Venture capitalists get inundated with startup pitches, which can make it difficult for founders, especially those who build in crowded categories, to stand out. While every investor is looking for something different, there are ways founders can increase their chances of getting noticed.
At last week’s Disrupt 2022 conference, investors spoke to Annie Case, a partner at Kleiner Perkins; Sheel Mohnot, co-founder of Better Tomorrow Ventures; and Jomayra Herrera, partner at Reach Capital, said the founders who manage to capture their attention are the ones who come to the prepared pitch process.
This can of course mean a lot. Case said it’s incredibly helpful when founders help investors prepare for their pitch meeting. When founders send information or offer a sample of the deck before the pitch, she can immediately move beyond superficial questions, leaving more time for in-depth questions, she said. That allows her to leave the meeting with more information, which could help a founder get a check down the line.
If you’re starting a business and there are three or four other businesses that people would look at, I expect you to know intimate details about them. Sheel Mohnot, Co-Founder, Better Tomorrow Ventures
For Herrera, sending a partial or simple pitch deck, or a demo, if relevant, can be immensely helpful.
“I generally recommend having almost a teaser version of the deck with enough data and information to give us an idea of where you are in terms of your company’s journey,” Herrera said. “Just enough information to come to the meeting prepared.”
The three investors agreed that the founders should come to the pitch meeting to answer questions about the team, progress and TAM. Mohnot said it’s a red flag when companies don’t seem to have thought through these potential questions, especially when it comes to competition.
“If you start a company and there are three or four other companies that people would look at… [in the space]”I expect you to know intimate details about those companies,” Mohnot said.