Roundup: How to Pitch Investors

Published August 19, 2016

Why Investors Pass on Companies

We put together some of our favorite posts on pitching investors. Over at 500 startups, Edith Yeung has a great post on “The 7 (Pitching) Habits of Highly Effective Founders” that applies to any startup at any stage. Here are some of the key points:

#1 – Pitch the right investors – Don’t get in front of people that don’t invest in your company’s stage or product type

#2 – Pitch with a purpose – Inspire investors with your enthusiasm!

#3 – Curate your story –Don’t go too long. Learn to edit down.

#4 – Pitch like a professional –Explain why you’re qualified and demonstrate why you need money now

#5 – Understand the big picture –Pitch beyond the product and sell the idea as a company

#6 –24 hour follow-up –Send a thank you!

#7 –Show passion & honesty –This is your startup. Show your true self and always tell the truth.

From a VC perspective, last year Brad Feld outlined common reasons Foundry Group quickly passes on great opportunities (he estimates the firm could be turning down as much as 90% of companies they could be investing in). Most of their “quicks passes are categorized in the ‘it’s us, not you’ category”. Here were some of his reasons:

  1. The company is at the wrong stage
  2. The firm is focused on other opportunities
  3. The partners have scheduling conflicts and don’t want to slow roll an entrepreneur
brad feld its not youFor those of you that need a Seinfield flashback – Watch this

Finally, Zeynep Ilgaz listed her five favorite traits in a founder pitch that she heard as an angel investor. She cautions against simply trying to “stand out” and instead puts forth these five bullet points:

  1. Connect with the heart
  2. Connect with the head
  3. Don’t mimic a spreadsheet
  4. Have a great team dynamic
  5. Leave investors wanting more

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