Building Excitement - What to know when pitching your first VC by Mark Ruddock

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Mark Ruddock presented at Startup Weekend Toronto, Sep 25, 2010

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  • Thank BlackBerry ...
    Set-up the Weekend ...
    “Fundamentally Irrational Exercise” ... “whether you are a CEO recruiting a team or winning over funding ... it’s about convincing other people to come along for the ride”
    It’s a “non-trivial problem”
















  • These guys are usually very good at what they do ... it’s all they do ... cannibals to dinner.
  • These guys are usually very good at what they do ... it’s all they do ... cannibals to dinner.


  • Traction is the foundation of the promise of tomorrow ...
  • Traction is the foundation of the promise of tomorrow ...

























  • Building Excitement - What to know when pitching your first VC by Mark Ruddock

    1. 1. BUILDING EXCITEMENT What To Know When Pitching Your First VC @MarkRuddock 1
    2. 2. If you remember only one thing from this presentation ... 2
    3. 3. This is how you want a VC to see you
    4. 4. This is NOT how you want a VC to see you 4
    5. 5. Venture Capitalists are People Too 5
    6. 6. 6
    7. 7. VC’S WANT TO UNCOVER GEMS 6
    8. 8. VC’S WANT TO UNCOVER GEMS They want to be excited, but they are by their nature also very sceptical. 6
    9. 9. 7
    10. 10. THERE IS POWER IN RELATIONSHIPS 7
    11. 11. THERE IS POWER IN RELATIONSHIPS The value of your company is not always intuitively self evident to a VC. Get to know your prospective VCs early ... get on their radar. 7
    12. 12. 8
    13. 13. A REFERRAL IS WORTH 1,000 COLD CALLS 8
    14. 14. A REFERRAL IS WORTH 1,000 COLD CALLS VCs typically see far more pitches than they can absorb. They depend on a network of trusted advisors to filter deals for them. 8
    15. 15. 9
    16. 16. IT’S ALL ABOUT A COMPELLING STORY 9
    17. 17. IT’S ALL ABOUT A COMPELLING STORY You want to make a clear, credible and compelling case, generating excitement and desire ... leaving them wanting more. 9
    18. 18. 10
    19. 19. DO YOUR HOMEWORK 10
    20. 20. DO YOUR HOMEWORK What spaces, companies do they invest in. Do they have a particular bias (stage, sector). Is their interest genuine or just a fishing expedition? 10
    21. 21. 11
    22. 22. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID 11
    23. 23. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID The initial pitch is about drawing them in. Cover the key elements but don’t drown them with details. 11
    24. 24. 12
    25. 25. KNOW YOUR STUFF 12
    26. 26. KNOW YOUR STUFF Even though the story will be short and sweet, you want to leave them with the impression that you really know your stuff. 12
    27. 27. 13
    28. 28. LISTEN AND DON’T BE DEFENSIVE 13
    29. 29. LISTEN AND DON’T BE DEFENSIVE Be professional, listen carefully to questions, don’t get defensive but be prepared to effectively make your case when necessary. They are testing you ... 13
    30. 30. 14
    31. 31. SHOW TRACTION 14
    32. 32. SHOW TRACTION It’s always better to be able to demonstrate that what you are saying is grounded in reality. Traction is very compelling. 14
    33. 33. 15
    34. 34. UNDERSTAND THE LIKELY EXIT SCENARIO 15
    35. 35. UNDERSTAND THE LIKELY EXIT SCENARIO VCs are not likely to invest unless they can think of a number of credible reasons why a set of existing companies would want to buy yours. 15
    36. 36. 16
    37. 37. VCS BACK PEOPLE 16
    38. 38. VCS BACK PEOPLE Ideas without execution are only a dream. And dreams don’t provide real returns. Great companies are built by exceptional people. Prove you are one. 16
    39. 39. The anatomy of a pitch... 17
    40. 40. Anatomy of a Pitch
    41. 41. Who are you and what problem are you are solving Anatomy of a Pitch
    42. 42. Who are you and How compelling is what problem are the opportunity you are solving (risk/reward) Anatomy of a Pitch
    43. 43. Who are you and How compelling is what problem are the opportunity you are solving (risk/reward) Anatomy of a Pitch Whats so special about your team and your approach
    44. 44. Who are you and How compelling is what problem are the opportunity you are solving (risk/reward) Anatomy of a Pitch How much do you Whats so special need and why about your team and your approach
    45. 45. What you need to know
    46. 46. What makes you unique What you need to know
    47. 47. Who are your customers and what’s their buying What makes you rationale unique What you need to know
    48. 48. Who are your customers and what’s their buying What are your key What makes you rationale financial projections, unique metrics, etc. What you need to know
    49. 49. Who are your customers and what’s their buying What are your key What makes you rationale financial projections, unique metrics, etc. Who are your competitors and why What you need to know
    50. 50. Who are your customers and what’s their buying What are your key What makes you rationale financial projections, unique metrics, etc. Who are your competitors and why What you need to know Are there comparable metrics (exits and operating)
    51. 51. Who are your customers and what’s their buying What are your key What makes you rationale financial projections, unique metrics, etc. Who are your competitors and why What you need to know Are there comparable Do you understand metrics (exits and your strengths and operating) weaknesses
    52. 52. Who are your customers and what’s their buying What are your key What makes you rationale financial projections, unique metrics, etc. Who are your competitors and why What you need to know Are there What’s your core go comparable to market strategy Do you understand metrics (exits and your strengths and operating) weaknesses
    53. 53. Who are your customers and what’s their buying What are your key What makes you rationale financial projections, unique metrics, etc. Why do we want to Who are your work with you in competitors and particular why What you need to know Are there What’s your core go comparable to market strategy Do you understand metrics (exits and your strengths and operating) weaknesses
    54. 54. 20
    55. 55. DON’T FORGET TO CLARIFY NEXT STEPS 20
    56. 56. DON’T FORGET TO CLARIFY NEXT STEPS Try to ascertain their interest at the end of the pitch and identify next steps. Don’t leave without them. 20
    57. 57. If you remember only one thing from this presentation ... 21
    58. 58. EXCITEMENT
    59. 59. EXCITEMENT Build it. Grow it. Don’t ever lose it.
    60. 60. DESIRE Build it. Grow it. Don’t ever lose it.
    61. 61. Thanks and enjoy the ride! www.MarkRuddock.com @MarkRuddock 23

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