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What to bring to a pitch?

"So I have my first few venture capital pitches coming up.

I've got what I think is an engaging presentation with good visual aids.

What -- if anything -- should I give to people at the pitch before I present?

What -- if anything -- should I leave with them after I finish?

What will they be expecting?

Is there a standard way to do things?"

I saw this set of question on the funded. We get asked this all the time, so I figured it would be a great topic of discussion here.

What -- if anything -- should I give to people at the pitch before I present?

If you've made it past the telephone or in person screening, good work.  You should now spend your energy on making the experience as "easy" as possible for you potential investor. Don't assume that they will remember eveyrthing about your business, as they see multiple tens if not hundreds of plans a month. To keep your idea fresh in their mind, send an email a few days prior to the meeting with your 1 to 3 page executive summary and be sure to both thank the investor for the opportunity to speak in person, confirm the date and time of your meeting. This small step will go a long way towards showing them that you have your act together.

At the start of meeting itself, I wouldn't hand out anything but that same one to three page executive summary and your business card.  If you provide copies of your slides/ chances are your audience will be rifling through the pages during your presentation.

What -- if anything -- should I leave with them after I finish?

I would always leave copies of your presentation and executive summary along with your business card. However bring your long form businessplan and current financials/financial projections, in case some one asks for these items.

What will they be expecting?

This is best answered by this talk that David Rose gave at TED in March of 2007.


Is there a standard way to do things?

You will probably have 30 mins to an hour to present and answer questions. Be sure to keep your presentation short 10-15 slides at a minute per slide and leave the remaining time for indepth questions. Have slides ready for some of the more common questions and the end of your presentation, but only show them if those specific questions are asked. 

Be certain that your talk covers the following topics and start with your one line pitch so that people have an idea about what you will be discussing during you presentation:

1) Market Pain Point- The problem you are solving

2) Your solution - How you are solving it

3) Your business model - how you will make money

4) Potential customers- Who will buy your product and why they would care

5)Marketing and Sales Strategy - How you will get the word out and generate sales

6)Progress to date - What has been completed thus far.

7)Competition - Who is doing something similar

8)Competative advantage- What makes your product / solution better than the rest

9)Barriers to entry- What keeps your competition from eating your lunch.

10)Management Team and Board of Directors

11)Current Financials and Financial projections (includes money raised to date)

12)Capital Sought and uses of that capital

13)Potential Exit scenarios


Do you have any additional suggestions? If so please leave a comment below.

-Jeevan Padiyar

Reader Comments (1)

Thanks for sharing. I especially liked the video, you should submit it to Adwido.

July 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermlgreen8753

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