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Dear start-up entrepreneurs

Have you ever given a presentation to a private investor or a VC fund and thought, “If only I could be a fly on the wall and hear what they really thought about my project”?

After working with dozens of start-up companies, we boiled it all down to 4 tips that every entrepreneur should follow:

  1. Show them that you know the market inside out.

How big is the market, and which opportunities do you see in it? How is the market divided between your competitors, and what are your customers’ needs? How is your solution different than what’s already out there?

  1. Introduce the road map to your next round of funding.

VC funds think in rounds of funding – meaning, they see things in chunks of 18 months. Relate to them by presenting work plans that encompass a similar amount of time. How many users are you hoping to gain during this period, and by which means? What is your burn rate, and will the current round of funding be enough to tide you over to the next? This would be a good time to lay out all of your data.

  1. First impressions are not important – they’re crucial.

From your presentation’s design to the way you respond to questions, it’s critical that you conduct yourselves professionally from start to finish. Make sure your slides are organized, clean, and aesthetically pleasing. When in doubt, don’t

skimp – hire a graphic designer to help you out. be alert and conscious of what’s happening in the room (this is no time to be checking your e-mails). Don’t be defensive, don’t make excuses, and don’t argue with your listeners just because you feel like they don’t ‘get’ your idea. Show them that you appreciate their time above all else.

  1. Talk about yourselves. A lot.

Your project may be a stroke of genius, but at the end of the day, investors invest in people – they want talented teams that can execute ideas successfully. Don’t be shy. Tell them who you are and why you do what you do. Make your story unique and memorable and set it apart from the competition.

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