Mentor & Advisor: SpringUp Capital
In this post, I would shed light on how to prepare for the investor meeting and how Spring Up evaluates so you can better prepare for your investor meeting.
Getting a meeting with an investor all starts with your pitch deck. The objective of your pitch deck should not be to get a deal from an investor but to spark their interest to get a meeting with them. I always advise founders to have three pitch decks- one is the standard 10-15 slide deck that you send to investors, the second one is the deck that you present during events and the last is your 20-25 full slide deck with an appendix.
Why the three decks? When you are presenting in front of people, you can take more liberty and add rhetoric, more visual content that helps you tell a compelling story. But, when you are sending a deck to investors, you can’t see them while they are going through your deck. Hence, the format of the second deck should be straight forward and should follow in the lines of problem, solution, product, traction, team. The third deck is your full deck with an appendix, which you present to the investors during an investor meeting.
VCs usually call these meetings as ‘Monday morning meetings’ where they invite three to six startups to their offices to pitch and the senior partners are present in these meetings. Nowadays, Monday morning meetings are online and at Spring Up as we meet from startups from all over the world and our team is spread in the US, India, Germany, France, Norway and Singapore all our meetings are virtual.
At Spring Up, we are looking for companies that have a global ambition meaning that you should be planning to other foreign markets as our global team is adept in helping companies expand. We have a team of people with diverse experiences ranging from finance, enterprise sales to technology, operations and marketing. This helps us consider multiple perspectives as well as analyze a business from all angles.
Here is how you should prepare for the investor meeting-
1. Research the investor- This is the first and foremost preparatory tip. Investors have different perspectives, investor thesis when they are evaluating companies. Go through their website, crunchbase, blogs to understand more about them. As for SpringUp, this blog post is one of the guides to understand us.
2. Ask the investor about the schedule- Ask the investors before the meeting, how the meeting will be conducted, how long will the meeting be and how long will be the pitch followed by the Q&A.
3. Practice your pitch- Practice your pitch multiple times with different audiences and get their feedback. Make sure that they understand the problem you are solving and your solution. The best pitches are those where you can uncover a complex topic in layman terms. Try to finish your pitch in the time allotted by the investors for your pitch during the meeting.
4. Know your business- At Spring Up we have a diverse group of investors, therefore we want to understand your cost structure, revenue streams, go to market strategy, expansion plans, the market size and your in-depth understanding of your customers.
5. Traction- Until Series A, most often a business cannot say that they have achieved product market fit. Therefore, investors want to see how fast are you growing, are you growing more than at least 7% month over month? If you are at a super early stage and you have gone through a pivot, it is perfectly fine not to feel demotivated while communicating a low revenue figure.
6. Communication- Last but not the least, communication is the key and it boils down to the basics. Often entrepreneurs believe that investors are above them and lose confidence while interacting with investors. In the startup ecosystem, the entrepreneur is on top of the chain followed by the investor. As an investor we want to see founders who are confident and can defend their business.
That’s it for this post. I would like to thank everyone for reading this post. There will be more posts on startup and investor related topics in the following days.