Friday, April 08, 2005

Ten Commandments for presentations to venture capitalists

Allen Morgan of venture capital firm Mayfield has written a set of ten commandments for how to properly pitch your venture to venture capitalists. I actually ran across the list summarized in a post by Jeff Clavier. His summary is as follows:
  1. Do your homework, and contact the right person
  2. Be on time
  3. Tease, don't overwhelm
  4. Know your audience
  5. Create the "Aha" early
  6. Explain the idea by analogy to, or contrast with, older ideas
  7. Go with 13 or less slides
  8. Know what you don't know -- and admit it
  9. Be like Goldilocks, when it comes to competition
  10. Control the meeting -- but be smart about it
Even if you're not going the VC route, these are still good ideas.

One point I would add is that you need to listen very carefully to what the VC audience has to say and their non-verbal clues as well. They may not explicitly tell you what they think for any number of reasons, so you'll need to very quickly pick up on all of their subtle cues if you want to succeed and establlish a working relationship with them.

-- Jack Krupansky


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