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David S Rose on TED

In this talk, David S. Rose, former serial entrepreneur and now serial investor talks about pitching to VCs. The most important aspect that the VC is interested in is you.  You have about 15 minutes to about half an hour to make your pitch.

The most important part of your pitch is your integrity. The second most important thing is passion. Then comes experience. (I have done this before). If you have failed, maybe you have learned from this. You must have domain expertise(knowledge). Then come the skills to run the organization. You must exhibit leadership

Commitment comes next. You must have vision but still be a realist. Finally, you must be coachable. Your pitch must include all of these without your mention of them. 

You have 10 to 30 seconds to grab their attention. The rest of your pitch must have an upward path. It must get better and better and at the end, knock them out of the park. Make sure that no threads are missing. 

Begin with the market, the how and why you are going to do it. Reference things the VC can relate to.  Show validation through something that has been done before or awards you have received.

You must then have a believable upside. There may be things that may take a VC's mind down. It is your job to recover from these. One of these is when you speak of competition. The VC may have heard of a widget similar to the one you are creating. Some things mentioned may not be true.  Even things that make the VC think could be detrimental.

Make sure the figures add up. Watch out for silly mistakes and typos. If you cannot make a good presentation, how can you run a company? 
Bullet points are OK. Headlines are better but images are best.(A picture is worth a thousand words)

Your presentation need not have introductions like 'I am presenting...' (The VC knows all this.) It must have your company logo. Then proceed with a overview of the business and give a sense of context.  Then talk about the product. Do not do a live demo. Then tell them how you make money on it. Talk about your distribution relationship or a partner.  This helps validation. 

Tell them exactly what the competition is and then tell them how you are special. Your pitch must have Financials. Speak about your growth plan for about four years. (About a 100 customers the first year...) . 

How is the money you get from a VC going to help you get there? How much are you looking at? Two or Five million? Are you invested in it? Do you have other angel investors?

The conclusion: Go back to the logo. Wrap it up by 'sending the VC into space'. 
  • Use ovation or other presentation software.
  • Always use the remote control.
  • Your handouts are NOT the presentation. The handout must stand out without you.
  • Never look at the screen. Connect to your audience instead
 


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