Prepare a Short Pitch• Sometimes you only have 5 minutes• 6 slides 1. Founder’s background (if it adds value) 2. Your product/service (make it count!) 3. The current market (and your raison dêtre) 4. Financials 5. What do you want from the potential investor? 6. Any secret twist?
Your Mindset• Be very clear about what you pitch• Listen & adapt to your audience – If it’s boring, you’re doing something wrong!• Find the right balance between long-term vision and “get the business off the ground” I typically err on the side of conveying too much vision & long-term plans…
Practice, practice, practice…• The pitch is a live performance• The investor invests in the person, not the plan• Understand the eye of the beholder• Live practice… 1. Friends 2. No-money contacts 3. Smaller business angels 4. Established business angels & VCs
Improve, improve, improve…• After every pitch, ask yourself what can be improved… – Did the audience understand your idea? – Did they understand the market? – Did they understand the business and financials?• …and then improve it immediately!• Your deck is a living, breathing business plan…
Your [IRL] Network• Meet people! – Someone always knows someone, that knows someone, that knows someone with money…• Grab two lunches and five coffee-breaks every day
Understand the VC language • Shares • Stock options • Value per share • Equity • Ownership • Convertible loan percentage • Dilution • Preferred stock • blah and blah…
Company ValuationValuation methods:1. Faith2. Users/Customers3. Revenue4. ProfitIt’s your valuation – be in control (but be reasonable)
Closing a round• Takes time and effort – For me it’s very emotionally exhausting• Set a deadline – …and then hope that those verbally committed are still onboard• Don’t forget the formal process – Do you have the right to issue new shares? – Register with authorities• Share holders agreement – Get a good lawyer!
Some final advice• Figure out a vision and business idea that you truly believe in – your PASSION is key!• You really can do anything – it just takes time and effort• When things go wrong, cry for 24 hours, then wake up and fix the problem• Raising money takes a lot of effort – bootstrap for as long as you can (noodles are good!)• …but avoid asking for money when you are desperate