This is an excellent list of advice to help entrepreneurs appropriately prepare so as to make the meeting productive and not waste an investor’s time.
I’d love to also see a similar piece that sets expectations of what an entrepreneur should reasonably expect in the way of preparation from an investor on a first meeting.
After attending more than 100 of these first meetings, I’m getting better at knowing which investors are genuinely interested, which are biding time while I talk because they are doing a favor for someone else rather than actually interested, and those which like me as an individual but aren’t enamored with the company — and vice versa.
I’m getting better at understanding which questions are to target weaknesses in myself, my team, our strategy or technology (this usually means they did their homework, and they’ll likely help sharpen the thinking of the CEO’s they invest in). I’ve learned which questions are to make me comfortable or make me feel inadequate and which are to impress me or the other investors in the room.
I’m getting better at it, but so many new founders have no idea how to tell whether the meeting was a win or a head-pat. I’d love to see someone write that What To Expect piece.