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Power Pitches Archives - The Gust Blog

Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

Category Archives: Power Pitches

What is the worst startup pitch ever?

Take your choice (these are both real, honest-to-God pitches, and I’ve got the originals in my possession):

Contestant A
CluelessCo is an internet startup company seeking $2 million of equity financing to fund our company for at least one year. CluelessCo will become the main consumer outlet for the internet, digital cable and satellite TV, and cell phones and PDAs.

How does someone get a meeting with angel investor David S. Rose?

The most useful meetings with an investor are ones where going in everyone understands that there may actually be a rational reason for the investor to be interested. So even if my own mother asked me to meet with you, and you were pitching me a biotech opportunity for a $10 million investment at a $90 million valuation, I might

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What are five tough questions that every founder should be prepared to answer in a pitch to VC’s?

How will you make money (and no, advertising is not the answer)?
Who, specifically, is your first customer? Second? Third?
What is your contingency plan for when this seed round is exhausted, and you are unable to raise any more?
What is your API/platform/partnership strategy?
How are you going to sell the company, and to whom, within six years?

 

As an investor, what is the worst presentation that you have seen?

I’ve written on this topic previously, including David S. Rose’s answer to Startups: What is the worst startup pitch ever?. While I’ve never laughed outright during a pitch, I’ve certainly had quite a few occasions where I had to work hard not to wince. The problems with bad pitches tend to fall into the following major categories:

Ten minute-pitch: What to I include in my slide deck since it’s not really an “elevator pitch”?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzDBrMisLm0?wmode=opaque&autoplay=1&autohide=1&iv_load_policy=3&enablejsapi=1]

Is the Marketing Strategy not important in a business plan when pitching to VCs?

Marketing strategy actually is quite important to most investors. The bottom line is that if no one shows up to buy or use your product, it doesn’t matter one whit how cool or great or innovative it is. And investors do not like top-down projections (“we’ll get a 10% market share…”). They very much want to see how you are going to get your first customer,

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How much time does it take for a VC to respond to a business plan?

Unfortunately, VCs do not typically review business plans. Instead they look at a brief summary, and then decide if they want to invite you in for a meeting.

What are some quantitative metrics angel investors look for in a pitch?

Unfortunately there’s nothing that can be generalized, because each case is different. Realistically, most angel deals are very early stage, which means that reliable metrics are pretty hard to come by. So most of the number crunching and ‘what if’ analyses tend to focus on customer adoption and revenues.

Help with asking for seed funding?

Unfortunately, the reality of entrepreneurship is that raising seed funding is much, much more difficult than you have been led to believe from the press reports about early stage financing. Only one out of every 400 companies seeking funding from venture capital firms actually receives it. And even when trying to raise much smaller amounts of money from individual ‘angel

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What are good questions to answer for business plans?

This is my answer on Quora to ‘what are good questions to answer in a business plan?’

Congrats on your question. Basing your planning on what questions to answer, as you suggest, is a really good way to do it. Everything in business planning is case by case, and every plan is unique, so you’re on the right track.

First answer these

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