Top VCs reveal what they want to hear in a pitch that will convince them to fund your startup — and what you should avoid saying

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entrepreneurship pitch

Summary List Placement
Successful entrepreneurship often starts with a compelling investor pitch.
We compiled insights from venture capitalists on what they’re hoping to hear from you.
For example: Hold your ground on important issues and demonstrate your path to execution.
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Venture capitalists want to be convinced.

Ask David Rose, and he’ll tell you VCs wouldn’t be hearing your pitch in the first place if they weren’t interested in investing. Rose runs Gust, a digital platform for early-stage entrepreneurs and investors, and Rose Tech Ventures, an angel investment fund and incubator.

He said investors are just hoping you’ll give them a compelling argument for why they should partner with you.

We asked Rose, plus a series of other successful investors (listed below), what persuades them to sign on — and what leaves them skeptical. Below, we’ve compiled their best advice, on everything from building a pitch deck to writing a thank-you note.

Patrick McGinnis is the managing director of the investment and advisory firm Dirigo Advisors.

David Selverian is an investor at Bessamer Venture Partners.

Laura Sachar is a cofounder and managing partner of StarVest Partners.

Dan Estes is a partner at Frazier Healthcare Partners.

Dave Munichiello is a general partner at GV.

Anu Duggal is the founding partner at Female Founders Fund.

Ashton Kutcher is cofounder of Sound Ventures.

Vanessa Dawson is founder and CEO of the Vinetta Project. 

Show how your product will benefit people

Estes previously told Business Insider’s Lydia Ramsey that biotech investors want to know how a new tool will fit into the current standard of care. “The biggest mistake I see is when someone spends more time talking about how a product would affect the market than they do talking about how it would affect the disease it’s designed to treat,” Estes said.

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The same is true for any investor, who wants to know how your business will make people’s lives easier.

Don’t be cocky

In an interview with Business Insider’s Becky Peterson, Munichiello pointed to Stewart Butterfield, founder and CEO of Slack, as an example of an entrepreneur who didn’t pretend he had all the answers. (GV invested in Slack in 2014 as part of a $120 million round that valued the company at $1.12 billion, Peterson reported.)

“Stewart’s conversation with me wasn’t about all of the reasons why Slack was awesome,” Munichiello said. “It was, ‘Here’s how I think about the business. And you may think about it in a different way.’ And ‘Here are the metrics that I use to measure the business. How do you think about the business?'”

Hold your ground on the issues that matter most

“Entrepreneurs can, and should, articulate deal breakers to their prospective investors,” Selverian wrote on Business Insider. “If there’s something that’s important to you and your business, don’t compromise. As long as the entrepreneur’s reasoning is justified, many investors will be impressed by the vision and leadership conveyed through deal breakers.”

Read more: A CEO who launched her company 14 years ago says too many founders have it all backward

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Source:: Business Insider

      

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