Most startup investors have done what you want to do.
They are cashed out entrepreneurs.
They built businesses and sold them for a profit.
Most see dozens of investment opportunities and invest in
only a few--you need to be in a very select group to be
By the end of your presentation, you want them to
conclude that, against the odds and despite whatever
happens, you are
committed to and
have a plan for making money for them.
This presentation tells you how to do that.
A venture with the five “M”s will get funded.
Magic – the technology or new business concept.
Massive Market – an addressable market in the billions.
Management – the team to pull it off, or even better has
Marketing – the ability to convince others to give you
money for the product or service.
This talk was derived from a TED talk by David Rose.
His advice on pitching is some of the best I have seen.
He has been on both sides of the table.
He has raised millions, invested millions.
This is first for a reason.
Investors look for expect and demand absolute and
Few entrepreneurs appreciate how crucial it is or how high
Even using the wrong tense is fatal.
For instance, if you have not accomplished a task, you
must use the future tense.
Demonstrate extraordinary enthusiasm; matched with
competence and realism.
The best sports coaches--the ones who turn underdog,
losing teams into winners—have this characteristic.
Think, act and live like them.
But be inspiring nor tyranical.
The ideal start up team has executed multiple startups.
Most have been part of successes and failures.
Virtually all venture capital startup money goes to second
and third time entrepreneurs.
YouTube’s founders were cashed out veterans of PayPal
That’s the reality of this business.
Consider adding someone to your team who has been
there done it.
Investors want to see competence in the business
Especially if you are going into an established space, be an
If you are creating a space, you have some leeway.
Creating a company requires a wide range of skills-
everything you need to build, grow and run a company:
Marketing & sales
Finance and administration.
No one has them all, so you need to attract, organize
and inspire people who, in the aggregate, have them
Big company guys often have trouble transitioning to
--At small companies, they have to do more with less.
--There is no one to blame, it is hard to hide failure.
Successful companies are not solo acts.
They are led by skilled and inspiring visionaries.
Think Oprah – a hugely talented celebrity but also a
skilled business woman.
Investors want to see that you can
• Identify and cover your weaknesses,
• Have the vision and charisma to attract other A-
• Build the team.
And yes only A-players get funded.
Can you persevere through the valley of death?
Do you have the level of commitment demonstrated by
champion marathon runners and the Special Forces?
Most successful companies are founded by people who
have failed once--or at least seen it up close and
Do you have a plan to change the world…or a least a
And, do you have a reasonable plan for how to do so?
With a 90 percent fail rate, the winners have to be big:
20-to-one payoffs for the investors.
This won’t happen with a lifestyle business--two or
three restaurants; it has to be a new model that is the
basis for a chain of dozens or preferably hundreds of
them, like McDonalds.
Investors will quickly dismiss as hopelessly naive any
founder who does not have a healthy paranoia or at
least respect for the competition.
In both cases here we have one man and one tank.
Which individual is more likely to prevail?
If you solving a big problem in a big market, then you
have probably a dozen competitors and several that
have developed technology that with good
management, marketing and money can triumph–
sometimes over superior technology, perhaps
Investors want to know if you can learn from other business
1. listen carefully and learn from others?
2. have a genuine thirst for relevant knowledge?
3. have an open mind?
If a potential investor asks a particularly challenging, skeptical
question, treat it as an opportunity to learn as much as an
opportunity to convince.
Don’t win a debate and lose the funding.
State relevant facts that will move the doubter to the desired
Even better, discuss the risk in more detail with them and
describe your plan to overcome it.
Acknowledge the real risks.
Establish a partnership; gain their confidence win the money.
Hook them with the first sentence or loose them for ever.
VCs & angels have short attention spans.
Demonstrate; don’t assert.
Loose the adjectives; cite numbers & verifiable facts &
Do you want your audience listening to you or reading the
handout—give it to them afterwards.
If they don’t reach for it with interest—you failed.
Investors are looking for the another Facebook or at least a
They want to believe, they are yours to lose. Don’t.
They want: the Next Big Thing.
You want: the Next Meeting.
• 10 slides
• 20 minutes
• 30 point type minimum
Practice to perfection
Be able to give the presentation without notes or slides.
Look at individuals not the audience.
Now for a contrast.
Really bad presentations did not stop one person from
becoming a success.
But do you have a concept and team as big as Microsoft
and the drive and skill of Bill Gates?
Now, who gave the most compelling presentations? The
ones people anticipated and stood in line for?
Notice anything missing?
Great entrepreneurs, can hold audience attention with the
Their mastery of the space, the product and the dream is
They don’t distract the audience with tedious text.
The presentation conveys the vision.
It makes your dream their dream.
That is the first step in building the business and realizing