Tim Ferriss has had the foresight to ask some of the presenters at this years TiE conference (TiE’s annual conference on entrepreneurship, TiECON 2009 May 15/16) some very useful questions:

  • What is the best pitch meeting that you remember and why?
  • What are the most common mistakes or assumptions smart founders make in pitch meetings with VCs?
  • What unfavorable terms do founders often miss or underestimate in term sheets?
  • How can someone get you to look at a business plan if they don’t know anyone in your network (e.g. outside Silicon Valley elite, didn’t go to Stanford)?

Here are a few clips from the article from 4 VCs:

What is the best pitch meeting that you remember and why?

1. The best pitch meetings are those that have real technology breakthroughs applied to solving large and growing problems.

2. After the first introductory slide Jasvir Gill, the CEO and founder jumped straight to a demo…

3. For early stage companies (where you are not pitching demonstrated revenue growth), good pitches rely on either a compelling entrepreneur or a compelling idea. Great pitches rely on both.

4. The pitch meeting was the best because the service concept made intuitive sense, the service was validated by a major customer win, the market was large with proof points of successful outcomes…

This feedback illustrates some very important distinctions for me, mostly that you will see some similarities and many differences to the same question!

In other words you need to have all of these types of requirements/questions/expectations covered and need to be very flexible in your approach.

A cookie-cutter pitch will not work. Also, with advice like this you can make sure that you approach each investor/VC better prepared and we all know about the 5 P’s don’t we..!?

More here:

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/04/20/is-venture-capitalism-dead-not-yet-advice-from-kleiner-perkins-hummer-winblad-shasta-ventures-and-clearstone-venture-partners/

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