What I Wish I had Known Before my First Pitch
You may have heard I’ve created a startup called DrugPlug. “Plug in the name of your drug and pull from live social media conversations.” Three companies were picked by MIT of South Florida and Miami Innovation Fund last week out of 70 business plans and DrugPlug was one of them to pitch for a $31,000 term sheet.
I pitched. Did not win. However, it sure has created buzz, private meetings and huge support from my friends and family. (Thank you).
I may be a serial entrepreneur but here’s a list of what I wish I had known before my first pitch. Creating a tech Start-up has changed.
1.) Learn to VC Speak, Present & Think
One thing I have going for me is I’m not afraid to speak in public. I was in Toastmasters (a Professional Speaking Group) at the age of 16 and just grew up without that fear. However, my friend said I now need to learn how to “VC speak” or Venture Capital Speak. The following link really helps from a ‘power point pitch’ to ‘how to think about the project’.
2.) Go from Crazy to Brilliant
Teaching Video Series for Startups from Stanford University
So much of a start-up is in the entrepreneur’s head. It all makes sense. It’s tucked away neatly where the entrepreneur pounds away working hard making for the vision to come forth. I think there is a small bridge from crazy to brilliant. From broke to success. The following video series from Stanford University is a niche MBA treasure just for start-ups. It’s free.
3.) “They Just Didn’t Get It”
After finishing a pitch, march up after the pitch to the investors and ask “What could I have done better.” When I did it, I was confused. All the investors were kind. I expected “Shark Tank.” After reading about what’s in the mind of VC, some don’t want to sound like a jerk or be bad mouthed on social media. I really appreciated the opportunity and everyone involved was professional. I understand one really needs to be able to take all the critique. It’s how the product becomes better.
4.) Are You and Your Start-up Ready for an Accelerator? Learn the terms.
I pitched for an Y-combinator – type Accelerator at Citrix. I bet 95% of you are going “What is that?” I tell you it is a new language for me too. There’s term sheets you pre-agree to. 20 – plus people become your new business partners that you don’t really know. Some accelerators you go to every day being mentored and then you pitch your creation at the end.
New Accelerator in Palm Beach County, FL
There’s a new accelerator launching in Palm Beach County at Caffeine Spaces. I went to the event last night to see what was up. Some of my friends I have known for several years are involved. I’m still working out the details. I believe there are five spots so I will let you know where to apply and post the press release when it comes out.
Here’s a quote from Demi Pietchell a colleague and friend.
Mixed Media Fusion and Proforma IT are excited for the opportunity to work with new startups and entrepreneurs to help them hone their business plans, pitches and strategies before they go for funding. The new BizFreaks startup accelerator at Caffeine Spaces is an inspiring and well needed addition to our entrepreneurial community at a crucial time when ecosystem nurturing is so important. It’s an exciting time for new businesses in Palm Beach County and we are all hopeful that this experiment will lead to the birth of many innovative new companies in our area.
All the best,
To keep up with drugplug info sign up: http://bitly.com/drugplug