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Developing the Perfect Startup Pitch

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Having been a part of, easily, over 100 venture pitches, it’s hard not to put myself in the shoes of the venture capitalist; listening to entrepreneurs talk about their ventures as though I intend to invest more than I could possibly manage.

The marketer in me, having listened to far more startup pitches than I’ve given, can’t help but pattern match; taking data in in order to optimize the performance of that with which I’m working.

And thus, having socialized this idea countless times, it seemed clear that it was time to put pen to paper and share with you what comes of a marketer listening to pitches, and an investor giving them: how to give the perfect fund raising pitch.
More: http://seobrien.com/perfect-startup-pitch

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Developing the Perfect Startup Pitch

  1. 1. @seobrien Storytelling Perfecting your Pitch Marketing
  2. 2. @seobrien
  3. 3. @seobrien
  4. 4. @seobrien Austin Ventures, No Longer a Texas Giant, Wrestles With Its Future Austin's biggest VC firm formally shies away from early-stage startups
  5. 5. @seobrien Why? 1. We can't grow scalable companies 2. We lack a later stage ecosystem 3. We don't yet have the experience in Austin 4. We're too Lean 5. We're supportive not collaborative 6. We lack the work ethic of The Valley; too “lifestyle” 7. Our low cost of doing business is a disadvantage 8. We're a young startup ecosystem 9. We can't depend on media to cover startups capably
  6. 6. @seobrien Why? We waste investors' time 1. We can't grow scalable companies 2. We lack a later stage ecosystem 3. We don't yet have the experience in Austin 4. We're too Lean 5. We're supportive not collaborative 6. We lack the work ethic of The Valley; too “lifestyle” 7. Our low cost of doing business is a disadvantage 8. We're a young startup ecosystem 9. We can't depend on media to cover startups capably
  7. 7. @seobrien We don't know how and WHY to talk to investors
  8. 8. @seobrien 30 SECONDS Go!
  9. 9. @seobrien Paul O'Brien You have 30 seconds to grab the attention of an investor such that you will retain that attention as you stumble through an explanation of your passion. Something with which they may not see eye to eye but in which an opportunity lies. I help you convey why anyone should care.
  10. 10. @seobrien
  11. 11. @seobrien Not a VC I'm a marketer from Yahoo, HP, and a string of acquired companies. Not a consultant I don't work for you, I work for the money. Not a broker I don't get paid to get companies financed. I get companies funded Over $360MM raised
  12. 12. @seobrien
  13. 13. @seobrien Start with Why
  14. 14. @seobrien “The quality of your presentation is inversely proportional to the quality of the content.” What matters is the content and your words.
  15. 15. @seobrien Innovation is about conveying your imagination to someone else. whurley Chaotic Moon / Honest Dollar
  16. 16. @seobrien If you're creative, you have to keep innovating bigger! whurley Chaotic Moon / Honest Dollar
  17. 17. @seobrien
  18. 18. @seobrien The best way to predict the future is to create it Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work The purpose of a business is to create a customer Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things If you want something new you have to stop doing something old Successful innovators use the left and right side of their brains
  19. 19. @seobrien The only things that matter
  20. 20. @seobrien Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two– basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business
  21. 21. @seobrien Innovation and Marketing
  22. 22. @seobrien And yet... 1. Finance 2. Sales 3. Production 4. Management 5. Legal 6. People
  23. 23. @seobrien There's hope 1. Finance 2. Sales 3. Production 4. Management 5. Legal 6. People Successful Startup Priorities 1. Talking to customers 2. Improving account metrics 3. Understanding the market 4. Content marketing 5. Acquisition - Activation - Retention - Referral - Revenue Steve Blank and Dave McClure
  24. 24. @seobrien Fundraising Priorities 1. Know What's In the Box 2. Marcom Foundation 3. Culture Over Strategy 4. Understand Investors
  25. 25. @seobrien In the box Everything has an adoption curve
  26. 26. @seobrien In the box
  27. 27. @seobrien Know what's in the box Business Owner Comfortable Living Product / Market Change the World
  28. 28. @seobrien Know what's in the box Business Owner Comfortable Living Product / Market Change the World Innovator Marketer
  29. 29. @seobrien It defines your future Product / Market Change the World
  30. 30. @seobrien Product / Market Seed MVP Monetize Scale Pivot
  31. 31. @seobrien Change the World Friends & Family Seed (Angel) Scale (Series A) Monetize (Series B)
  32. 32. @seobrien The aim of Marketing is to make selling superfluous
  33. 33. @seobrien Marcom Foundation * Business Intelligence & Analytics * User Experience & Design * Website Architecture * Content Marketing * Optimization & Capture
  34. 34. @seobrien Culture & PR Engagement & Synergy Performance & Intelligence
  35. 35. @seobrien Engagement Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue
  36. 36. @seobrien Culture Over Strategy
  37. 37. @seobrien Passion, purpose, story, branding... Marketing Culture defines your approach to attracting and retaining: 1. Employees 2. Partners 3. Customers 4. Investors
  38. 38. @seobrien Understand Investors
  39. 39. @seobrien Understand Investors Investors aren't right
  40. 40. @seobrien Understand Investors Nor wrong
  41. 41. @seobrien Understand Investors Not about what you're doing nor your exit, but what comes after that
  42. 42. @seobrien Understand Investors Abandon Product/Market fit Problem/Solution
  43. 43. @seobrien How?
  44. 44. @seobrien Start with Why
  45. 45. @seobrien
  46. 46. @seobrien Who, What, When, Where, Why, How Hi, I'm Paul, founder of SloMoCo.io We're building a social, local, mobile app that connects out of work veterans with with employers by tracking where hiring managers get coffee in the morning.
  47. 47. @seobrien Who, What, When, Where, Why, How We're raising $500k to iterate our MVP to a product ready for market and to spend $250k on customer acquisition.
  48. 48. @seobrien Who, What, When, Where, Why, How Um.... No.
  49. 49. @seobrien Who, What, When, Where, Why, How Um.... No. I don't understand it I don't anything about that I don't agree that that's a problem No idea how to invest my money No validation No experience
  50. 50. @seobrien Who, What, When, Where, Why, How I think it's a really great idea but it might be a bit early for us. Encourage you to get a few more customers, validate the market, and come talk to us then.
  51. 51. @seobrien WHY WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE HOW
  52. 52. @seobrien Why
  53. 53. @seobrien 3 possible directions Because we need capital for the following reasons Because we’ll achieve the return you’re seeking Because this is going to happen and we’re the people that will make it so
  54. 54. @seobrien Why: Purpose & Passion
  55. 55. @seobrien Our founder's ONE passion in high school was computers. This led him to develop ONE skill computer programming. In high school, he got ONE job in the computer programing field. Which led to him eventually starting ONE company
  56. 56. @seobrien Microsoft focused on ONE thing -- the development and sale of BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800. Then Windows. Then Office. One company lead to Bill being the ONE richest man in the world for 15 years in a row.
  57. 57. @seobrien Unless your WHY aligns with the expectations of the investor, you’re done. Investors are NOT looking for lean startups, unicorns, nor customers. Investors won’t invest in the entrepreneur who doesn’t know and care why they are in business.
  58. 58. @seobrien
  59. 59. @seobrien Banks and revenue based financing sources are seeking a clear and measurable return. Angel investors (true angel investors), should be comfortable with the entrepreneur who is changing the world, as they themselves have been in their shoes and aspire to continue fostering innovation. Venture Capital typically aligns with clear needs, investments, and while returns are not guaranteed, clear, quantifiable milestones, and progress are expected.
  60. 60. @seobrien SloMoCo.io Candidates who know hiring managers and HR professionals are 18x more likely to land a job. Returning Veterans, having spent 4 years overseas, don't have those connections. “Coordinated collisions” result in the best new relationships*
  61. 61. @seobrien Who
  62. 62. @seobrien The only thing that matters in their consideration is the team: Who’s involved.
  63. 63. @seobrien Paul was a Sales engineer at Yahoo before working as a fractional CMO for various startups in Silicon Valley.
  64. 64. @seobrien Paul helped launch a successful local search technology and was featured in the book Online Marketing Heroes as a result of his work with Yahoo and HP. Subsequently he was involved in securing over $360MM in venture capital; a result of his track record in growth and ensuring that the ventures with which he is engaged secure market share, and not just a few customers.
  65. 65. @seobrien Paul helped launch a successful local search technology and was featured in the book Online Marketing Heroes as a result of his work with Yahoo and HP. Subsequently he was involved in securing over $360MM in venture capital; a result of his track record in growth and ensuring that the ventures with which he is engaged secure market share, and not just a few customers.
  66. 66. @seobrien What (not how)
  67. 67. @seobrien A well known convention for explaining what you are doing is “Like X for Y” That can work but it presumes that people know X and Y. If you’re FourSquare for Indeed and your audience doesn’t know what that means, you’ve lost them.
  68. 68. @seobrien SloMoCo.io We’ve created a free mobile app which automatically tracks the location of HR professionals and hiring managers. Vets get buzzed when an ideal connection is nearby.
  69. 69. @seobrien When
  70. 70. @seobrien Now. (duh)
  71. 71. @seobrien When matters. Why Now? The market dynamics that make the investment ideal. Why hasn’t this been successful before? What’s evolving today that gives you a competitive advantage? What’s coming that will result in your having a first mover advantage?
  72. 72. @seobrien Why now? With the standard adoption of location based tracking via phone, Facebook, Foursquare to identify hiring managers, only today can we query where they are. We have the team uniquely capable of scaling the adoption of this innovation within our market.
  73. 73. @seobrien But no one else is doing this??
  74. 74. @seobrien Yes, we actually do everything! And our competitors (those morons) are overlooking something obvious. Okay, truth be told, we haven’t done any in depth research and we’re just giving you the cursory us vs. them slide. We haven’t planned strategically about where to prioritize and invest our resources.
  75. 75. @seobrien An in-depth competitive analysis shows that the team understands the market and the advantages that will be required to win Now. because
  76. 76. @seobrien Where
  77. 77. @seobrien Philosophies, of the people around whom you live and work, define the culture in which you engage. That culture creates communities. Communities create businesses. Businesses, with shared philosophies, foster industries and industries blend to drive economies. Thus the economy in which you work, wherein you are raising capital and building your business, is the result of the shared philosophies and culture there.
  78. 78. @seobrien
  79. 79. @seobrien SloMoCo.io There is no better place than Austin. Our proximity to San Antonio gives us unparalleled access to returning Vets, Austin has the highest per capita mobile dev workforce in the world, and The Bunker is here.
  80. 80. @seobrien How
  81. 81. @seobrien SloMoCo.io Ready to go on Android (because of the larger market share), the app tracks professionals based on jobs posted to Indeed and Facebook /Foursquare tracking. Alerts are automatic based on GPS and we have a predictive analytics database that we're selling to cities that shows WHERE Vets are landing jobs.
  82. 82. @seobrien No Marketing = No Money You must explain HOW you are going to market!
  83. 83. @seobrien NOT your marketing budget or that you intend to acquire customers through SEO and social marketing Go home What is the market? What are the trends therein? How are you going to be relevant? With whom are you trying to partner? Why should the media and public care?
  84. 84. @seobrien WHY WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE HOW
  85. 85. @seobrien Elevator Pitch (30 sec) 2 minute follow up Cold email Short deck: 6 slides Long form Elevator Pitch (30 sec) 2 minute follow up Cold email Short deck: 6 slides Long form
  86. 86. @seobrien
  87. 87. @seobrien St ar t up St udi o INCUVATORINCUVATOR
  88. 88. @seobrien whew!

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