In a recent excellent panel, five investors talk turkey about what is for them an everyday experience – listening to pitches and picking winners. If you are looking for funding or even just starting out on a venture – this will get your thinking off on the right track – certainly as far as seeking investment goes. Between them, this group goes in from seed at $250k to Series A+ expansion stage at $12 million.
The first question: “What do you want to hear in the first 5 minutes of a pitch?”
“Just get it out your mouth! I mean 20 minutes in you have no clue what the heck the product is – I’ll stop ‘em at 5 minutes. And another thing: they want to show you a demo in the first one minute. I hate that. Here’s why. We’re talking about the business of the business, not the features and functions – I wanna know how you’re going to build the business.”
Jeanne Sullivan – Starvest
“I want to know about the person and who I’m talking to. I want them to be really passionate about what they’re doing.”
Kathleen Utecht – Comcast Ventures
“Why does the world need what you’re doing? Especially at the seed stage we see a lot of teeny iterative product ideas. Why would someone want to use it? What problem are we solving? That is the primary thing.”
Joy Marcus – DFJ Gotham Ventures
“Why are you the right team to solve that problem.”
Ellie Wheeler – Greycroft Partners
“Make sure you’ve articulated how big the opportunity is in money.”
Donna Novitsky – former VC. serial start up CEO, Stanford prof.
You can see the whole panel discussion here: there is much more of this lively and practical advice from the people with the money. It runs one hour and it’s worth your time; it is a tiny investment that could pay out for you in spades.