Venture Connect online is a 3-week virtual version of our annual live event Venture Connect. As a part of hosting this event one of our partners Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati provided education content. Michael Hostetler and Sabrina Poulos both with strong ties to North Carolina interviewed Ben Scruggs of Hatteras venture partners and Jernej Godec of Atlas Ventures Partners. The topic this week, “How to Sell Yourself and your Company to Investors”
It’s about an hour long, so listen when you have time and clear head (on your bike ride, walk etc). The whole thing is good but two sections really hit home with me especially since, one of the objectives of this event is to connect investors and companies trying to raise capital.
About 30 minutes in both Ben and Jernej talk about what makes a good pitch deck, how they review them and what parts of the deck are most important. You should know that both Ben and Jernej are life science investors, and for anyone that has ever seen a life-science pitch deck they are often overwhelmed with multiple slides on the unmet medical needs, and couple of animations of the molecule/receptors/intervention, then data slides from the pre-clinical studies. In others words the decks always start with lots of ‘science’. You may be surprised to learn that is not what either one of these life-science investors remembers or looks for first. You have to listen to the podcast to hear but I’ll give you a hint. To borrow a phrase from James Carville… It’s the team stupid.
The second part that I found really interesting comes almost at the end (minute 49). I usually look at a couple of pitch decks a week (sometimes up to 30 when its summit season and we are doing pitch scrubs). The one thing I try and get every entrepreneur who is pitching to understand is how to tell a great story. An investors pitch is not a legal case to be won with a series of logic statements. When Ben and Jenej talk about what makes a bad pitch it seems so simple yet is how often entrepreneurs forget to follow these simple concepts and therefore miss the opportunity to connect with a great investor.