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Pitching to a VC? Here's What You Need To Know #1

This piece is derived from David S. Rose speech at this TED TalkDavid Rose a serial entrepreneur turned serial investor is also the CEO of Gust.

So, the very first question that you’ve all got to figure out is: what is the single most important thing that a VC is looking for when you come to them pitching your new business idea? And there are obviously all kinds of things. There are business models, and there are financials, and there are markets and there is that. Overall, of all the things that you have to do, what is the single most important thing the VC is going to be investing in? Somebody? What? (Audience: People.) David S. Rose: People? You! That’s it — you are the person. And so therefore, the entire purpose of a VC pitch is to convince them that you are the entrepreneur in whom they are going to invest their money and make a lot of money in return. Now, how do you do this? You can’t just walk up and say, you know, “Hi, I’m a really good guy, and a good girl, and you should really invest in me.” Right? So, in the course of your VC pitch, you have a very few minutes, and most VC pitches — most angel pitches are about 15 minutes, most VC pitches should be less than half an hour. People’s attention span after 18 minutes begins to drop off, tests have shown.So in that 18 minutes, or 10 minutes, or five minutes, you have to convey a whole bunch of different characteristics. You actually have to convey about 10 different characteristics while you’re standing up there. What’s the single most important thing you’ve got to convey? What? (Audience: Integrity.) Boy, oh boy, oh boy! And that’s a straight line we got right over there. And I didn’t even prompt him.You’re right, integrity. Because that’s the key thing. I would much rather invest in somebody — you know,take a chance on somebody — who I know is straight than somebody where there’s any possible question of, you know, who are they looking out for, and what’s going on. So the most important thing is integrity. Startup Turkey also hosted David S. Rose and below is his talk at the conference. https://vimeo.com/121111560  ]]>

─ January 19, 2016