VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.
Click below to listen. 1m 55s duration.
Subscribe on your podcast platform of choice
The vast majority of investors you pitch will pass. If you pitch a hundred investors in 30 minute initial calls, that’s 50 hours, an entire work week. And to what do you have to show for it?
In the four plus years we’ve been investing, a significant portion of the pitch meetings have been spent with founders spending 25 minutes of walking through every painstaking detail in their deck. Then when we get to the end and I ask, what questions do you have for me? I get some flavor of what’s your typical check size? Our check size is on the website!
This is a missed opportunity. You need to learn something from every pitch. And you do this by asking good questions throughout the pitch.
You can get feedback on the pitch itself. What did you think of my pitch? Or what didn’t we cover that you’re still wondering about?
You can ask for specific advice. What do you think of our plans to scale? What have you seen that hasn’t worked with this customer acquisition strategy?
Or ask general advice. What’s a major pitfall you think we’re heading right for? If you were on our board, what would you recommend we focus on?
After you spend time on introductions and small talk, start out by asking questions about the fund. What’s important to them and their process? Then pitch to the deck for eight to ten minutes. And use the last 10 minutes to ask questions about your business, to learn something from them.
You could tee it up by saying, ” even if we end up not being a fit for you, you’ve seen so much, and I’d love to learn from you by asking some questions about our business.”
Make sure that you’re getting something out of these pitch meetings other than just… pitching another investor. Try to learn something, gather that feedback.
The irony is that if you ask insightful questions, it reflects better on you than if you were to just talk at me for 25 minutes straight. So learn something from every pitch.
Visit the VC Minute homepage for more episodes and mores ways to subscribe.