How Do I Sell My Ideas To Venture Capitalists?

2646 1
2646 1

Imagine I’m the guy with the big bucks and I have lots of startups before me. Most look good and have juicy baits. You happen to be one of the startups with prospects but…heck…there is a whole lot to choose from. How can you make me pick yours?

  • Get a strong, relevant referral – a referral, whose word, venture capitalists can trust, can greatly help your case. The referral will be like a middleman between you and the venture capitalists and will act as a guarantor for you. With his backing, you are able to get better reception from them
  • Start off with a great, short, unconventional pitch –emphasis on the word ‘unconventional’. Venture capitalists have been there, seen that. If you start your pitch the same drab, routine way, like others before you have, they are likely to get bored as soon as you start. They will tune you out and shut you up after a few seconds with a practiced smile and show you out of the door. Be unique in your pitch, spice it up and make it as visually appealing as possible; however, do not go overboard.
  • Be realistic; as much as they love getting hooked on ideas with crazy yields and returns, they still have their heads screwed on straight. If it is too good to be true, they will not likely touch your idea with a ten-foot pole. Do not try to paint your profits to make them look ‘off the charts’; this will be your undoing. Be honest and factual.
  • Show the figures – venture capitalists are out to make money. Avoid long bedtime stories and theories and go straight to the figures. Show attainable figures and be able to defend it. Venture capitalists work with figures because; it helps them to make projections easily, if they like your idea

  • Know your market – they are the reason why you are in business. What special appeal does your product or service hold? What is your unique selling point? This makes your idea more appealing to your listeners.
  • Don’t get too coy or ‘salesy’ – the moment venture capitalists realize you are being cheesy and only aiming for their pockets without offering any real value in return, they will shut you up and shut you out. Be confident and assertive – not aggressive and in for the kill.
  • Speak in layman’s language – ensure that you do not fill your presentation with technical terms, complex words or industrial jargon. The easier it is to understand what you are saying, the more receptive their response will be.
  • Have a great Business Plan – a solid business plan helps you score big points with venture capitalists; it shows you are organized and have your ideas and plans well thought out. A great business plans describes your business, your market, your competition, your marketing strategies and your team. It shows financial projections for a number of years and shows your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis.
  • In this article

    Join the Conversation