Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

Blog Archives

Ten minute-pitch: What to I include in my slide deck since it’s not really an “elevator pitch”?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzDBrMisLm0?wmode=opaque&autoplay=1&autohide=1&iv_load_policy=3&enablejsapi=1]

Is the Marketing Strategy not important in a business plan when pitching to VCs?

Marketing strategy actually is quite important to most investors. The bottom line is that if no one shows up to buy or use your product, it doesn’t matter one whit how cool or great or innovative it is. And investors do not like top-down projections (“we’ll get a 10% market share…”). They very much want to see how you are going to get your first customer,

Read more >

How important is a video pitch to investors for an early stage start-up?

There is no one thing (aside from integrity) that is an absolute, and what you need to have when fundraising for a startup will depend to some extent on how you are managing your funding process.  A good list of just about everything you could possibly want to have in your arsenal is listed in the answer to What materials

Read more >

10 Things I Look for When Reading a Business Plan

Posted by on May 29th, 2012

It’s the end of May as I write this so I’ve just finished my annual April-May business plan marathon reading more than 100 business plans for my angel investment group and four different business plan contests. This seems like a good point to summarize here what I look for in a business plan.

Don’t push adjectives. Let me assign my

Read more >

TED Talk 2007: David S. Rose on Pitching to VCs

It’s pretty amazing that the video is from five years ago and has been viewed something like 500,000 times.

Even though in the years since, I’ve done a lot more pitch coaching with a lot higher production value, it turns out that there is not much I would change in the content all these years later. Good luck with your

Read more >

Using your business plan

Business plans come in several flavors and you will need each of them to successfully raise money. I’ll briefly describe the forms of your business plan, but more importantly, explain how to avoid common mistakes in using your plans.

Elevator Pitch – A two-minute verbal description of your business. Illustrate the problem you are solving and how your solution will delight customers.

Read more >

No, I will not sign your non-disclosure agreement.

Entrepreneurs are often surprised when investors refuse to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or confidentiality agreement when offered an opportunity to read the entrepreneurs’ new business plans.  After all, every new startup features secret ideas, partnerships, intellectual property and/or technology.

The Summary is Dead. Long Live the Short Video

First, I admit it: sometimes I exaggerate for effect. And I just did, with my title here. In truth, you still need those summaries.

By the time you’re here on GGust.com you’ve probably figured out that the relationship between business plans and short summaries is something like between movie and movie trailer. Investors don’t read the whole plan if they

Read more >

Angel Investors on Burn Rate and Great Now or Great Later

Here’s an interesting question. It came up Tuesday night in an angel investment meeting:

My question is which looks better to investors: A higher burn rate with three great people on the business plan, or a lower burn rate with only two great people on the business plan? Two of the three want salary, not equity, and one of those

Read more >

Going to Raise VC? Here’s a Primer on Process, People & Powerpoint Deck

If you want a very quick primer on all the stuff nobody ever tells you about raising venture capital check out this video where Mark Jeffrey & I break it down on This Week in VC.  A summary of what we discussed is below: