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How to pitch VCs on an early stage idea. Presented at BASES, Stanford University.


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Slides from a talk presented at Stanford University BASES e-Challenge Workshop by Rohit Sharma. Mohr Davidow Ventures.

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How to pitch VCs on an early stage idea. Presented at BASES, Stanford University.

  1. 1. e-Challenge Workshop "The Entrepreneurial Pitch" Venture Pitch 101 rohit sharma Mohr Davidow Ventures (MDV)
  2. 2. todayWhat are (early stage) VCs looking for?Typical pitch content | guidelines vs. rulesDesignQ/A 2
  3. 3. venture process Meeting Meeting w/ Pitch Meeting w/ Pitch More Meetings w/ Pitchall about assessing risk & opportunity 3
  4. 4. the risk curve$/risk Valuation iterate Risk (likely) Risk (ideal) time Seed A B 4
  5. 5. risk Market Team StrategyTechnology/Product Financing 5
  6. 6. the risk trajectory (hurricane tracks) objective money time 6
  7. 7. the risk trajectory objectivemoney time 7
  8. 8. market riskSize of marketCharacteristics of the marketCustomer development plan?Customer behavior change ?Cost of customer acquisitionCompetitive landscape 8
  9. 9. technology/product riskTechnology creationProduct creationProduct 2.0?Triangulate people  time moneyOther (support, maintenance, upgrades,…) 9
  10. 10. team riskCurrent skill-set (to address market/product dev)Required skills, people –  fearless leader  –  bold visionary, evangelist  –  grumpy ass-kicker  –  customer advocate Hiring (Geography, sources, time, effort)Will this team raise the next round? 10
  11. 11. financing riskHow much $$ to subsequent financingsFinancing sources, typeDoes market permit (large) company creation? 11
  12. 12. strategy?Is there strategy risk?(Un)Expected behavior of competitors, companies in adjacent market spaces?Do ‘receptors’ exist in customers?Identify: –  Early adopters? –  Risk-takers? –  Market-makers? 12
  13. 13. the un-definables(this is what we are *really* looking for) 13
  14. 14. but, that’s not how you organize *your* powerpointIntroduction (team)Problem & Non-obvious insight 3-5 Minute drillMarketProduct development, customer developmentCustomers: identify, acquire, retain,… (Market construction)Competition?State the plan, financial modelEnd bits (plan? summary? insight?) –  Single most significant factoid about you or venture –  Recap 5-minute drill in 1 minute 14
  15. 15. designAll design is choice (Edward Tufte)Powerpoint is a very challenging method of effective communication (worst S/N ratio of any method?)Can you write your ‘pitch’ in report format? In ‘Word’? 15
  16. 16. Edward Tufte |$40 $48 $7 16
  17. 17. build a picture worth ten slides 17
  18. 18. powerpoint guidelines 18