Pitching in Silicon Valley


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Pitching in Silicon Valley

  1. 1. Structure?How? By Henrik Scheel www.startupexperience.co
  2. 2. Elevator Pitch
  3. 3. Entrepreneurs are always pitching
  4. 4. Networking 7 Biggest Mistakes People Make While Networking:1. Name Dropping2. Talking Too Much3. Talking About Yourself Without Being Asked4. Not Knowing When To End The Conversation5. Showing Off6. Asking For a Follow Up When Its Not Deserved7. Being Too Professional Or Too Unprofessional
  5. 5. The single most important tip to networkingsuccessfully is this:Have a genuine interest in the other person.
  6. 6. Mark TwainFamous American writer
  7. 7. The tasks to master Prototype Prototype Prepare Prepare Practice Practice Present Deliver
  8. 8. Prototype Software demo Role-play Video Simple mock-up drawing
  9. 9. ENERGY
  10. 10. Content VS Delivery?
  11. 11. Mad libs for pitchingMy company, (Company name)is developing (a defined offering) to help (a targeted audience) (solve a problem) (with secret sauce)
  13. 13. Mad libs for pitchingMy company, (Company name)is developing (a defined offering) to help (a targeted audience) (solve a problem) (with secret sauce)
  14. 14. The high concept pitchA high concept pitch distills a startup’s vision into a single sentence. “Its Jaws in space!” (Alien) “Flickr for video.” (YouTube)
  15. 15. Jeff Hoffman – Be Disciplined
  16. 16. PracticeTrain to stay within the time limit Ask your buddy team
  17. 17. Structure your pitch Customer’s pain Market Competition Solution + secret sauce Business model Traction Team Timeline & StatusAnd remember…- Talk about what you have done (not only what you will do)
  18. 18. Evaluation criteria• A team with exceptional people and strong expertise in the business area• Unique business proposals based on a real need, with a differentiated value proposition and the ability to address a large market• Innovative business models and/or technologies• A well defined going to market strategy
  19. 19. Visual aids Fewer slides Fewer bullets Fewer words Font size +30 Be visualDon’t talk to your slides
  20. 20. DOs and DON’Ts• Be ready to pitch in less than a minute• Don’t ask a VC to sign an NDA• Know your competition• Deliver significantly better value than your competitors• Pitch your team• Don’t overpromise• Ask for a realistic valuation
  22. 22. Structure your pitch Customer’s pain Market Competition Solution + secret sauce Business model Traction Team Timeline & StatusAnd remember…- Talk about what you have done (not only what you will do)
  23. 23. What should I send investors?• Don’t send long business plans to investors.• Don’t ask for NDAs.• Don’t share information that must remain confidential.• Understand that investors care about traction over everything else.• Don’t send a 50-page business plan to investors. Nobody reads them and nobody executes them.
  24. 24. Don’t ask for an NDA.“Because of the large number of business plans… that wereview, and the similarity of many such plans… we cannotaccept responsibility for protecting against misuse ordisclosure of any confidential or proprietary information…” — Sequoia CapitalInvestors don’t sign NDAs because they don’t want to getsued over them.
  25. 25. What investors look for 1. Traction 2. Team 3. Product 4. Social ProofTraction is demonstrated profit, revenue, customers, pilot customers, or users (in order of importance)
  26. 26. What should I send investors?Summary: An introduction captures an investor’s attention, but agreat elevator pitch gets a meeting. The major components of thepitch are traction, product, and team.
  27. 27. What should I send investors?Subject: Introducing Ning to Blue Shirt Capital Hi Nivi, Thanks for offering to introduce us to Blue Shirt Capital. Ive attached a short presentation about ourcompany, Ning. Briefly, Ning lets you create your own social network for anything. For free. In 2 minutes. Its as easy asstarting a blog. Try it at http://ning.com Ning unlocks the great ideas from people all over the world who want to use this amazing medium intheir lives. We have over 115,000 user-created networks and our page views are growing 10% per week. Wepreviously raised $44M from Legg Mason and others, including myself. Before Ning, I started Netscape (acquired by AOL for $4.2B) and Opsware (acquired by HP for $1.6B). Ive admired Blue Shirts investments from afar. Were starting meetings with investors next week and Iwould love to show Blue Shirt what were building at Ning. Best, Marc Andreessen xyz@ning.com 415.555.1212
  28. 28. Hi A quick “cold email” to see if you would be interested in helping X raisemoney. Our Story• We are the the X of Y• Over X Million registered users• Growing at X new users per day• Projecting growth at X new users per day in next X days• Zero cost per customer acquisition If you are interested please contact me :) Thanks
  29. 29. What should I send investors?A PowerPoint plan (“deck”) is less important than an elevator pitch, andan elevator pitch is less important than an introduction.We have a mission and a team that is taking us there. Why? Wediscovered a large problem and solved it with a product that has thisamazing technology inside. We’re going to market and sell it to thesecustomers, with these advantages over our competitors. In particular,we’re working towards these milestones over the next few quarters. Inconclusion, this financing is a great investment opportunity.
  30. 30. 1. Cover.2. Mission.3. Summary. Summarize the key, compelling facts of the company. You can steal the content from your elevator pitch.4. Team. Highlight the past accomplishments of the team; if your team has been successful before, investors may believe it will be successful again. Don’t include positions you intend to fill—save that for the Milestones slide. Put yourself last: it seems humble and lets you tell a story about how your career has led to the discovery of the…5. Problem.6. Solution. Include a demo such as a screencast, a link to working software, or pictures. God help you if you have nothing to show.7. Technology.8. Marketing. Include market size estimates here or in the Problem. If you haven’t launched, discuss your plan to acquire users or customers.9. Sales. If you don’t have sales, discuss your business model and prospective customers. Ignore the cost of customer acquisition unless you have some insight into the issue.10. Competition. Describe why users or customers use your product instead of the competition’s product. Describe any competitive advantages that remain after the competition decides to copy you exactly.11. Milestones. Don’t build a detailed financial model if you don’t have past earnings, a significant financial history, or insight into the issue. Instead, include your current status and milestones for the next 1-3 quarters for product, team, marketing, sales, and quarterly and cumulative burn.12. Conclusion. This slide can be inspirational, a larger vision of what the company could do if these current plans are realized, or a rehash of the Summary slide.13. Financing. Dates, amounts, and sources of money raised. How much money are you raising in this round?
  31. 31. 12 SLIDES! 5 important questions• Is your product a vitamin or a pain killer?• How well do you understand your user?• Who are your competitors?• Who do you have in your team?• How much do you need to raise and how far will it take you?
  32. 32. Example from TC DISRUPT
  33. 33. Henrik Scheelhenrik@startupxp.com