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. […]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Over at the American Express OPEN blog, I posted "Santa's Perfect Pitch." This is the kind of deal that venture capitalists are looking for these days. :-) Merry Christmas to you!
Over at the American Express OPEN blog, I posted an explanation of what investors want in a deal. Check out "The No-Bull-Shiitake Investor Wishlist." For more coverage of venture capital news, you can also click here.
Over at the American Express Open Forum blog, I've posted a description of "Plan B" for fund raising. Plan B is 180 degrees from the usual venture-capital path. Check it out by clicking here. If you go with the usual Plan A, don't say I didn't warn you.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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, [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
A blog called “This is going to be BIG!” contains a provocative counterpoint to my VCAT. Basically, the person scored Mike Moritz of Sequoia (ie, the guy who invested in Google) within the framework of my test. This proves that you can always find an example to prove or disprove anything. But as mother used [...]
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 [...]