What actually happens in a VC pitch meeting?
Read Leo Polovets’ answer for a great blow-by-blow in a pitch.
Let me add one key insight to “Full Partnership” / Monday style pitches. The ones where everyone is there.
Usually, these are yours to screw up. Usually, there’s already a 25%-95% chance you’ll get a term sheet if it goes well. Before you walk in the door.
If your champion is senior enough, at least.
At every firm I’ve been a part of, and every VC I think I’ve ever pitched, when you get brought up for a full hour in front of all the partners — your champion wants to do the deal.
If you champion is a real, full partner, then she probably can get the deal done. As long as you don’t screw it up.
She’s likely already socialized it, and tried her best to set it up for success. VCs want to get deals done. You have to close deals to win. If you’re brought in front of the full partnership — your champion most likely wants to get you a term sheet.
- Don’t ramble.
- Don’t go off on tangents.
- Don’t answer questions you don’t know the answer to.
- Don’t bring weird people to the meeting. Do bring your #1 top executive.
- Get to the point. Concise is good here.
- If you aren’t great at pitching — practice.
- Be respectful of competitive analysis questions.
- Above all: exhibit no hubris, but — be confident. You are selling.
- Act like a CEO that can go the distance.
Don’t give the other partners, many of whom have barely done any work, an excuse to hard or soft veto the deal. Don’t mock their dumb questions. Don’t laugh at their poor analogies of your company to a non-competitor. Don’t get flustered. The Other Partners almost always haven’t done the work. But they can veto the deal.
Maybe even be 10% more conservative here than you’d be in a 1-on-1 pitch.
The “all hands”, “all partners” pitch is, at most firms, the final step to getting a term sheet.
In many cases, you may even get a term sheet that day.
You don’t screw it up.