I had an interesting conversation with a startup entrepreneur this afternoon. He presented to our team earlier this week and was looking for some feedback. Now, like many entrepreneurs, this is his first experience with starting his own business and looking for outside financing. He had no idea of the funding process and what investors look for in companies.
However, the thing I found most amusing was when I told him that the best way to start a presentation was with a well constructed elevator pitch that gives an overview of the business and opportunity. So starting off with a story about how they came up with the idea while traveling across Europe doesn’t help. In fact it get the investor to “NO” fast.
He told me that he was given a sheet of recommendations for his presentation and starting off with an elevator pitch was at the top of this list. Now here is the punch line, he decided that doing the presentation that way would interfere with the way he wanted to present it, so he disregarded the recommendations.
Now can you imagine, presenting the opportinity in the way an investor wants to hear it is not as important as making sure he could tell his story his way!!!? We had gotten to a point in the conversation where he felt comfortable enough to admit it.
I think his presentation will improve after our talk. I think he gets that he is the salesman and the investor is his customer and like any good salesman, he needs to understand and address the customer’s needs.