VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.
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I’ve said many times that the deck gets the meeting. So, if the job of the deck is to get the first meeting, what’s the job of the first meeting?
There are many purposes: to ask questions, answer questions, build rapport, and generate excitement. But there’s one thing you’re probably not thinking about: setting that investor up for success when they go back and present your startup to their team.
Think about this: after you pitch me, I have to pitch my team. Not only do I have to be able to describe what you do and why you’re the team to do it, But I also have to be able to field their questions. If I can’t do all of that, you’re not going anywhere in the process.
You have to set that investor up for success with their team.
Don’t just talk at them for 30 minutes; be sure to answer their questions. Make sure that you clearly explain what the hell your business does and how the hell you make money. You’d be surprised how hard that is for some founders.
Practice explaining this to your non-startup family and friends. When they can explain back to you what you do and how you make money, then you’ve got your pitch dialed in.
Another critical element of setting that investor up for success is sending a follow-up email. This is the place for the extended deck. It’s also an opportunity to double down on things you covered in the call. Send a relevant article about the market, customer feedback, and bios on the team. Have a whole list of things that you can use as a follow-up and send one or two of those based on the conversation.
What, ultimately, is the job of the first meeting? It’s to get to the second meeting.
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