Some venture capitalists might invite you for a “5 minute meeting”. The idea is not to conduct a full formal pitch, but rather have a casual get together to get to know you and start a longer-term relationship that could end up in funding later on in time.

Of course the meeting will be a bit longer than 5 minutes, the time limit is just a deterrent for your to craft a huge 1 hour pitch deck. Also, the 5 minute meeting enables to VC to interrupt and question more without coming across as rude by cutting you off all the time. This dialogue is a quick way for her to zoom in on issues.

How to prepare?
  1. Prepare a very short verbal pitch: cover yourself, and cover the idea. 
  2. Cover the idea. Make sure that the VC actually can understand what it is your doing (I have seen many pitches in pitch competitions where the presenter failed on this very basic requirement). This means, using normal buzzword-free language, and cutting content that is not yet relevant in this stage of the fund raising process (detailed financials, system architectures, etc. etc.) 
  3. Present yourself in an interesting way. There is all the professional stuff, but maybe add a bit of unusualness, so the VC will remember you as the guy who likes to monocycle (for example). And do not forget that the main way you present yourself is in between the lines, how you come across in the meeting.
  4. Only prepare slides when your really cannot describe things with words: a 2x2 matrix of all the competitors in the field for example, which takes 30 seconds to describe but can be communicated in 2 seconds with a drawing. Have these slides in your back pocket: either on an iPad, or - yes - as a paper print out.
  5. When the VC is not deciding whether to invest right now at this moment, it is actually OK to show some uncertainty and vulnerability and ask advice about how to build your business. 
  6. Listen. Pay attention to what feedback you get, answer the questions you get asked rather than pressing play on your standard pitch. This is a dialogue and a test case for what it is like to work with you in the longer term

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