While browsing Hugh MacLeod's "gapingvoid" blog (wonderful cartoons) I stumbled across this online investment pitch for an enterprise software startup that calls itself thingamy. There are different phases in VC due dilligence. The 60 second look, the first 15 minute meeting, the first hour spend, sitting through a pitch and finally the complete "turn everything upside down" check on the company.
You should read the blog post by VC-ist Brad Feld about "Saying no in 60 seconds": investors are ploughing through huge deal flows and need to make up their mind quickly to avoid wasting a startup's time, and wasting their own time that they could have spent on deals they want to do, or working with their portfolio companies. It sounds harsh, but a polite "thank you" after a 60 second analysis is still better than no answer at all.
So I took the 60 second stage of due dilligence (as a VC amateur, but a professional presentation ptich designer). My feedback.
Things I really liked:
  • It's public. The fact that you are looking ofr money, the story behind your company, all available to see for everyone on the Internet. More startups should have the confidence to do this. Spread your story within the boundaries of proprietary IP.
  • The headlines and the supporting cartoons on the 30megs site.
  • The completely different approach to fund raising gets you a plus as an entrepreneur/team.
Things that can be improved:
  • Getting the practical "what do you actually do" out there quickly. In 60 secons it was still not competely clear to me. I am sure that in an hour I will find it out, but people like Brad Feld have made up their mind by then.
  • The menu structure on the company site makes it a bit hard to read the text. Maybe a standard piece of text would have been calmer to the eye.
But all in all my compliments to this bold approach to fund raising. I see a big future for SlideShare as a content distribution platform for a much more open fund raising process, at least for the first 60 seconds of it.
For more useful links on the subject of VC pitch presentations go here.