presentation Horror Stories
  7. 7. The objective of your presentation is simple: to engage Tell me more!
  8. 8. 5 Rules to Govern your Presentation To be taken seriously, you must be personal, yet professional. And you must be confident and comfortable in engaging in a meaningful dialog. What you say is just as important as how you say it. VCs listen to hundreds of presentations every year. How will yours stack up? These 5 rules will help you prepare an effective presentation.
  9. 9. Rule #1: Less is More • Present an executive summary. • Don’t overwhelm them with details. (10 slides, max!) • Engage the VC in a dialog, not a lecture. • Invite them to ask questions. The objective of the first meeting is to make a good enough impression that they will invite you back. That means:
  10. 10. Rule #2: Own the marketing high ground • Know your target persona • Focus your positioning statement • Create a compelling story (via the Message Box technique) Lead with the customer problem, not the technology See templates and examples in here.
  11. 11. Rule #3: Anticipate the questions they will ask • What problem are you solving with this new product or service? • How big is this problem or opportunity (i.e. target market size)? • Why did you build this? • What will your target customers (personas) think of your product or service? • How have they coped without your product/service? • How does your product compare with competitive alternatives? • How do you plan to reach this market? • What do you want from us? Tip: You should be prepared with concise answers.
  12. 12. Rule #4: Control the agenda By anticipating the questions, you can control the agenda. You must try to avoid distractions or paths of questioning that take you away from achieving your objective. Remember: You have limited time to make your business case. Even if you think you have an hour on the their agenda, it is best to assume you will have only 20 minutes to present your case. VCs will appreciate a concise, clearly focused presentation, allowing more time for questions.
  13. 13. Rule #5: Always end with a call-to-action Most meetings end with an uncertain next step. Don’t let that happen to you. If you end the meeting with a “wait and see” attitude, then they will probably never call you back. Be bold, but not aggressive. Include a clear call-to-action. Ask for their interest and availability to continue the dialog you’ve started today.
  14. 14. VC Presentation Agenda An example The Problem • What is the problem your target customers face? The Evolution of Alternative Solutions • Why aren’t current products sufficient to solve this problem today? The Criteria for Competitive Advantage • Regardless of vendor selected, what criteria do customers require? Why You’ll Succeed • Corporate summary • Market size and opportunity • Product suite and roadmap • Benefits and competitive advantage • Sales and marketing strategy • Financial forecasts • Investment strategy Summary • What do you want from these VCs? • Call to action
  15. 15. Take advantage of our special offer: FREE 30 minute consultation to review your presentation Janet Gregory and Mike Gospe are sales and marketing executive coaches with a specialty in assisting entrepreneurs and business executives to become better communicators. Give us a call to schedule a 30 minute phone consultation. Janet Gregory (510) 693-7546 Mike Gospe (650) 464-7662 Also, click on The Marketing High Ground by Mike Gospe