Tuesday 25 May 2010

Founder/Investor courtship

There is a three step process involved before you start talking about any long term relationship with an investor:

Initial contact/elevator pitch
I believe that the strongest start you can get is by meeting an investors on a live event. Do your elevator pitch and secure an opportunity that you can send them some data and get it read.
There are other ways, like sending them to their email or online form, but in my opinion there are two pajor problems with it. First it gets screened by the most junior person at the firm. Second, due to a sheer volume of the proposals they get, you have to be extremely lucky to get their attention. If you get to talk to a person for 60 seconds, you'll soon see if it makes any sense to pursue that opportunity further or not.

Investment teaser
This is a one pager that you send to an investor. It's not a full deck, but something that grabs their attention for 5 minutes. Give them the top data, have it beautifully designed and avoid the cliches (like word "revolutionary", for example). Most importantly if your company is still interesting, it secures a meeting.

Investment deck
Investment deck is a printable presentation that gives investors an overview of your business. They will usually allocate 60 mins of their time to pitch. Use it wisely. Basically the deck should include all the necessary data you need to explain your case. There will always be additional questions, but here is where you show the best you have.

We'll go into more details about the deck in the following posts.
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