My wife is the inspiration for my startup, and has been really supportive from the beginning. But she also has a job, is a PHD student, and is a very involved mom for our 2 kids. The startup has raised a bit of $$ from F&F and some early revenue (tiny), but still not enough to pay our bills. We have a great MVP, vision, team and momentum. I’ve been pitching vcs and angels with some decent interest, and a number have offered follow-on commitments once we have a lead. We have some personal $$ runway left, but my wife is increasingly anxious about it since some of it is earmarked for house repairs we need to make which I said we’ll do once we’re cash-flow positive.
Here’s the dilemma part I need some advice on. She’s great at sales and is a passionate advocate for the business, and is helping out a bit with some demo events/business development. She came with me to some local demos for potential customers and nailed it. Now she really wants to come with me to VC/angel pitches since she believes she can help close the lead. I sort of like the idea that she’s our ideal customer and best advocate, but think it will send a bad signal to investors since she’s technically not on the management team. I asked a friend who is a successful entrepreneur and he also agreed this would be a bad signal no matter how persuasive she is. When I told her this, she suggested I spun it wrong to him since she is deeply involved in the business and feels like a partner, especially since most of our life savings is now wrapped up in it.
I could really use some advice since I never expected this to be a source of tension in my marriage (we have enough stress with our kids/lack of time for each other as it is.) Is there a scenario where bringing her to a pitch makes sense?