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The Art of the (startup) Pitch

Interactive startup pitch training workshop delivered to the 128 entrepreneurs of MassChallenge 2013 - enjoy !
by

Fred Destin

on 10 July 2013

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Transcript of The Art of the (startup) Pitch

What you don't need

- Business plan (nobody reads it)
- Executive summary (nobody reads it)
- NDA (no one will sign it)
Summarize the company’s business on the
back of a business card.
— Sequoia Capital
The elevator pitch forms everyone’s first
impression of your venture. It needn’t be
a single sentence, but the delivery ought
to be measured in seconds, not minutes —
like any good TV or radio commercial.

I know it sounds a little crazy, but I’ve
come to believe that a clear, compelling
elevator pitch is essential to growing a
business. And I’ve paid dearly for the
evidence.

— David Cowan, Bessemer
You're going to have a hard enough time
convincing your management team to work
on the problem that you've decided to
pursue, let alone having competitors go
steal your idea and do the exact same
thing.
— Dharmesh Shah
Hone it to absolute purity

“Flickr for video.”
“We network networks”
“The entrepreneurs behind the entrepreneurs”
“Venture Hacks”
The Presentation Doesn't Matter
Stories
Premise
- To get good terms, you need multiple offers
- To get multiple offers, you need to tell a good story to
several investors at the same time
- Investors invest in stories, not businesses
Tools of the Trade
What you do need

- Introduction (Typically an entrepreneur or investor)
- High-concept pitch (3 words: “Flickr of video!”)
- Elevator Pitch (15 seconds / 1 minute / 3 minutes)
- 10-slide deck (20 minute pitch)
- Getting past no (Read bit.ly/pmarca)
what you'll need later

- a bottom-up, assumptions-driven model (how you think your business might work)
- an operating plan (how you are going to spend that cash)
- very clear milestones / deliverables
- an explicit tech roadmap
- a clean and recent sales pipeline (where applicable)
- an elegant and relevant set of KPI's
- your cap table

and possibly:
- a detailed market mapping of your ecosystem
- a collection of interesting articles and research you can share
- a credible market sizing dataset
You
Social Proof
product
high concept pitch
Traction
Telling the Story
It's show business
Do:
- Tell a story
- Release your inner actor
- Smile
- Be true to yourself
- Raise pulse levels
Don't
- spend too much time on macro
- use abstractions, generalities or buzzwords
- ramble on in answering questions
STAY ON TOPIC
STAY ON MESSAGE
TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN
remember to have some fun
who are you ?
Building the Pitch
On the day
45 min pitch
15 min QA
right ?
5 mins next steps & social banter

PITCH ENDS

5 mins sidetrack

3 mins first interruption

PITCH STARTS

5 min one partner is late

5 min social banter

5 min gather folks

5 min tech setup
35 mins
usable time
unendorsed by @venturehacks
@fdestin / www.freddestin.com
Thank you -- end of part I

Fresh for my friend Laurent and #lift10
from @fdestin and www.freddestin.com
"Open Sourcing Venture Capital"

Part II: hacking the deal -- 5 mins break

Don't make them think
An audience that is thinking is never listening
BUT ... Let them own the "aha" moment
Building narrative
Basics

- Audience fit & Benefit (WIIFY)
- Rigorous Flow
- Aha Moments = managed peaks
Brainstorm
Cluster
Mindmap
[Not: Recipes]
Find Your Flow
Opening Gambit
Point B
Tell'em what you're gonna tell'em
Tell'em
Outline
FLow Structures
Point B
Jerry Weissman - presenting to win
Chronological
Opportunity / leverage
problem / solution
features / benefits
case study
argument / fallacy
compare / contrast
Numerical
Rhethorical Questions
Form / Function
Spatial
Matrix
Flow Buildings Blocks
Opening gambit
question
factoid
anecdote
analogy
retrospective
prospective
Internal linkages
reference flow
logical transitions
Cross reference
recurring theme
symmetry
mantra
internal summary
enumeration
do the math
point B reinforcement
Build The Flow
Delivery
Develop Muscle memory




Embrace interruptions
Focus on creating a relationship
voice
body
rythm
drama
Zoopla ($~90M revenues, 5 years after creation)
DailyMotion (200M UU, largest European site)
PriceMinister (9M monthly shoppers, $250M Sale)

BOS: CustomMade, FashionProject, Kinvey, Timbre + 5 undisclosed
NY: Integral Ad Science
SF: StreamNation
naval's gig:
demo day
Develop Muscle memory (pt 2)




completely master tech & flow
Focus on engagement & drama
most people on a large stage ...

talk (way) too fast
default to monotone drone
are incredibly static
adopt an annoying hand movement

PACE - TONE - BODY - CONTROL
to be memorable:

dramatic, deliberate delivery
authoritative use of body
managed peaks & troughs
ha-ha moments
you can do better than this:
Team
Business overview
Market opportunity
Value Prop
Go-to-market
Business Model
Financial Plan
embrace your inner actor
Full transcript