Saturday, September 20, 2008

How to pitch to a VC: High speed compressed version by David S. Rose

There's a great TED video by David S. Rose, startup guy and now a VC on how to pitch to a VC. There's lots of these out there but this is an amazingly well done, compacted and fast paced version well worth watching.

They invest in people.

You have at most 18 minutes to get the idea across.

First, You have to get across Integrity (straight shooter).
Second, Passion for what you're doing.
Third, Experience. Serial entrepreneurs are favored.
Forth, Knowledge and domain expertise.
Fifth, Skills to get a company going.
Sixth, Leadership, to get the full set of skills in place to run the company
Seventh, Commitment, to stay to the very end.
Eighth, Vision.
Ninth, Realism.
Tenth, Coachable.



Start like a rocket. 10 seconds to grab them.

From there, a solid steady upward graph that gets better and better that knocks it out of the park at the end. Never skip a step or go backwards. think "Logical Progression".

Provide touchstones like referencing companies the Angel or VC might know of, give them outside validation, things the potential investors knows of and can touch on.

An upside and believable. Show both. "$1m revenue is 3 years' isn't an upside "$1B in 24 months" isn't believable.

Never say things that aren't true. Ever. If you do, 1/2 of what you've said and will say will be discounted (no one's done this before is a good example).

Treat them like a 6th grader, walking them through it, but don't be condescending. Tricky, but essential.

Typos will kill the deal: how do you run a company if you can't run spell check?

Steve Jobs is the master at this. Watch him and learn. (Yea, I know I bash Apple a lot, but it's only because I love them. If I didn't care, I wouldn't say anything).

He then goes into a step by step on the presentation itself.

Top five tips for the presenter:

Always use presenter mode
Always use remote controls (don't touch the computer)
Handouts are NOT the presentation. The handout stands without you.
Do not read your speech
Never, ever, look at the screen. You're connecting with the audience first and foremost.

Worth every second of the 14 minutes and 39 seconds that it runs.

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