Tips for pitching a venture capitalist

October 21, 2015

To help celebrate Back to the Future Day, we’re re-posting our popular piece on How Not To Pitch a Venture Capitalist.  From January 2012:

Precisely two years ago we blogged about a VC Dispatch article on tips for pitching a venture capitalist.  The hook was that it would take not 1 but 7 cocktail napkins – Pitch, People, Pain, Product, Players, Projections, Proposition.

In December’s Inc.com Josh Linkner reminds that (in Silicon Valley) “only one in 300 pitches to a venture capitalist gets funded” before offering 11 insider tips.  It’s a good, if somewhat cheeky, list with a decidedly early-stage feel:  “Don’t take yourself so seriously. We sure don’t! In fact, we’ll probably make fun of you the minute you leave.”  (Ouch!)  Even so, it does include good advice, like #9:

Tell us the “hard part.” Picking out cool colors for your new digs will be fun, but easy. All businesses have a “hard part”. Getting customers to pay a premium or attracting top talent. We’ll have fun together with the easy stuff, but we want to understand from you what the biggest challenges will be. We can plan the holiday party later.

Once you’ve digested all those tips, please enjoy this demonstration of how not to pitch a venture capitalist – also available at our YouTube channel.

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