What I’m telling you is not intended for you to reset and redo everything you’ve done. Use this information to enhance your pitching style and prepare you for what is coming Beware, doesn’t mean “don’t listen” It’s means the opposite. Be Aware of all experts, but adapt what you learn to your style The point is to Be Genuine. If you’re pitching someone else’s pitch, you wont be comfortable. You will often get conflicting advice from people who have been successful raising money. This is because not all investors are created equal.
The best way to increase your odds is to be Dynamic. Kind of like having a conversation – have fun with it! Each investor will have a different background for which to judge you and your company against. Read body language and change your pitch mid stream based on what you see. If you’re unsure how to interpret the body language, ask them.
You have about 1 minute to seduce them. Be Dynamic. If you really know your business, you’ll be able to react to their body language and adjust. For example, a scrunched up face is skepticism, widened eyes is the ‘I get it’
Here’s Guy Kawasaki’s advice. He’s a friend and Mentor to Bootup Labs. He’s a world renown author and speaker on the subject of starting companies. With all due respect to Guy, I think entrepreneurs are smarter than the 10/20/30. Don’t’ get me wrong, it’s AWESOME advice to start from, but there’s no one size fits all slide deck. In fact I’m purposely showing this slide because it’s old, and Guy has already modified this, and he will again. My point is there is no magic number of slides or point sizes or anything.
Tell a story about how your product works. From your customer’s point of view. Don’t list features! The story should explain the problem and how your customers use your product to solve their problem. It can include slides of screen shots of the “customer” using your product as you tell your story. Part of the story would also explain why they chose you over using competitor XY or Z. Include when and how your customers pay you in your story. Don’t tell me about your features. Features have no context. How much does it cost to acquire your users and how many can you acquire? (market size) How will you acquire your customers? What Team – don’t give me a resume – just explain why your past makes you uniquely qualified to run this specific business Milestones – what you have achieved, what you will achieve Ask – How much are you raising? – Do not give a valuation. Lead them in with an action (wine and cheese after the event) Try not to answer questions publically (please see me after) Don’t show your financials (disclaimer, not everyone agrees with me. I think they’re private) Don’t ever put your valuation on the slide, unless you’ve already signed a term sheet with a lead investor. Unsophisticated angels often ask for this because they think the market has already priced your company for them.
For every pitch, I take my investor presentation and resave it with the name of who I’m pitching to and the date
BS is so easy to detect. Investors are absolute pros at it. If you try to do it, you’ve already failed. But most people do it without thinking. This is where practicing in front of “experts” will really help. Do not candy coat what you do, just tell them as if you were talking to your eight year old.
If you’re in the very unfortunate situation of having to answer questions from a live audience. Here are some tips. What’s your valuation?: By asking you’re saying if the price is right, you’re ready to invest? Is that correct? If that is correct, I’m very interested in discussing this with you. Investors are very worried if they look stupid. If you make them ask a question, because it wasn’t clear in the presentation, they’ll blame you for giving a bad presentation. It’s always your fault. Be prepared to answer these questions when meeting one-on-one though.
Be Interactive - Ask questions to make sure they’re engaged. mid way through and respond Hunt for the Ah-Ha moment - It’s in there somewhere, or else your idea (or approach) probably sucks Follow up with a live demo that matches the story.
Work with the VC Sponsor - They will tell you what to say to sell his partnership – do what they say
Fusion 09 Slides Danny Robinson
SPEAKER: DANNY ROBINSON THE PERFECT PITCH Delivering a strong investor pitch to secure attention and investment
What makes me an expert? <ul><li>Raised over $100M in VC and Debt </li></ul><ul><li>From Angels, VC, F&F and Government </li></ul><ul><li>10 closings </li></ul><ul><li>Most say no </li></ul><ul><li>= about 100 pitches </li></ul>
Beware of “Experts” You are the only expert. Believe in your own style. Listen to everybody.
Stupid Questions <ul><li>What’s your valuation? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are your financial projections? </li></ul><ul><li>Why don’t you do it “this” way? </li></ul><ul><li>Ya, but, why doesn’t Google just do this? </li></ul><ul><li>I think you could have done a better job presenting the market data. </li></ul>