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Matter March 2015



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Matter March 2015

  1. 1. @brendanbaker | March 2015 Brendan Baker
  2. 2. Today Brendan Baker •  How it works •  How Investors Think •  Traction •  Pitch Improvement •  Avoiding Douchiness •  Fundraising is a process
  3. 3. Founder Brendan Baker Investor Building a narrative. How venture investing is changing. AngelList. What it’s like to be employee 2. De-MBAifying myself. How to communicate traction to investors. The 4 companies I’d leave Greylock for. How reference points have changed my life. How seed fundraising actually works. Strong opinions on accelerators. The pace of true creators. The magic of rapid prototyping. Data in VC. The most interesting companies I saw at AngelList. The strategy to building a great early network. Who actually changes an industry (or company) from within? Why it’s an amazing time to start a tech company. Productive life as a series of rounds in a game. Focus, low ego, and other life experiments. How I got my jobs at AngelList and Greylock. What’s in a great fundraising pitch? How to find a great job in Silicon Valley. What a fundraising process looks like.
  4. 4. How Investors Think. Brendan Baker Green is good.
  5. 5. Brendan Baker Problem Solution Product Roadmap Market Distribution Story RaiseTeam Model / Business Traction Unit economics Expect the basics.
  6. 6. Credible < Notable Brendan Baker Friendly meeting Funded Team Traction Market Product Team Traction Market Product + - + -
  7. 7. Excitement > Hesitation Brendan Baker
  8. 8. Derisking. Brendan Baker Risk Progress Can they build the product? Will people use it? Will people pay for it? Will people come in mass?
  9. 9. Brendan Baker Compare vs the market.
  10. 10. Brendan Baker Finding Matches 20 / 80Don’t MatchMatch
  11. 11. Brendan Baker Think at 30,000 Feet Execution   Vision   How the world will be  
  12. 12. Brendan Baker Momentum
  13. 13. Traction is your story of momentum, told through quantified evidence of market demand for your product. Brendan Baker
  14. 14. “quantified evidence” Brendan Baker Profits Revenues Active users Engagement Customers/clients Registered Users Downloads Partnerships Traffic Yes Maybe Cohort progress Engagement progress Product velocity No Press Testimonials * This isn’t a set list. Use evidence that makes sense for you.
  15. 15. Brendan Baker “They’re super early, but they build and learn fast. They’re worth betting on.” story traction
  16. 16. Brendan Baker “They’re creating a marketplace. That’s hard, but they know it. They knew they had to build the supply side first, and they nailed it. Now they’re tackling the demand side. Early indications are good, and I think they know how to ramp it up.” Launched in November 2014: -  25,000 vendors, with avg 25 items (growing 20-30%/month) -  110K uniques (growing 40%/month), with 3% conversion -  avg purchase of $45 (growing 5%/month) -  $120,000 revenue run rate (increasing 30%/month) -  Just signed partnership with Yahoo! And ramping up ads. story traction
  17. 17. Traction Techniques Brendan Baker •  Compress the X axis •  Choose your X axis •  Bracket your progress (lower their expectations) •  Choose your Y axis •  Absolute + growth numbers •  B2B or enterprise storytelling (rollout) •  Annotate a graph •  No testimonials or press mentions!
  18. 18. Pitch Improvement Brendan Baker Practice Meetings with ‘Team’, and then 2nd choice investors CEO (+1?) Founding Team Real pitches with investors WHAT WHO
  19. 19. Pitch Improvement Brendan Baker Why? Why do you care? Why are you doing this? Why are you creating this? Why?
  20. 20. Pitch Improvement Brendan Baker Value Proposition
  21. 21. Pitch Improvement Brendan Baker Now Statement Why is now the only time that this could be created? Why are you the only team who could create this?
  22. 22. Pitch Improvement Brendan Baker Storyboarding
  23. 23. Pitch Improvement Brendan Baker Fat and Formatting Cut fat •  Max 3-4 bullet points •  Max a few words •  Remove ineffective images Formatting •  All titles and body copy in same position, same color •  White space •  De-pixelate images •  Clean up diagrams
  24. 24. Pitch Improvement Brendan Baker Excitement and Hesitation Game Excitement •  … •  … •  … •  … Hesitation •  … •  … •  … •  …
  25. 25. Pitching like a non-douche Brendan Baker •  Capture their attention •  Be concise and focused •  Use evidence (gamechanger rule) •  Show conviction (strong wording, etc) •  Make it easy (screenshots, logins, etc) •  Build momentum by QBing your team •  Reflect offline success on AL
  26. 26. Brendan Baker 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 (Example only. Others may apply) Fundraising is a Process