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Contrarian Advice on Investment Pitch from a Pitch Veteran

By: Tim Berry


Contrarian Advice on Investment Pitch from a Pitch Veteran

“We coach entrepreneurs ‘think big.’ ‘Think change the world.’ That doesn’t mean use adjectives that are not credible. Everybody’s revolutionary and everybody’s disruptive now.”

That’s Bill Reichert, managing director Garage Technology Ventures, veteran investor, a board member on multiple startups, and someone who has heard and reacted to hundreds of investment pitches. In this talk he offers really good advice to people doing an investment pitch now and in the future.

“The point of the first 20 seconds is to earn the right of continued engagement. If you aren’t compelling and clear in the first 20 seconds this [pointing to a picture of a turtle trapped on its back] is where you end up.”

Related Article: Value Proposition, Positioning Statement, Elevator Pitch: Know the Difference

Bill surprised me several times in this excellent talk. He’s not afraid to question standard advice, particularly what investment pitch coaches tell too many people too often.  For example:

  • He advises that you don’t spend so much time on the problem. If you start with it, make the point and move on. Investors will recognize it quickly.
  • Don’t overemphasize the story. Here too, if it’s valid, investors get it quickly.
  • Don’t believe the common investment pitch coach advice about the first 2-3 minutes. “You have 20 seconds.” (That’s around 19 minutes into this video)

There’s 60 minutes here. Make sure you watch the first 20-25 minutes. From there, having set up some surprises, he goes into techniques. If you’re pitching, this should be really interesting to you.

Published: September 2, 2015

Source: Tim Berry

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Tim Berry

Tim Berry is co-founder of Have Presence, founder and Chairman of Palo Alto Software, founder of bplans.com, and a co-founder of Borland International. He is author of books and software including LivePlan and Business Plan Pro, The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, and Lean Business Planning, published by Motivational Press in 2015. He has a Stanford MBA degree and degrees with honors from the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame. He taught starting a business at the University of Oregon for 11 years.

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