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I have made them all pitching to VC's so this is a trip down memory lane. To save you some expensive lessons, here's some thoughts.
1. Don't look at website or existing portfolio prior to the pitch
One doesn't need be an expert on our history, track record or portfolio but a little knowledge can go a long way. Just a little awareness on our companies, professional background, and current boards, can drive efficiency for the person pitching an idea. If I've had three companies in Internet Advertising, for example, you can probably skip explaining simple concepts related to it. If one lacks that awareness, it wastes time AND undermines credibility. Plus, you look someone who doesn't do what it takes to succeed because, in this instance, you haven't.....
2. Ask us to sign an N.D.A.
Venture Capitalists don't typically sign non-disclosure agreements. Really, we don't. Best not to ask. Why? We simple cannot sign them as a practical matter. With 3 to 6 new companies a week, we would be unable to look at anything within a month or two.
3. Be late to the meeting
When I've allotted an hour and you're 45 minutes late, it better be a short pitch. Yes, traffic is bad. Sometimes really bad. I feel the negative karma doubles every minute after 10 minutes late. Traffic, your meeting with our wind bag competitor and even your poor planning will give you a pass on being a little late. Don't be a lot late.
4. Try to close it early like a product sale
We're investing into rather than buying your company. The semantics may be confusing but can be distinguished between investing in your future or potential versus buying your present. Additionally, we are not going to be "hustled", "closed" or "convinced" by talk versus diligence and data. Our fiduciary duty of care as well as our considerable need to be thorough simply dictate a process. And it isn't a sales process.
5. Present terms
We know you think well of yourself. And we usually know that you would prefer a higher price than the one we may offer you. Somethings go without saying. Terms are one of them.