Brenna Hardman, Founder of Buy Side Design, recently participated in the Investor Pitch workshop hosted by the Pritzker Group. The firm is one of the most competitive venture capital firms in the world and has these helpful tips for your next investor meeting.
TO GET A MEETING WITH AN INVESTOR:
You need credibility through an introduction to get attention. If you do not have a common connection, throw a fast ball at the beginning and lead with your strongest point. Don’t perform the slow reveal. If you get an investor on the phone, ask questions so they invest time in you. “Finding a friendly” is the best strategy for opening doors.
PREPARING FOR THE MEETING:
- Know your audience. Who are you meeting with? What are the investors’ and firm’s focus? Are there related investments with yours? Know if they deploy a little or a lot of capital.
- Make sure your presentation is buttoned up. Obvious holes will be seen quickly. Write a presentation deck that fills up half the time. A 20 minute meeting should have a 10 minute presentation. Think about all the things that could go wrong during the presentation. What are the 1 or 2 things that are the deal killers? Prepare to answer them.
- If you’ve had a period of poor performance, you have to know what went wrong and explain it in a way that it won’t happen again.
- They want to see a maximum of 10-20 slides. Allow for discussion alongside each slide. Keep the deck short and load the appendix if necessary. The deck has to work for you, be transferable and understood. It may just be passed on to head decision maker. Whether you like it or not your deck will be shared. The deck should tell its own story.
- Pre-wire the presentation and make sure you have back up just in case.
- The structure of the presentation should go like this: the vision, why your team will succeed, the market opportunity, your strategy, data validation, the future roadmap and the ask for funding needs.
DURING THE MEETING:
- The first minute is most important. Know your elevator pitch in one sentence. Start with your product, vision and company purpose. Describe it in nice crisp way and use the framework “We are X for Y”.
- How you communicate is most important. Be direct, clear and concise.
- Consider how your appearance choices add or detract from your message. Most people are visual and interpret body language and clothing as part of your communication.
- Sell your team. You got the meeting for your performance, now focus on experience, people and rapport.
- Full blown demos are for follow-up meetings. You don’t need to go into an administration panel and show them how easy it is to navigate.
- Don’t talk at them. Talk with them. Make sure you listen and leave time for questions.
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