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When fundraising, always be prepared.
Investor, Entrepreneur, Board Member
Your introduction to an investor means more than your one-pager.
The odds that someone has opened, read, and remembered your one-pager are extremely low.
As an entrepreneur, you are investing with your life.
Lesson: Fundraising Series Seed with Jenny Lefcourt
Step #6 Materials: When fundraising, always be prepared
I think it's like the Boy Scout in me, always be prepared. I think it’s really smart to just be prepared because you don't know enough about the other person on the other side of the table as to what you are going to need. So it's great if you have a deck. It's great if you have a short deck. Then you can have a deck with an appendix. You can have a one pager that you maybe send along because the VC requested it or maybe because they didn't. You can have all those materials and you could actually share none of them because you can come in and have a conversation and have it be fantastic and you didn't need them. So I guess my advice is you might as well prepare them because it makes you smarter, it makes you tighter.
When you have to have a one pager, you have to think about what are the most important points. So then even if you're only having a conversation, you know those are the five points I have to make in that conversation. Even if it is just natural conversation I know I'm not leaving the room without these key points being made.
First off, remember that your intro means more than the one pager. So if you came in and someone who the investor thinks is awesome, says you must meet this person. You're probably going to get the meeting with or without the one pager. So the one pager is nice though because it should cover what industry it is. It should cover how big the market is, what's broken, how you're fixing it, who the team is. The team matters a lot. I may be missing some things, but those are sort of the critical pieces to let you know if you want to take the meeting or not take the meeting.
I think a one pager is a great thing to send along so that people understand what meeting am I taking. So I think that's the purpose it serves. And then also the person has A, opened it, B, read it, C, remembered it is very low so you're probably not going to be redundant when you open up your short deck and give your pitch to the investor. Now you give your short pitch. You stay at the high level, and you have the appendix in the back as there are questions and the person wants to dive in deeper. So I don't think any of that is redundant because they're each used sort of surgically at different times to serve a very different purpose.
So when I think about what goes in an appendix, an appendix to me sounds a little old school so call it whatever you'd like, but what other materials should you have. Any question that you think a smart person would ask, it'd be nice to have the answers to. So you're an entrepreneur. You are investing with your life. So you should be asking yourself the same questions that these guys are going to be asking you or these women are going to be asking you.
So I think you just have to think about what questions am I likely to get, and I can either just talk to them or I could show them the analysis that I did because I too was uncomfortable with X, Y and Z or I too was curious about... And it depends on the stage of when you're pitching. But a lot of times it's about understanding how the entrepreneur thinks.
So if you say to the entrepreneur, "How big is the market?" And they say, "Well, it's really hard to say, but yeah that happens all the time." You're like, "That wasn't very thoughtful." But if they say, "You know, it's a really hard number to grasp so the way I got at this market number is I did A, B, and C and then subtracted D." You recognize this person is hard working. They're analytical. They're willing to put the thought into the business, into this; therefore, they're probably willing to apply that same approach as they build their business.