Fancy pitches vs. straight-forward talks?
Well, early stage investing is chaotic and Sanjay Swamy of Prime Ventures shares his candid take on what the fund looks for during angel round.
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A lot of my examples are for B2B(2C) – so keep that in mind.
How narrowly & thoroughly can you describe the customer, what their objectives are & why you believe they have a pain point. The more detailed a description you have of the customer, the happier I am – saying we solve everyone’s problems is a bad idea!
How detailed an understanding do you have about the pain point? Hig big a pain is it to them? What indications do you have that they are unable to solve the problem well today? Why they take any pain-killer that you can provide? How much will they pay?
As the saying goes, the success of a startup depends on whether the innovative startup will hack distribution before the incumbent hacks innovation? Do you have a way to get to critical mass without having to break the bank on CAC?
Something that makes customers stand up and say, “I needed this yesterday” is key to early velocity. It’s critical to be able to articulate the WHAT, WHAT & perhaps the HOW in a simple and concise manner to evoke this reaction.
I love using ALL products from our portfolio – the best way to get me excited about a product is by showing me a demo and/or signing me up. Sell me the product – while I’m naive/gullible, I love to experience what I’m being pitched.
You are not pitching us to back “A” company in this sector, you’re pitching us to back “YOUR” company. We need to know what your insights are. Saying everyone needs a loan is irrelevant.
We want to know what you know and believe that ISN’T on the slides. And as far as the team goes, your names aren’t as important as your insights, your product plans, your distribution hacks, etc.
In sales, one needs to read the customer’s eyes to know if the message is coming through. While its harder on a Video Conf, it’s important to do because its a lot easier to lose your audience. If someone has turned off their video, include them in the discussion.
PS: I make this mistake too 😉
Deals are rarely won in one meeting but often lost in one meeting. Similarly, a VC investment is often required to be a multi-step process. It’s important as much to the founder as it is to the VC…
Why are you doing what you are doing? If you had your choice, would you be doing exactly this? When this startup is suddenly a Unicorn, will you still have the motivation to wake up at 3am? Be clear as to why you are doing what you are doing.