This First published on December 14, 2021.

It is always good to be prepared, especially when you are going to a pitching session with a potential investor –a process that can either make or break your fundraising journey.

Even There are many opportunities for investors to see your business and sit down with you (most likely virtually). For This process may seem mysterious to those who are new. Even The more experienced entrepreneurs may be interested in learning more about ways to improve their skills.

But The worst thing we can do, as with so many things in our lives, is to make assumptions.

This Why do we ask? Leung Pui Yan (Executive Director You can also check out our other articles. Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India), Abhijit Banerjee (General Partner & Managing Director If you want to know more about the, please click here. Decacorn Capital”, and Eko Kurniadi (Partner At least one of the following:Alpha JWC Ventures) to share their valuable insights on how pitching sessions with VC will be like. This Included are details like the questions they’ll ask, how to best answer them and, most importantly, what you should do in order to prepare for the pitching session.

Make Please read the following before you attend that meeting.

Getting Ready for a pitching sesssion

Before We can prepare for a pitching meeting by knowing what to expect. The You will soon notice that the process is similar.

As Banerjee The process usually involves a virtual meeting with the founder or cofounders, which happens over video calls because of COVID-19 restraint measures.

To Please add more details to the process. Leung Explains the processes that are being followed at Vertex.

Also Read: Pitching from home: How to get investors’ attention in a virtual world

“Typically, I would invite the founders to spend 15-20 minutes or so giving an overview about their startups and their backgrounds. Ideally, the founders would have shared a teaser deck to provide some context about the opportunity ahead of the session,&#8221She starts.

“After the initial overview, the rest of the time would usually be used for Q&A to dive into specific areas that I would like to further clarify. I would also leave the last couple of minutes for the founders to ask me any questions they may have.”

At Alpha JWC Ventures. The first stage of pitching would. A call with the founders is a great way to learn more about the company and its mission.

“The hearts and minds behind the company are very important to us. We like to understand what brought the founding team together, what inspired the solution to the problem they are trying to solve, and what gives them the edge and advantage to bring it to life,&#8221″ Kurniadi.

“Next, it would be about the business itself. We invest time to learn about their journey –what are the key milestones, headwinds and trends about their business. At this stage, discussions are typically supplemented with data points on unit economics, monetisation and use of proceeds. Ultimately, we seek to understand how far they’ve come in achieving their goals and the value they’ve created for stakeholders.”

The process will culminate with a discussion on how a partnership with the VC firm can help the startup achieve its mission –beyond just securing funding.

When Three different answers were provided by the VCs when asked what the founders should do before the meeting.

“Founders should be prepared to discuss the team profile, competitive landscape, product roadmap, current traction and future business projections, as well as funding needs and use of funds,&#8221″ Leung.

Banerjee reminds us that every VC has its own distinction –and founders should be aware of it before they attend pitching. “Founders should do a very thorough background check and do some research on the VCs they are pitching to. This helps them to ask appropriate questions to the VCs too; this often creates a good impression on the VCs.”

Meanwhile, Kurniadi It is important to have a productive meeting.

“The most effective and productive meetings are kicked off with a concise explanation of what the founder’s mission and solution are. Those two need to be delivered with clarity and conviction,&#8221′ He says.

Also Read: 4 ways to boost your preparation for a startup pitching competition

“Founders should have a powerful elevator pitch that will make an impression on a busy audience who hear many pitches on a daily basis. To aid in their storytelling, founders should prepare materials to visualise key industry statistics, commercials and future use of proceeds.”

The Big three questions

When Investors who were asked to list the three most important questions VCs would ask founders at a pitch all shared several common points:

  1. The The problem they’re trying to solve, the way they plan to solve it and what makes them unique
  2. Product-Market fit, Marketing and Monetisation Plan
  3. Cap table and founders’ ownership stakes

According You can also find out more about the following: Leung, “… these questions will help us understand how founders’ views about the overall market opportunity and competitive landscape on a high level. On the other, the questions will also shed light on the product and go-to-market strategies, as well as the possible execution risks involved in pursuing them.”

The Investors are also very keen to see that the founders have documents and data backing up their pitch.

“For example, a clear cap table showing the founders and key employees stakes and dilution did with other investors. They should prepare a data room and be ready to open it to potential investors or VC,” Banerjee says.

He The article also contains an important note regarding non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs).

“Founders should not ask VCs to sign NDAs because in the startup world there are hundreds of similar models … hence, VCs hesitate to sign NDAs unless there is a real need to do so and that there is a very deep due diligence being conducted,&#8221He continues.

Lastly, Kurniadi The importance of authenticity in the relationship between founders and investors is emphasized.

“Authenticity is a key component in building the right foundation for a long-lasting and impactful partnership between us and the founders. The best founders couple their passion for the cause with sound data points on the industry, a deep understanding of their business strategy and key figures, and an unwavering desire to solve the problem,&#8221He says.

Common Avoiding common mistakes

Sometimes, it is easier to learn by understanding the things that we should avoid doing –instead of just the things we should do.

When When it comes time to pitching, founders can make a variety of mistakes, beginning with how they present their pitch.

Also Read: How should founders dress when pitching your startup to a VC?

“Not demonstrating strong conviction for their businesses, poor articulation of how the startup is different from others, not having a clear view of future key milestones and funding requirements to achieve them,” Leung List down all the issues.

Banerjee warns about the company’s funding history. “Founders often raise early money from angels, friends, family and dilute themselves a lot even before they raise VC money,&#8221′ He says.

Kurniadi The most common mistake is to arrive unprepared.

“Founders should expect to be challenged and be prepared to defend their position with conviction. Information on competitors, customers and other stakeholders are areas that founders should have sound knowledge on too,&#8221He emphasizes.

Echelon Asia Summit 2023 brings together APAC’s leading startups, corporates and policymakers as well as industry leaders and investors. Singapore You can also find out more about this by clicking here. June 14-15. Learn More and Get Tickets here.

Echelon Also, the TOP100 Stage is where startups have the opportunity to pitch in front of 5000+ attendees, and enjoy other benefits such as the chance to connect with potential investors, visibility via e27 Platform and other prizes Join TOP100 here.

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The First published on April 29, 2023.

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