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 agreement: for example, raising capital, making a sale, forming a partnership, etc. […]

By | 2016-10-24T14:09:17+00:00 March 5th, 2015|Categories: Books, Entrepreneurship, Pitching and Presenting, Venture Capital|Tags: |37 Comments

Raising Money: What Not to Say and What Not to Believe #OfficeandGuyK

Over the past two weeks via my partnership with Microsoft and Office Web Apps, I’ve provided templates of models for you to create enchanting PowerPoint pitches, Excel spreadsheets, and Word business plans. They are all available for you to download here. I hope these documents and blog posts help you save a boatload of time [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:09:40+00:00 January 20th, 2012|Categories: Venture Capital|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Free Online Term Sheet Generator

If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe it, but Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich, and Rosati, one of Silicon Valley’s dominant law firms (as in Apple, HP, etc), has created a free, online term sheet generator. This is the site’s description of the tool: This tool will generate a venture financing term [...]

By | 2015-03-17T09:23:52+00:00 April 22nd, 2009|Categories: Venture Capital|0 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. Click on these links for up-to-date information about venture capital, startups, and [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:13:54+00:00 September 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+00:00 August 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+00:00 August 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

By | 2016-10-24T14:15:28+00:00 May 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 September 24th, 2007|Categories: Venture Capital|Tags: , |36 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+00:00 September 13th, 2007|Categories: Marketing and Sales, Venture Capital|Tags: |19 Comments

How to Get the Attention of a Venture Capitalist

At the Elite Retreat I gave an off-the-cuff answer to a question concerning getting the attention of venture capitalists. My buddy Wendy Piersall blogged about my answer, and it was a very popular. However, to truly help entrepreneurs, I’d like to provide a cogent list of the tips to get the attention of a venture [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:21:32+00:00 April 5th, 2007|Categories: Pitching and Presenting, Venture Capital|Tags: |42 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+00:00 December 20th, 2006|Categories: Venture Capital|15 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+00:00 December 9th, 2006|Categories: Venture Capital|4 Comments

The Venture Capital Aptitude Test (VCAT)

If you want additional proof that we’re in a bubble, here it is: young people are trying to get into the venture capital business again. I get several emails a week along these lines: I’m about to graduate from college where I majored in economics. I’ve always been interested [what does “always” mean for a [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:23:28+00:00 November 29th, 2006|Categories: Venture Capital|115 Comments