Today during Fred Wilson’s interview with Michael Arrington, the two discussed how, and how not to, pitch a VC. Hearing the two speak frankly about what works and what doesn’t is absolutely helpful to entrepreneurs.
The important aspects of pitching a VC is to make sure that there’s a back and forth as you’re discussing what you’re doing, Wilson explained: “What you need to do is get people engaged in the conversation as soon as you can. They have 10, 15 or 20 slides. If you only get through one slide because the partnership hijacks the conversation, it’s a good thing.”
Even after watching some of the hackathon pitches, you can tell that getting through an entire deck of slides is something that people are trained to do. So don’t worry about the deck.
More importantly, don’t bring the backstory to the table, Wilson says: “Going through a really long backstory is a bad idea. “In 1972 I graduated from college” and 20 minutes later they get to the point.”
Hook the VC then reel them in.
Wilson discussed his experience of getting pitched by Twilio’s Jeff Lawson, saying that he immediately hooked him by saying that he had boiled down telephony to five API calls. The rest is history once Lawson “reeled” Wilson in.
The NYC-based Wilson also says that he’s looking for pitches that sound crazy. When something sounds extremely far-fetched, Wilson says that he’s ready to hear more about the idea.