Recently I attended the New England Venture Summit where approximately 79 emerging and early stage companies made presentations to more than 50 venture capitalists. The various companies broke down into three primary groupings: Technology, Life Sciences, and CleanTech.
It is always exciting to see what innovations are on the horizon, and this Forum presented a first hand opportunity to get a glimpse of what the future may hold.
This post seeks to highlight for entrepreneurs/innovators an outline of the format of what a presentation for funding to VCs should encompass.
First and foremost, keep your presentation short, simple and concise, but compelling. Each company at the Summit was given exactly 7 minutes to make their pitch for funding.
Your presentation should focus on the following areas:
Company Description: include a brief overview of your company and its highlights.
Description of the Technology/Science: what does it do?
Competition: Who are your chief competitors and what makes your technology/science uniquely better?
The Target Market: size, and who needs your Technology/Science and why.
Milestones: to be accomplished and over what period of time, including the necessary funding for each.
Funding Sought: also discuss any funding to date and the milestones achieved or not achieved, and why.
Management Team: This is one of the most critical elements. Since the innovations are as yet untested, there is no mathematical or scientific way to determine which one will be the next big Apple or Microsoft. As an upshot of this, VCs place a lot of emphasis on who is your management team. The team’s past experience and success in other venture undertakings are key factors in evaluating their likelihood of repeating that performance.
The right VC: Look for a Traditional or Corporate VC that knows your industry, your target market, and has the capacity to understand your technology/science and its value to that market.