TSH Masterclass - How Your Pitch is Received


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The key points and highlights from Sean Owen’s presentation “How Your Pitch Is Received”

Great entrepreneurs make the world go round and investors need great entrepreneurs, that’s why investors “would kill” to hear great pitches from entrepreneurs.

An investor would probably receive hundreds of business plans daily but only invests in a handful; there is a need to stand out!

An Investment Memo is helpful to catch your reader’s attention given the little time they have. It’s an executive summary and not a complete business plan.

Time is of essence; minor things are major in 15 minutes so put a great deal of attention to details. Easy, quick read but comprehensive is appreciated by the busy.

Highlight strengths and identify weaknesses and how you intend to turn these into strengths.

Investors mostly believe 80% of your pitch but doubts on the 20%; the goal is to beat the 20%!

When scheduled for a meeting, send details (business plan including financials) days in advance. Target a 60-minute presentation starting with a good warm-up (summary; 15 minutes).

Your goal is to make the investor asking more questions before leaving the meeting. Listen, modulate, and ask questions!

Sean’s presentation was part of TechStartHub Startup Masterclass: How to make sure you’re investment and exit ready held last November 8 at University College London – Roberts Building. The next masterclass, Expert Advice on Website Content Strategy, Analytics, and Community Building, will be held on November 28 at the Innovation Warehouse.

By: Cris Kerwin Pabuaya

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
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TSH Masterclass - How Your Pitch is Received

  1. 1. HOW YOUR PITCH ISRECEIVEDSean Owen(Pentech Ventures)8 November 2011
  2. 2. (Your Mileage May Vary)
  3. 3. You‟re (Also) the Star• Great entrepreneurs make the world go „round• Investors need great entrepreneurs• Investors would kill to hear great pitches• What does a great pitch sound like?
  4. 4. A Business Plan A Day• Typical fund sees hundreds per year• … and invests in a handful• Most investments aren’t from inbound plans• Stand Out Quickly
  5. 5. Exceptionalism • Early-stage model must pursue exceptional returns • Why is this plan exceptional?
  6. 6. Who Reads Your Message? • Small funds: partner • Medium-large funds: associate • Sourcing just one job • Do the math: less than an hour total to justify more time
  7. 7. What‟s in an Investment Memo?• Non-disclosure agreement? • Not to read the IM • Investors don‟t want or need secrets yet • Looks naïve, problematic for investor• Executive Summary / IM • How much do you expect someone to digest in 15 minutes? • <= 7 pages; advisors send 1-2 • Not a complete business plan • An appetizer, not a meal
  8. 8. What‟s in an Investment Memo? (cont.)• Presentation • Optional; the “movie” to the IM‟s “book” • Works better in person; send if really cool • 10-20 slides• Financials • Optional; high-level financials in the IM • 12 months, then 2 more years P&L
  9. 9. First Impressions Count • Minor things are major, in 15 minutes • Guess you come across the same to customers • Attention to detail = passion, goodness • Easy, quick read appreciated by the busy
  10. 10. Strengths and Weaknesses• Product • Competition • What is it? • What else solves the• Market problem? • How much can • Team realistically be sold per • What‟s the team‟s unfair year? advantage?• Revenue • Deal • How does it make • How much? money? • Where does it reach to? • Customers?
  11. 11. A Reason To Invest?• Accept IM‟s premises: any good reasons to invest?• Disqualify: wrong stage, sector, geograp hy• So, fund can invest• Decision: Meeting?
  12. 12. Reasons to Not Invest? • Investor mostly believes 80% • Investor doubts about 20%: reasons not to invest • Goal: Beat the 20%
  13. 13. The Meeting • Receive details days in advance • Business plan • Financials • Target 60 minutes • Good warm-up: 15 minutes summarizing business
  14. 14. The Meeting (cont.) • Frequent: Investor leaves still holding doubts • Infrequent: Investor leaves wanting more talking • Listen, modulate, ask questions
  15. 15. From There? • Fund Monday meeting • Find partner champion; help her help you • 1-2 more meetings • Now about relationship • Diligence: you, and the fund • CLOSE!
  16. 16. srowen@pentechvc.com