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The time has come. You’re about to participate in a highly competitive pitch challenge. Even better — you are meeting a well-known investor at the local coffee shop tomorrow morning. You’ve been asked to provide an executive summary and a deck in advance…
We’ve got you covered.
Venture capitalist and crowd-funding lawyer, Mark Mohler, presented the Dos and Don’ts of pitching an idea to an early-stage or late-stage investor. He said it’s important to develop and polish your deck before that meeting (and offered this sample workbook). He also emphasized the importance of creating a one-page executive summary (and offered this sample worksheet).
Mohler offers five tips to better equip startups before they meet potential investors:
- In the venture world, if you’re the only one doing it it’s a bad idea — and if you sit down and say ‘no, we don’t have any competition,’ know that everybody at that table is googling what you do simultaneously and they’ve probably found 50 other companies that do exactly what you do. Don’t set yourself up to lose all credibility.
- You’ve got to go in there and say what you expect from the pre-money valuation. Know what market is for Series A. They will exclude you if they think you don’t understand what the market is.
- Cap tables. Be realistic with your terms and know that there is no excuse for not being well-informed.
- Know that investors want to read the term sheet and know that the people who are founders are to be properly incentivized, that you’ve been paying your team and yourself.
- Be flexible and coachable. The team that you have onboarded greatly reflects where you’re headed in business. It’s important that everyone is open to criticism, and eager to evolve and scale in the best direction for your particular market.
- Build a robust list of business relationships, prior to expecting dollars to flow in. These relationships suggest that your idea compliments other already-existing mission and visions involved in the marketplace.
Mohler’s full list of tips is available online: