Wednesday, March 24, 2010

VC is for Vulture Capital-"Show me the big money"

As a business owner or entrepreneur, one of your main objectives will be to make money. So, relating to Venture Capitalists should be easy. Except, that what they are after is 'big money' and this means saying 'no' a great deal more times than 'yes'.

If you plan to pitch a VC firm, a useful starting point is Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 rule of Powerpoint pitches: A powerpoint presentation should have 10 slides, last 20 minutes and contain no font smaller than 30 points. Guy Kawasaki goes on to state that:

“The closest real-world analogy to raising money, whether you are seeking it from venture capitalists, angel investors, or the three Fs (friends, fools, and family), is speed dating. That’s right: In five minutes, people decide if they are interested in you, just as in bars and nightclubs. This isn’t right, and it isn’t fair, but it’s reality.”

The MaRS Initiative in Toronto (an Innovation Park connecting entrepreneurs, businesses and investors) published a set of entrepreneur tools to help with the challenge of raising finance. The presentation, titled 'What VC's want and why they call it Vulture Capital', is shown below. It gives you a good feel for what VCs look for, what it looks like to get an investment and the strings that the money tends to be attached to.

The morale: think big and start honing those negotiation skills.