7 tips for pitching venture capital investors over Zoom


  • The Zoom pitch is on the rise and presents one other problem for entrepreneurs to get their level throughout to investors utilizing solely their screens. 
  • Russ Wilcox is a associate at Pillar VC and is aware of his means round a pitch each as an investor and a founding father of 20 years for venture-backed startups, together with one which secured $150 million in capital.
  • He gave seven tips for a successful pitch over Zoom, beginning with a bio that convinces investors you are a founder price betting on. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

As a startup founder, pitching investors could be nerve-wracking. But now that fewer VC corporations are assembly in individual, the Zoom pitch is on the rise and presents one other problem for entrepreneurs to get their level throughout utilizing solely their screens. 

Russ Wilcox is a associate at Pillar VC in Boston, Massachusetts. He is aware of his means round a pitch not solely as an investor, however as founding father of 20 years for venture-backed startups, together with one which secured $150 million in capital.

“I have given hundreds and hundreds of pitches,” he informed Business Insider. “I’ve seen which ones worked and did not.”

Pillar VC focuses on seed-stage corporations and has invested in 30 to date. Wilcox stated quite a lot of myths and legends encompass pitching, however founders should keep in mind firstly that they’re asking investors to make a monetary determination. 

“You can’t just talk about the product and the customer,” he stated. “You have to show the investor why your company will make money.”

He gave his seven tips for pitching investors remotely over Zoom. 

1. Convince investors that you are a individual price backing

Since investors usually hearken to a number of pitches in a day, Wilcox stated it is vital to “wake them up” and open your pitch with one thing that can seize their consideration. 

Before investors resolve that your corporation is price their cash, they wish to know you are a person they will wager on. Part of this relies on private chemistry, stated Wilcox, which is troublesome to regulate, but it surely additionally relies on the way you current your self. 

He recommends introducing your self with a bio that explains why you’re certified to steer your organization. “The bio only takes two minutes, but in fact, it’s like half the decision,” he stated.  

2. Include extra info in your slides 

When a founder pitches in individual, investors can depend on physique language and nuances, however these do not translate as simply on a webcam or with web lag. Your slides change into the principle visible focus over your expressions and actions, so you might must over talk when pitching remotely. 

“It’s not easy to pitch over Zoom,” Wilcox stated. “A substantial portion of communication really is about body language and micro-expressions, and you really only get that when you’re face-to-face with someone.” 

He recommends together with 50% extra info in your slides than you’d usually. Using a dynamic presentation with animations and bullets may help unfold the added info in a digestible format.

three. The small particulars construct belief

Ultimately, Wilcox stated the pitch comes right down to constructing belief via your execution. Remote pitches can depend on the smallest particulars, like clear audio, good lighting, and high-resolution video. For that cause, he suggests investing in your setup with a high-quality digicam and exterior microphone. Slides ought to be easy, clear, and edited. 

“People are judging whether you took the time to treat the conversation seriously,” he stated. “If you’ve taken the time and effort to present a polished experience for them, they can infer that you’re probably going to be polished and professional at running the company.”

four. Manage your time nicely

Time administration is one other reflection of your character and management abilities. Did you arrive on time for your assembly? Whether you may have 60 minutes or simply 15, did you employ your time effectively to speak your level? Wilcox stated your capability to handle scarce assets will make a distinction to earn investors’ belief in your capabilities. 

“Before I give you $2 million, I would like to see how well you spend 60 minutes of my time,” he stated.

5. Practice for interruptions

If your child walks into the center of your pitch or your canine barks within the background, folks will not probably maintain it in opposition to you. But working towards what you may management will aid you to adapt on the fly when interruptions do occur. 

“You wouldn’t put on a Broadway play without rehearsals, so why would you ever pitch for millions of dollars without having rehearsed,” Wilcox stated.   

He recommends asking your mates or household to dial right into a Zoom assembly for you to apply your pitch. This will aid you get used to connection points and audio lags, in addition to get extra snug with how your expressions come off in a video name.

6. Develop a rapport to seal the deal

Securing a funding spherical usually comes right down to what occurs after the pitch. If investors preferred what they noticed in your first presentation, they might ask for one other assembly or one other spherical of pitches to their companions. Wilcox stated pitching remotely can lengthen the method and should require extra telephone calls and conferences to make up for the dearth of in-person contact. 

“Propose some extra meetings where you might just have dinner together online,” he stated. “If you’re local, you can meet up and go for a socially distant walk, but try to find ways to build rapport and trust.”

7. Add recurring inquiries to your appendix

You ought to at all times be bettering on the final pitch you made. Wilcox suggests having one other member of your crew on the decision to take notes, particularly to report any points that got here up and the questions investors requested. 

If the identical questions hold developing about your marketing strategy, buyer base, or product, it might be pointing to a weak spot or blind spot in your presentation and it is price including slides to handle them. The appendix is an effective place so as to add these slides, which might add up with the extra conferences you are taking. 

“With future investors, you’ll be able to smoothly answer their questions and someone can catch up very quickly to the other investors,” Wilcox stated. This could be particularly useful later in a funding spherical once you want a number of investments throughout the similar week to decide on the very best provide. 

“Once you know that you’ve got a rough spot in your presentation,” he stated, “you keep polishing and polishing until finally you’ve got a winning presentation.”



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