In Venture capital world there are a series of “do’s” and “don’t’s”. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Here are a few tips to avoid those pitfalls.
“Our numbers are conservative.” – We’ve heard this a lot. Nobody believes it. We get it – start-ups are hard and unexpected things happen (always). We want a realistic look at your forecast. Instead of this, explain your thought process as to how you got to your “conservative” estimate.
“Please sign our NDA.” – Venture Capitalists hear pitches all the time and remember they invest in great entrepreneurs.This request makes you look like you don’t know the ropes. Rather voice the fact that you’re pre-market – A venture Capitalist will be able to take it from there with the proper understanding and decorum to respect your privacy.
“There’s no competition.” – There is always competition. Think strategically about the way you intend to serve your customers and broaden your thought process to encompass these solutions.
“Which of my two ideas do you like better?” – You should choose which business idea to pursue based on which will make the biggest impact. They are looking for start-up leaders with conviction, not wishy-washy softies.
“I’ll have to get back to you on that.” – Now this is alright if it’s about one or two points, but if there are too many details that you don’t know cold, on the spot, it shows you are not close enough to the business or that you haven’t truly thought it all the way through. Know the answers to questions.
Avoid these missteps and let your passion shine through – you’ll be well on your way to changing the world with your idea, helped out by your friendly neighborhood venture capitalist.