The 30 Minute Investor Meeting

In the end, a conversation is what you’re going for. A two-sided, challenging, thought-provoking conversation about early assumptions and what the business could be. Back this up with proof of concept and actual use case examples/customer conversations and it gets interesting.

Don’t waste ⅓ of the meeting going into a 10 minute pitch, especially if the investor has already made investments in the same realm. With a bit of research you can see how close to the problem an investor is. Better yet, ask them how familiar they are (or watch eyes glaze over as you run through a strand of examples).

If I were pitching it would be structured like this:

1 - 15 seconds: A quick start. 1-2 line pitch of the business, no “this for that” or problem defined. Just 1-2 sentences on EXACTLY what we do.

15 - 30 seconds: Define the problem. If I do a poor job of this they’ll ask me to further explain. I’ll change the explanation for the next meeting to keep it as quick as possible.

.5 - 3 minutes: A deep dive on the business, state of things, team, etc. (combine with demo if possible)

3 - 4 minutes: Demo (insert impressive stuff here)

4 - 5 minutes: The grand vision of what this could be and how you expect to get to the next phase of that.

5-30 minutes: Room for conversation. Best case, I’ll educate the investor a bit with the learnings so far and the unique approach to the problem. I can’t emphasize this enough.

The cadence here will vary based on how technical the product is, stage of the business, etc. Regardless, the takeaway is the small amount of time I spent talking about the problem. Educating a VC or savvy angel on something they’re already aware of is not only a waste of time, it’s a sign you’re disconnected with the other side of the table.  t