Entrepreneur

Everything You Need to Know to Pitch an Investor

Asking investors to fund your business is uncomfortable, intimidating and at times even excruciating. Here's how to make it better, according to Andreessen Horowitz managing partner Scott Kupor.
Source: 10'000 Hours | Getty Images
10'000 Hours | Getty Images
The act of pitching your business to a venture capitalist can be a harrowing experience. You’re at your most vulnerable place in your professional career. You’ve probably just quit a job that provided a steady income -- and had to convince your spouse or significant other that all of this would eventually lead to greater financial security for your family. 

In the meantime -- the next 10 years or more -- you are going to live cheaply, take no vacations, work longer hours than ever before, sleep fitfully (my partner, Ben, has said that as a startup CEO, he slept like a baby -- waking up every few hours crying), and beg VCs to finance this glamorous lifestyle. Sounds like fun, right?

There are five things to consider when you’re preparing to make that big ask -- and we’ll talk through each of them -- but first things first: You’ve got to get the opportunity to pitch. 

Related: The Basics of Raising Capital for a Startup

Angel or seed investors, as well as law firms, are an important source of referrals for VCs: Angel investors want the companies they invest in to eventually raise more capital, and law firms want their clients to get solid funding and become long-term clients. 

But if neither of these routes is available to you, get crafty. You should be industrious enough to find someone who knows someone who has some relation to a VC. It’s a great test of your mettle as a startup CEO, and VCs often use your ability to find a warm introduction as a gauge on your grit, creativity, and determination. Getting your foot in the door is a combinationsheer dumb luck.

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