People have become really good at pitching. The art has turned in to a bit of a science and if you do ever find yourself in front of a room of people it is par for the course for you to “nail it”. The pitch, it seems, is dead media.
It’s time to stop obsessing with your pitch and start building relationships.
If you are going to raise financing for your new product then you need to learn what it means to build relationships.
We started Founders and Funders on the basis that you would never want to accept investment from someone you couldn’t eat a meal with. What better way to find out than to eat a meal with them? It works incredibly well.
You need to find ways to end up at more dinner tables and in less boardrooms.
Also: Eat with your mouth closed ya filthy animal.
Funny story. When I was raising an angel round for my latest company I met a fairly prominent investor for lunch. I ordered a $15 sandwich combo. He got two doubles of Grey Goose, the Rib Eye, and a glass of wine. Then dessert! The shithead then stuck me with the bill! I kid you not. He then got in his car and drove off, I contemplated calling in the DUI. The hell if I was going to let him invest in my company. It was worth the $120 it took to figure it out.
I tell every entrepreneur that story, and I name names!
Then there was the time I met with Steve Anderson at a crowded bar. You should consider an invitation to meet an investor at a bar or restaurant a golden ticket. Steve came in, he was starving. I was a bit nervous so I didn’t eat much but we shared some appetizers. He was cool as shit and I knew I wanted him in my round before that meeting was over. Having a coffee and being forced to sit in a corner of a busy bar helps you get almost every “is this guy/girl legit? can I talk to him/her without needing to watch myself?” sort of stuff out of the way.
I met another investor at a Yogurt shop (he gave a fake name and told them my name was Mike). Another one in a Tiki bar and another in a co-working space.
Get out of the boardroom. Loosen up. Your pitch sucks but your product is cool, and you are even cooler.
(Cross-posted @ StartupNorth)