I run a group of 700+ VCs and angel investors.

How to pitch them:
First, context:

• These are not ironclad rules.
• Not every great startup has the same journey. Breakouts are often outliers.
• This is not *at all* an exhaustive list of how to pitch a startup.

These are select *reminders* that the group's investors wanted to highlight.
On a call, you don’t need a strong opening hook—although it helps.

What's important is opening with a clear, concise explanation of:

• What you do
• Why it’s likely to be successful
• Why now's the time to do it
• Who you are

Do not bury these details in a long backstory.
Investors who wind up investing are usually (but not always) the ones who intuitively understand your idea and its significance. Then they close quickly.

If you have to do a lot of convincing, you’ve possibly lost the battle—because they lack existing, underlying conviction.
But keep following up with progress updates until you actually HEAR a hard no.
When pitching, default to letting them guide the conversation.

Answer their questions concisely then defer back to their line of questioning.

They know what they want to learn; avoid getting in the way with overlong answers. 

(You can follow-up with those via email.)
However, if they aren’t asking questions to move the conversation forward, start asking THEM questions to see what they’re most interested in hearing about.

Don't go on rambles until you verify they want to hear the ramble.
Check that your LinkedIn profile looks good. For better or worse, they’ll check it.

It’s the easiest way to learn what you’ve "accomplished in your career." (I know—not ideal.)

They're often too lazy to Google thoroughly, so pack your accomplishments and links into LinkedIn.
What some—not all—investors look for in startups:

• Is their rate of progress so far impressive? What have they accomplished and how quickly?

• Are the founders high agency and formidable? Would you be scared to compete against them?
• Are there compounding moats protecting the startup's acquisition and retention as it scales?

• Are there not too many conditionals/questions that must prove true for this idea to work at scale?
• Is this market growing rapidly? Can this idea reach $1B+ in 5 years?

Important: Don’t make investors work to pull your vision out of you. Convey where the product is today relative to your grander vision.
What some—not all—investors look for in founders:

• Do they have a cohesive narrative of why they are compelled to start this business? Is it substantiated by their background and obsessions, which inevitably lead to this idea?
• Can they articulate the nuances of their startup/market and its timing, or are they only thinking in broad strokes?

Having under-thought your market or vision can kill a pitch.
None of this advice is novel. And none of it is ironclad. And it's not comprehensive.

The purpose is to surface where founders sometimes go wrong—according to investors in this particular group.

Hopefully this is helpful. We defer to Y Combinator for robust advice on pitching!
The group is private, but we asked some angel investor friends if we could share their emails for your benefit.

They invited you to email/DM your deck if your startup is generating revenue.

(Look them up on LinkedIn/Twitter. See who can provide value.)
• Email @shaanvp shaan@shaanpuri.com
• Email @toddg777 hello@toddgoldberg.com
• Email @gregisenberg frontdesk@latecheckout.studio
• Email @maccaw investing@earlgrey.capital
• DM @nikitabier
• DM @austin_rief

• • •

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