Denham Sadler | StartupSmart
There are three big mistakes that Australian founders regularly make when pitching to investors, Blackbird VC head of operations Samantha Wong says.
Wong, who is also a partner at Startmate and an angel investor, recently took part in an AMA run by Blackbird, and said that all pitches need to be simple and have an emotional edge.
Not doing this leads to three key mistakes when pitching.
“Not having a pitchy, succinct way of describing what they do that captures the depth of the problem, the elegance of the solution and the size of the opportunity,” Wong says.
“Not having a big enough vision, or being too afraid to verbalise it. Pitching is 90% emotion and capturing the imagination of the investor.
“And not understanding how we invest. You should always qualify your lead before you try to sell to them.”
This process involves researching the specific investor to find out what they look for in a company, as well as talking to some of their portfolio startups, Wong says.
“Find out what they like to invest in, how big their fund is and how much is left in it,” she says.
“Then if it all passes muster, check these are people you want to share your baby with for the next decade.
“Talk to all the founders you can about what it’s like to work with that VC. Definitely speak to founders they’ve invested in but it’s also useful to know how they treated founders in deals that didn’t quite get across the line.”
She also says that founders don’t ask enough questions when pitching to investors.
“On a whole we don’t get asked questions very much at all”