VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.
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Recently a startup founder shared a great insight with me that I have to pass along to you. He has a very complex business and after having a great first call with a partner, things would stall out.
What he realized was that he had to set up that partner for success to be able to go back and explain it to the rest of the team.
So let’s break this down of how this works behind the scenes. An interesting startup comes into a venture fund, somebody gets assigned to go take a first meeting with it. That person then reports back to the rest of the team and tells them about the business, and the founder, and the experience that they had in the call, and their impressions and their takeaways.
Then they start to get peppered with questions from other partners. What about this piece? And what about that piece? And what do you mean by this?
If that partner or associate cannot succinctly explain back to the team what this business is, what it does, how it works, you’re going to fall flat.
If an investor can’t come out of a 30 minute meeting at least understanding at a high level how your business works, you need to simplify. You need to retool your pitch with that internal meeting in mind.
How does this person go and explain your business to the rest of their team? One way you can get out ahead of this problem is by asking throughout your pitch, “what can I clarify for you?”
So much of pitching is storytelling. In that first meeting, it is absolutely essential that you tell a good story, clarify any questions, and that you set that person up for success when they go back to the partner meeting.
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