What to say and not say at a VC call

What to say at a VC intro call?

There are the 4 things to focus on when you talk at a VC intro call:

  1. Talk about your larger than life business idea.
  2. Back it up with a relevant market analysis.
  3. Describe your founding team.
  4. At the end, ask questions yourself, in particular what else they like to hear.

You need to get to the point. Keep it short, fact filled and energetic.

Read more about the two most important criteria startup investors look for.

Focus on your larger than life business idea

VC investors look for larger than life business ideas and you need to communicate your grandiose idea at your VC intro call.

Investors know that most investments eventually fail to meet requirements, but not which one that would become the next success. All ventures therefore need to have unicorn potential from the start.

“Your large, scalable idea and business proposition to customers is what you shall talk about at a VC intro call.”

Talk about your go to market strategy and why customers will buy from you.

Describe the relevant market at your VC intro call

You need to research your relevant market and, with great knowledge, describe the relevant market at your VC intro call.

Your larger than life business idea will be judged against your target market. Your target market assumptions will be scrutinized, in detail, by potential investors before making a decision.

Make sure you have researched the market and key drivers behind customers purchases.

Describe your founding team at your VC intro call

Equally important to a great business idea is your founding team.

Investors prefer to invest in teams rather than single founders. Teams complement each other, are an immediate resource, eliminates single person dependency, and makes businesses grow faster.

Typical founding team
CEOVisionary sales executor
CTOProduct wizard
Head of SalesA deal maker. Sell, close, sell, close.
OperationsCustomer success and support.

Experience show, that a seasoned team that complement each other get more things done then a single founder. This is particular since first recruits usually tend to be junior for cost reasons and uncertainty reasons.

Get to the point fast at a VC intro call

The VC intro call is your moment, and you need to get to the point, immediately. Investors scan hundreds of deals and listen to tens and tens of investor pitches. You need to impress the investors upfront.

Don’t beat around the bush. Make the VC wanting to invest within the first half of your presentation.

Make your research, use data

Most VC has an analytical background as a management consultant or as a successful entrepreneur. They will research your market and your business idea if your pitch calls for a second meeting.

Use market data, industry insights and relevant industry anecdotes. Make sure the VC understand why your offering will become a tremendous success in that market.

Distribute a short investor deck in advance

You shall distribute your presentation investor deck in advance, a few days before your VC intro call. Investors are avid readers and appreciate to get a heads up on your presentation.

Type of presentationWhat to say
VC intro callBusiness idea, relevant market, founding team, go to market strategy
Follow up discussionOne more step in-depth in each area, plus what can the VC add?

Distributing your investor deck also gives the investors a chance to prepare sophisticated questions. They can be tough but are certainly a better feedback to you than no questions at all.

At your VC intro call you shall also ask questions

Ask questions yourself at your VC intro call, in particular what else they like to hear. A good VC investor is a good listener but most of they really like to talk as well.

You shall try to find out what other relevant investments the investor has made. What kind of experience can the investor add to your particular business should an investment be agreed?

Don’t expect to ask many questions. You need to pass the investors first scrutineering, first.

Finalize your pitch at your VC intro call by asking what else they like to hear will serve two purposes:

  1. You receive feedback if something is missing in your investor pitch.
  2. You show that you are open for discussions, which is important to investors.

With all this said, remember that investos analyse and meet far more prospects than they invest in. Be prepared, do you research, get to the point and best of luck.

Read more about early-stage funding for a startup.
Read more about investors return requirement.

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