In any given year we’ll look at around 200 business ideas and plans. Of those, we’ll invite approximately 24 companies to pitch us in person. We’ll typically fund five of those companies.
Here’s what you need to know to have a successful introductory meeting:
- Please send us your pitch deck in advance. We’ll take a look before your presentation and be better prepared to engage you in a discussion about your business idea. If your plan is more than 20 slides long, consider trimming it down. We’ve often found the best pitches can be made in about a dozen slides. That also leaves plenty of opportunity for discussion.
- You’ll have up to 30 minutes, including time for Q&A. There are likely companies presenting before you or after you, so we stick to the schedule. Please pack up and exit promptly after your pitch.
- We have a projector and adapters for PC and MacBooks. We have WiFi, and most of the time it works! I always suggest a belts and suspenders approach. Make sure to have ten hard copies of your presentation in the event of a technology glitch.
- We love getting to know the team, but please don’t have more than two people present. If you have a third person you really want to attend, that’s fine, but have them available for Q&A.
- We skip introductions of our team. Our bios are on the web site, and we’ve found that intros around the table simply take time away from you and your presentation. Generally, seven to ten of us attend each meeting. Sometimes we have guests from other angel groups.
- Your goal for the first one hour meeting is not to close the deal, but to get us excited enough to want to know more. We want to get to know the business proposition almost as much as we want to know you and the team, but not quite. At the end of the day, we are investing in people and only funding the business. Your business idea is likely to change, but you won’t.
- We’ll follow up with you in a day or two. If we are interested in learning more, we’ll assign a lead person to follow up and work with you.
- Generally, it takes three to six months to close on an investment from the time of the first meeting. Why? It takes time to get to you know. We want to see if you execute on what you’ve presented. Did you hit key milestones? Why or why not? We often ask you to come back with more information on key areas of your plan. Do you listen and embrace our feedback? The take away here is approach us early and start the “get to know you” process well before you are cash critical.
- Finally, if you only need cash, you’re knocking on the wrong door. Our members are all successful entrepreneurs who want to be engaged with our portfolio companies, as active advisers, mentors and/or board members.