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This is gem of a video:

In front of a roomful of the best and the brightest investors (the Venture Capital Fundraising Club of Silicon Valley), here’s a vivid example of an investor pitch that seems to have all the right elements: Big vision. An energetic, articulate and likable young entrepreneur. Now, add to this, a huge market, and a unique solution approach to a problem affecting billions of people. Combine with an investor presentation that does not use powerpoint, prezi or video, and investors should be salivating and climbing all over themselves to invest.

This example is downright comedic. Almost out of an SNL sketch. **

Sadly, this is how most new ventures from first-time entrepreneurs sound to investors. No matter how old the team, if they are first-timers, they tend to sound like the entrepreneur in the video – often without the adorableness.

Too many young entrepreneurs seem to appear this way before investors. Worse, their idea is as just misguided plus they are not as articulate as the young entrepreneur in the video. One of the most useful exercises or assignments I give to my student entrepreneurs is to get out there and pitch their idea to everyone: Investors, customers, friends, strangers – anyone. It doesn’t take long to realize that your pitch – and your entire idea – needs significant refinement.

    ** In case you thought the presentation was just too “off the charts” to be real … you were right. This presentation was given last year, and created a little buzz within VC circles but it wasn’t long before it was outed as a prank
    Actually now I am even more impressed. Brilliant.

Written by CJ Cornell

CJ Cornell

Serial Entrepreneur. University Professor. Software Engineer. Media Executive. Venture Capitalist. Researcher. Marketer. Advisor. Mentor. Author and Speaker. Founded or co-founded nearly a dozen companies in software, digital media and television.

For the past few years I’ve been Co-Director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship and Professor of Digital Media & Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, and the university’s first full time Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Currently Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at New York Institute of Technology and Managing Director at Propel Ventures LLC.

 

One Response to How Most Young Entrepreneurs Appear to Investors

  1. […] as a judge in a competition, in a boardroom, classroom or a face-to-face pitch. After a while, they all start to sound alike. In fact, when investors get together, they lament (or even parody) how all the pitches sound […]

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