Powerful Stories of Courage and Hope
November 7, 2011
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?”, then 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. And who knows? On “The Big Day,” someone in your VC 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 thought it through!
Getting both You and Your Pitch Ready
But there’s a way to go from having a great idea to being really ready for your formal Venture Capital and Angel Investor Pitch.
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.
And the VC and Angel Investor folks don’t have a lot of patience which means you do not have a lot of time to get to your point. You have to grab their attention right away or they will tune you out and turn to their Blackberries to catch up on their email while waiting for the next pitch in line.
VC 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 your audience thinks and exactly what they want to see and hear that will get them to part with their money. With the right pitch, your idea will be off to a winning start!
Are you scared to death just thinking about your Pitch?
Just thinking about this whole VC process makes most people feel simply scared to death. They know well that both they and their new business future are totally on the line.The whole idea of creating and giving a Venture Capitalist or Angel Investor pitch can seem like one long slog through the mud with no guarantee of anything at the end after all your hard work!
Help is on the way!
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:
Twelve must-have PowerPoint slides* for a Winning Venture Capital and 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
Putting Your VC Pitch All Together
I absolutely love coaching Winning Venture Capitalist Pitches. A great VC pitch needs to be totally tight and strategic, the clock is ticking and as the speaker you have to be totally on top of your game from start to finish. My speakers have their pitch totally down and they get their money. If they can do it, so can you!
Let’s hope these suggestions make for more interesting VC pitches in the future. What have you seen really work in your own pitches to VC and Angel Investor people? If you are a VC or angel Investor, what would you like to see more of from the people pitching to you?
*Thanks Mike Flynn for your help on designing this VC Slide Pitch List from your years and years of watching bad and ineffective VC Pitches!