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David Rose: 10 Ways to Improve Your VC Pitch

David Rose, a serial entrepreneur-turned-VC partner who speaks faster than just about any man on the planet, has a terrific video up at Ted.com in which he outlines in very sensible fashion the ten things you need to know before you pitch to a VC.

Like David Rose, I too have raised tens of millions of dollars from VCs.  And while I don't agree with everything he says in this presentation, I passionately agree with much of it, and especially agree with what he says about the importance of integrity, and the need to make sure your pitch follows a dramatic arc that leads up - and then out of the park.

What did I not agree with?  Rose says that in addition to integrity, which I believe is absolutley fundamental, you need to display passion and an ability to lead. I disagree - if you're not a naturally passionate or organized or experienced person, I would rather you bolster your integrity by telling me this, and tell me that you're building out your team to compensate.  Hearing about your solvable weaknesses is so much better than watching someone try to pretend they have everything in hand.

Also, I disagree that you should never do a live demo.  If your technology is unstable, takes a while to fire up, sure, you should save everyone the hearburn. But if your mobile app can instantly locate every other device on the room and lay it against a 3D map without problem, then show it off (incidentally, I once saw a live demo of something quite similar to this involving locating tagged medical devices inside a hospital - it was stunning).

But Rose has so much to offer beyond these two points.  If you're an entrepreneur, watch this video.  It will, without doubt, dramatically improve your pitch.


Sharp John Sharp

John is a Partner at Hatcher Plus, the leading data-driven venture capital investment firm. John has extensive commercial experience at the senior management level, having been the Chief Executive Officer of Authentium, Inc. the Managing Director, Asia, of WorldSpace, and CEO of Hatcher, the precursor company to Hatcher+. A tenacious and driven executive with longstanding board-level and C-suite level management experience within high-growth companies, John also brings a strong history of capital raising from an extensive network of investors globally. As Chairman and CEO of cybersecurity pioneer Authentium (acquired by CYREN in 2010), John co-authored three US patents and developed and sold cybersecurity solutions to some the largest organizations in the world, including the US Department of Commerce, NASA, AOL, British Telecom, Comcast, Cox Communications, Google, McAfee, Microsoft, Symantec, and Telstra. As CTO at Hatcher+, DocDoc, Heardable, and ThoughtRiver, John has designed and developed several highly-innovative technology platforms using cutting-edge approaches to data processing, user interface design, and workflow optimization. John is a frequent blogger and an in-demand speaker at venture events globally, and has extensive experience implementing ESG solutions as Chairman and/or board member of numerous start-ups, including director roles at trade finance provider ASYX and payment aggregator Mozido, and roles as Chairman of MENA-based financial services pioneer Telr, and the leading Cambridge-based legal services technology company, ThoughtRiver.