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.
John is a serial entrepreneur and investor, and the co-founding Partner of Hatcher+, a data-driven, globally-focused venture investment platform based in Singapore. In addition to leading capital raising and deal syndication, he is the visionary and architect behind the Hatcher Stack, the company's proprietary research and technology platform. Over the past five years, John has led numerous venture investments in early-stage companies, including ASYX, DocDoc, Dropsuite, Heardable, Invit, Inzen Studio, SocialCops, ThoughtRiver, and Telr - and syndicated over US$100Mn of additional debt and equity co-investment. IPOs and trade sales in which he was acted for the majority shareholder include Dropsuite (ASX:DSE) and Inzen Studio (ASX:ICI). His M&A work includes the merger of payment leader Telr with Dubai-based Innovate Payments, and the merger of Singapore-based companies DocDoc, and DoctorPage. Prior to co-founding Hatcher, John founded cybersecurity technology leader Authentium (acquired by CYREN in 2010), and acted as a director for global payments aggregator Mozido, and an advisor to Africa-based Gateway Communications, satellite technology developer MDS America, Kuwait-based Internet marketplace Sheeel.com, and Orion Partners, a $2B private equity fund manager based in Hong Kong.
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