The Art of the Pitch

Forget “I think, therefore I am.” For entrepreneurs, the operative phrase is, “I pitch, therefore I am.” Pitching isn’t only for raising money—it’s for reaching agreement, and agreement can yield many good outcomes including sales, partnerships, and new hires. Here are the key elements of a great pitch. […]

The Only 10 Slides You Need in Your Pitch

I am evangelizing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a pitch should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. This rule is applicable for any presentation to reach an agreement: for example, raising capital, making a sale, forming [...]

By |2021-10-12T09:52:30-07:00March 5th, 2015|Categories: Books, Entrepreneurship, Pitching and Presenting, Venture Capital|Tags: |46 Comments

The Art of Raising Venture Capital

These videos are my recent attempt to explain the art of raising venture capital. They are part of the Montgomery & Hansen online learning site and conference. For example, to learn about financing agreements and the term-sheet process, click here. http://www.youtube.com/v/1etQC2-Vg_s http://www.youtube.com/v/uFDnT_xgqJ0 http://www.youtube.com/v/UwMNlJJBVZk Click on these links for up-to-date information about venture capital, startups, and [...]

By |2016-10-24T14:13:54-07:00September 4th, 2008|Categories: Events, Venture Capital|Tags: |0 Comments

How to Frame a Brain

Is your mantra, mission, and/or elevator pitch failing? Startups often have the problem that nobody can understand them. If this is you, George Lakoff may be your fix. Lakoff is a cognitive linguist who focuses on "the last smile" between message and recognition in brain. The Chronicle has a brief history of Lakoff's career (thanks [...]

By |2016-10-24T14:14:15-07:00August 13th, 2008|Categories: Pitching and Presenting, Venture Capital|Tags: |0 Comments

News Flash: “Young VC Adds Value”

You know how I feel about young venture capitalists, right? If you don't, read this. Having written this, I still have an open mind, and this morning young Matt Winn told me about a tool he created called the VCDB (venture capital database). Indeed, you should check out this tool because it's quite useful. You [...]

By |2016-10-24T14:14:26-07:00August 5th, 2008|Categories: Venture Capital|0 Comments

How to Pickup a Venture Capitalist

I wrote a list of pickup/opening lines to use on venture capitalists for the Sun Microsystems small business blog. Please check it out here. The post lists the most common lines and what a venture capitalist would think when you utter such drivel. For total venture capital news coverage, try Venturecapital.alltop.com.

By |2016-10-24T14:15:28-07:00May 30th, 2008|Categories: Venture Capital|0 Comments

Angel Capital Panel

The Industry Standard is back, and I wrote a post for it based on a panel I moderated last Friday. The topic of the panel angel investing, and a more qualified panel doesn't exist: Andy Bechtolsheim (the first investor in Google), Ron Conway, and Ian Sobieski. If you're interested in angel investors, you need to [...]

By |2016-10-24T14:16:57-07:00February 4th, 2008|Categories: Venture Capital|1 Comment

The Top Ten (Sixteen) Lies of Lawyers

Like CEOs, marketers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists, lawyers tell their own specialized tales. Most of my experience is with lawyers who do work for tech entrepreneurs, so this is my focus. “I’m really excited about what you are doing and will give your company my personal attention.” Once someone gets to the partner level, [...]

By |2016-10-24T14:18:38-07:00September 24th, 2007|Categories: Venture Capital|Tags: , |35 Comments

Disrupt-Then-Reframe Selling: How to Close a VC?

Have you heard of the concept called “disrupt-then-reframe”? The theory is that you introduce a non-sequitur or unexpected element into your pitch and then immediately inject a call-to-action. The disruption theoretically neutralizes critical thinking and makes a person more susceptible to agree. This concept is the result of a study by Barbara Davis and Prof. [...]

By |2016-10-24T14:18:47-07:00September 13th, 2007|Categories: Marketing and Sales, Venture Capital|Tags: |0 Comments

Ten Questions with Marti Nyman

Marti Nyman is “director of global innovation networks” for Best Buy. This means that his job is to find leading-edge, cool stuff for Best Buy—and yes, he gets paid to do this. Marti has held a diverse array of positions in strategic alliances, business development, mergers and acquisitions, business-unit leadership, sales and marketing, manufacturing, and [...]

By |2016-10-24T14:23:12-07:00December 20th, 2006|Categories: Venture Capital|0 Comments

Oh Come All Ye Associates

Check out this great article in the San Jose Mercury News entitled “Venture Capitalists Switch to Startups—Many Are Surprised By Type of Work.” My two favorite lines from the story are: “I had no idea of the number of details that I’d have to deal with every day...” “I used to sit and nod and [...]

By |2016-10-24T14:23:22-07:00December 9th, 2006|Categories: Venture Capital|4 Comments

Funding Your Dream Video

This is the video recording of the “Funding Your Dream” panel at Garage’s recent “Art of the Start Conference.” The moderator is Mohanjit Jolly, Managing Director - Garage Technology Ventures. The speakers are: Daniel Ahn, Managing Director - Woodside Fund Susan Mason, General Partner - Onset Ventures Chris Moran, General Manager - Applied Ventures Warren [...]

By |2015-03-18T07:43:05-07:00November 15th, 2006|Categories: Books, Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital|Tags: |0 Comments

Reality Check: cFares

Garage is an investor in a discount travel company called cFares. First, here’s some background info about the travel business: A large portion of airfare expenditures flow through the GDS systems (ie: Sabre, Amadeus, and Galileo). “First generation online travel sites” such as Travelocity, Expedia, and Orbitz rely on available inventory within the GDS supply. [...]

By |2016-10-24T14:23:38-07:00November 13th, 2006|Categories: Books, Venture Capital|Tags: |0 Comments

The Art of Projections in a Dotcom 2.0 World

The world is running amok with entrepreneurs pitching every sort of Web 2.0, social networking, user-generated-content startup. It’s the attack of the bull-shiitake startup projections, so I’m losing my hearing; there’s a ringing in my head, and I get dizzy every once in a while. Before the world implodes (again), here is a top-tenish list [...]

By |2016-10-24T14:23:52-07:00November 2nd, 2006|Categories: Entrepreneurship, Management, Pitching and Presenting, Venture Capital|Tags: |0 Comments

How to Change the World: Defensibility

Blog reader Curtis Thompson asked me a very good question a few days ago: What should an entrepreneur say when she’s asked what makes her company defensible? This question is more and more common as more and more entrepreneurs start “Web 2.0 companies,” and investors torture themselves by wondering why they didn’t fund YouTube. “Defensible [...]

By |2016-10-24T14:24:00-07:00October 25th, 2006|Categories: Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital|0 Comments

Ten Questions with “Dr. Evil”

Jim Fowler is the CEO of Jigsaw. This company ignited a controversy because it enables users to exchange information about each other’s contacts. The fear is that a hapless, privacy-seeking middle manager gets inundated with sales pitches for Nigerian banking schemes, organic vegetables, outsourcing services, spam filters, and get-rich-quick seminars because she handed out her [...]

By |2016-10-24T14:25:08-07:00August 9th, 2006|Categories: Venture Capital|Tags: |0 Comments
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