Wednesday, January 12, 2005

How to present to venture capitalists

A Venture Capitalist points to Allen Morgan’s fourth commandment for entrepreneurs:

So…you’ve obeyed the first three Commandments:

· Commandment #1: you’ve contacted the right partner in the VC firm,

· Commandment #2: you’ve arrived early to make sure you’re ready to roll when the VC (who will usually be late) shows up, and

· Commandment #3: you’ve tried your best to carefully crafted your pitch so that it “teases, but doesn’t overwhelm”. ....

Here are a few suggestions:

· Ask how any of his relevant portfolio companies relate to your startup idea (and make sure that you’ve visited the web sites of those relevant portfolio companies).

· Ask what other startup deals in this space has he looked at,

· Where does his interest in the space come from,

· What does he see as the major problems facing any startup in this area, etc.

· Listening carefully to the answers to these types of “range-finding” questions will help you make sure you don’t inadvertently head off in the wrong direction – which many entrepreneurs, believe it or not, do.

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