Demo Day? Don’t
Gil Dibner

Good post. It resonates with my experience. Demo Days are optimized for the accelerator, not the startup or the investor. Having seen several batches of TechStars companies going to demo days the bottom line is that the startup that were successful were the ones that had raised beforehand and treated the demo day as a PR event, as a reveal of their plans and to showcase how formidable their traction was in just n weeks. By our demo day all the smart money had already reached out to the interesting startups and evaluated them. TechStars metrics across all cohorts show that if you don’t have at least 50% of the round committed by demo day you won’t close jack shit. And the corollary is that if you have 50% of the round done by then you can close it anyway on your own. The only exception is that there is a lot of tourist money that relies on demo days to allocate capital but these guys can’t lead (and you don’t want them to anyway) so there is a marginal benefit to it. I would say the biggest benefit to demo day is that the startup is working towards a single well defined goal and this stress forges stronger bonds with the co-founders, which is crucial at such an early stage. Anyway 💖 u Gil.

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