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Many people and business’s are looking for Venture Capitalist money. Here are some tips that will improve your success rate on “The Big Day” of your pitch.
This may seem like an obvious point, but you really do need a compelling idea that captivates people’s imaginations. If you try your idea out on some friends or colleagues and their eyes consistently glaze over, your idea is stuck in a rut and needs some refinement.
However, when you keep hearing things like, “Wow! That’s a great idea! Wish I’d thought of that!” or even things like, “Hey that idea of yours is so great and totally outside the box! I love it! Have you thought about adding this piece to it?” you know you are on the right track.
Let your friends, family and colleagues contribute their ideas and help you bounce news ones around. Even it you don’t ultimately use their ideas, it will help you get ready for when you are up there on the line the day of your pitch. Someone in your Venture Capital or Angel Investor audience may ask the same question or make the same suggestion as one of your friend, family member of colleagues did. You will benefit from already having taken some time to consider it and thing it through beforehand.
A great idea and a solid PowerPoint only get you so far. If the VC and Angel Investor folks love your idea, but do not have confidence in you as a leader and as someone they can believe in and feel can “go the distance,” you will not get their funding. Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors traditionally don’t have a lot of patience or time, which means you need get to your point quickly and efficiently. You have to grab their attention right away with how you present your idea, or they will tune you out and turn to their iPhones to catch up on their latest emails while waiting for the next pitch in line.
Venture Capital and Angel Investor folks can be really tough on you. After all, it’s their money, and sometimes very big money, that they are investing. It really helps to have some great professional speaking coaching to pop you, your idea, your pitch off the page and screen and solidly get into the hearts and minds of your VC and Angel Investor audience. From my years of work on financial pitches of all kinds and also winning campaigns in politics all over the world, I know how an audience thinks and exactly what they want to see and hear which will get them to part with their money. With the right pitch, your idea will be off to a winning start! So here’s a bit of help to get you started with your PowerPoint slide deck for a Winning Venture Capitalist and Angel Investor Pitch:
1. Cover – Business positioning statement
2. Market – The Need and what customers have it
3. Solution – Product, Core benefit, Protectable technology (ies)
4. Competitive Position – Who they are and your defenses
5. Marketing / Sales / Support – Channels and skills needed
6. Business Strategy – How you plan to grow beyond your launch
7. Financial Projections – The usual spreadsheets
8. Funding Sought – Amount , Comparables, Use of funds
9. Management –Relevant experience
10. Milestones – e.g: Product launch, Next funding, Breakeven point
11. Exit Strategy – IPO / Acquisition (Who?)
12. Closing Slide – Getting ready for the Q and A to come
A winning Venture Capitalist Pitch needs to be totally tight and strategic. The clock is always ticking, and as the speaker you have to be totally on top of your game, from start to finish. The speakers I have coached have their pitch totally down going, and they always get their money. If they can do it, so can you!
What have you seen really work in your own pitches to Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors? If you are a Venture Capitalists or Angel Investor, what would you like to see more of from the people pitching to you? Please share your ideas in the comments below.