How To Pitch To VCs

David Rose (who I confess I did not know of before watching this video) gives a presentation on how to pitch to VCs.  Rose is the founder of New York Angels and also CEO of Angelsoft, the software platform used by most angel investment groups (and about which I previously blogged). 

Rose starts by listing the 10 characteristics of an entrepreneur that the investor is attempting to assess in the pitch:

  1. Integrity
  2. Passion
  3. Experience
  4. Knowledge
  5. Skill
  6. Leadership
  7. Commitment
  8. Vision
  9. Realism
  10. Coachable

He gives some tips on how you might help the VC favorably assess these qualities.  Then he talks about a few things you should be sure to do during your presentation:

  • Make sure your presentation has a logical presentation
  • Talk about things the investor knows / understands
  • Validate what you say with evidence
  • Establish believable upside in your business

Followed by some things you should NOT do:

  • Talk about things the investor does not know about or understand
  • Say things the investor "knows" not to be true
  • Have internal inconsistencies in your pitch
  • Include typos, errors or other mistakes

In terms of what the presentation should look like he says your slides should ideally be:

  • Short titles with short bullet points
  • Even better, just headlines
  • Or best of all, just images

He then promptly breaks that rule by putting up a slide of the slides you should have in *your* presentation (basically a modified Kawasaki-10, which I’d argue is a better framework):

  1. Logo (first page)
  2. Business overview
  3. Management team
  4. Market
  5. Product
  6. Business model
  7. Strategic relationships
  8. Barriers to entry
  9. Financial overview
  10. Use of proceeds
  11. Capital and valuation

And then to close he has a few tips on how to run the actual presentation:

  • Use "presenter mode" in PowerPoint or Keynote
  • Use a remote control
  • Your handouts should not be your presentation
  • Don’t read a script
  • Never look at the screen

Well, if that summary wasn’t enough for you, you can watch the video with Rose’s tips on pitching VCs (it’s about 15 minutes long) here: