Venture Beyond with Trevor Loy

Venturing beyond the conventional wisdom about venture capital investing, entrepreneurship, flyfishing, and life.
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Posts tagged "Pitch"

Entrepreneurs are my heroes.  Great entrepreneurs focus primarily on how to build businesses that delight their customers with amazing products and solutions.  Of course, building those businesses often requires financial capital, advice, and relationships in addition to great products and technology.  For many entrepreneurs, raising capital seems like a medieval labyrinth constructed by mischievous VC investors, for which secret tools and tricks are the key to success.  Like most professionals who hide behind jargon and mystique as a way of hopefully amplifying their power, venture capitalists often perpetuate the mysticism of the fundraising “pitch.”

Steve Jobs: People who know what they're talking about don't need PowerPoint.

Luckily, it needn’t be that way.  As it turns out, being an entrepreneur is highly correlated with being human.  And, as it turns out, pretty much all humans already know how to tell stories.  And, as it turns out, making a presentation to raise VC investment is really no different than any other form of storytelling.  

I wrote a long post in 2011 about how I evaluate entrepreneurial businesses, and how entrepreneurs can best use well-known methods of storytelling to present their businesses to me.   As a courtesy to both of us, please review that post before we discuss your business.  Whether you are a good fit with the way I evaluate investments or not, I wish you the best of success. Thank you for your courage in following the entrepreneurial path, and for creating your own story. 

Mike Moritz

Legendary investor Mike Moritz of Sequoia Capital delivers the Gettysburg Address of advice to entrepreneurs:

 

Nobody starting a company should, in the dreadful vernacular, “pitch a VC.” Really smart founders know they are selecting business partners for the next five to 15 years. In meetings with prospective partners, founders should be buying as much as selling.

Silicon Valley teems with investors. Yet for startups there are not many true long-term business partners. Part-timers can get into 50 or 60 companies a year, and others can pile in when the risk has evaporated. That’s not hard. Selecting and working with founders determined to build market leading companies that can prosper 10 to 30 years from now is different—and very difficult.

The full article is at http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/how-to-pitch-a-vc-09222011.html . Mike is not only one of the top VC investors of all time, but he began his career as a writer, and it shows.  A joy to read.