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Pitch Ready - Get into the minds of VCs


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How to fundraise - By Shruti Gandhi, Managing Partner, Array Ventures

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Pitch Ready - Get into the minds of VCs

  1. 1. + Getting into the Mind of a Venture Capitalist PITCH READY Shruti Gandhi @atShruti [ARRAY VENTURES]
  2. 2. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES + Track Record 5 EXITS: OVER 4 YEARS Venture Capital Experience Who am I? Education Engineer on lotus. Started incubator. Think/do tank for Chairman’s office. 6 US patents. Operating experience Founder. Big data analytics. Shruti Gandhi @atShruti
  4. 4. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES +  What is your big idea?  Tell them your company one-liner  Don’t only focus on today – talk about tomorrow’s vision too Share Your Vision
  5. 5. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES +  Describe the customer’s pain  Lay out the competitive landscape  Why are you different?  Why now?  How big is the market?  Be realistic Paint the Opportunity + the Market Tell a story. I need to know what problem you are solving and why you care about that problem. —David Hornik, August Capital “ ”
  6. 6. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES +  What is your Industry Expertise?  Tell them why you have the right mix  Who are your advisors?  How long you have worked together?  Outline the division of your responsibilities Why is Your Team the Right One
  7. 7. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES +  Customer stories  POCs  Paid Customers Show, don’t tell. show a demo, show customer testimonials; don’t tell me what you will do. Show me what you’ve done. start with a “bottoms up” story — why you built the product and started the company. unless you’re in an obtuse industry don’t start with ‘top down’ — ‘Market size is X; market inefficiency is Y’ etc. —David Lee, SV Angel “ Show Us People Want it – 3rd Party Validation + Traction ” You can show product traction through a number of measures – customer acquisition, usage, etc. ReadyForZero tracks product efficacy.
  8. 8. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES +  Show Your Future Roadmap  List the key milestones before next fundraise  What is your burn rate?  Tell them the timeframe for your next round Use of Funds Product People Performance Finances Fundraising Roadmap
  10. 10. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES +  Warm introductions are preferable but are predicated on the following:  The person introducing you has a strong relationship with the other individual  You know that person will vouch for you  High-likelihood that the other individual will accept the intro  You have a compelling reason to be introduced  Go in cold if the above are not true The Introduction Sometimes going it alone can be the best route afterall. While a warm introduction can be valuable when the stars are aligned, they can do more harm than good when they are not. —Scott Pollack, Head of BD at SumAll “ ”
  11. 11. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES +  Aim for Investors with Fit & Focus  Chase a Partner, Not the Fund  Ensure there is no competitive interests (i.e., a portfolio company)  Research the size of their investments Who to Reach Out To and How
  12. 12. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES + Sending the Pitch Deck  Most investors want to see your deck before hand but they will probably spend only 20 seconds on screening it  They look for:  Fit / Market  Round size, deal terms, and traction  Team  Depending on the firm, they will ask their associate to screen and take next steps Who is your audience?
  14. 14. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES + What to Expect
  15. 15. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES + What Investors Expect From You  Thorough knowledge  Aware of competitors  Knowing your metrics cold  Good formulated answers  Good team dynamics
  16. 16. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES + What You Should Expect From Investors  Impatience  ADHD  Some knowledge of the space  Get to the point
  17. 17. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES + What Not to Do If you have co-founders, pick a single co-founder to do the pitches & the meetings. Two reasons: 1) Nothing worse then having 2 or more people show up, but only one person does all the talking. Makes you suspect some odd founder dynamic. 2) Fundraising is a massive distraction and pretty hard to run the company and fundraise simultaneously. If all the co-founders are involved, makes me nervous that the company isn’t running at full speed. —Raanan Bar-Cohen, Resolute VC  Don’t bring everyone to the 1st meeting  Don’t get into an intellectual argument  Don’t make up numbers on the fly  Ask for intros “ ”
  18. 18. ARRAY VENTURES ARRAY VENTURES +  Square  AirBnB   Dwolla  Piccsy What to Do
  19. 19. ARRAY VENTURES + #AMA @atShruti