Scared shitless of investors – how do I impress them?

We’ve just started talking to investors. We have a great team and product and are on our way to good traction… starting to talk to investors.

We have a great teaser sheet, awesome deck, good numbers and a great finance guy on the team. First investor meeting at a cafe last week (through a chance intro) – he ripped us apart on the phone first, then said he’s in town to meet. Good guy, intense questions… no way on earth that we can match his intelligency, accomplishments or experience. He was throwing out finance terms and incredible insights etc… I wish I secretly recorded the meeting on my iPhone (anyone do that?)

  • I’m an accomplished digital person with startup experience but this is my first venture to raise money.
  • I want to appear coach-able yet don’t want to look dumb.
  • What can I say, we don’t yet have paying customers but we will. I want to at least get on their radar for now and if they kick us down for lack of traction, then come back in a few months with progress.
  • Should I get in front of as many as possible? Should I only go through warm intros?
  • We want $250k at minimum, is that laughable without too much traction? Despite great team and product?
  • How else do we make ourselves look fucking awesome?

  • There’s an app for that! Well at least we are hoping there is because we have just made it. An app that takes your deal through a few stress tests before approaching your investors. Works through: investor’s ROI, pre-money valuation, exit and a 7-stage deal review.

  • Get in front of as many as possible, for practice if nothing else. It’s a lot like interviews.

    The guy who ripped you apart may be impressed with your idea and team and just want a better deal. Or he may be a jerk.

  • Best advice is probably to pitch as many investors as possible. If you don’t know how much money and why you need the money, you’re not ready to pitch. That is seriously step one. Also, all advice I’ve ever read from entrepreneurs is to double whatever you think you need, and ask for that. If you’re pitching angels you’re going to need to get a lot of them together to finish your round, while if you’re pitching VC for a venture round usually 1-3 will fill the entire round. But yeah… you need to figure out that $$$ situation.

  • go to pitchfest. pitch to peers and get feedback. there’s a competition where the winner is awarded. Once you fine tune that, then you are ready to meet with investors. until then, you’ll sound like a blundering fool.

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