Allen’s Blog: Ten Commandments for Entrepreneurs
1) Meet with the right partner at the VC firm. Try to get your idea and meeting with the person that has the most appropriate background for your idea.
2) Be on time! Duh! Actually be early so you can set up your laptop, hook up to the projector, get access to the wireless hub, have a glass of water, and breath
3) Tease. Don’t cram several meetings into one. The objective of the first meeting is to get a second. Tell them you have a great technology idea, being implemented by a great team, and attacking a huge market in the midst of a transition. Crisply and clearly reduce a complex business message into a short set of slides that intrigues the audience and makes them want to find out more. The same tactic with the Exec Summary.
4) Know your audience. Either read up before the meeting or ask questions about domain experience, companies in their portfolio, etc. Don’t get surprised by who knows what and bore them with redundant background info.
5) Get to the point. Tell the audience what you are doing right away. “What problem is my startup solving?”
6) Describe your idea by analogy. Compare it to what else has been in the market. Google adwords for widgets.
7) 13 slides. Check out Guy’s 10/20/30 rule for presentations
8) Know, but admit when you don’t. 1) know a lot, (2) know what you don’t know and (3) admit it when asked — will get you a lot farther down the road.
9) Know your competitors and list them. Be intimate with strengths and weaknesses.
10) Listen well to questions and answer quickly. Don’t play the ego game and followup on points in dispute after the meeting.