10 Things You Must Have to Impress a Silicon Valley Investor

Sylvia Gorajek
Jul 25, 2016 · 7 min read

Imagine this setting:

You, a super-smart startup founder with a killer business idea, have a pitch meeting with an investor in Silicon Valley. You’re nervous. You can’t eat. You’re dwelling on all the terrible things that could happen in the meeting (forgetting key points of the presentation, fumbling over difficult multisyllabic words, falling out of your chair). The investor is willing to give your company funding, but only if you can convince him that not only your idea, but also your team and company can and will succeed.

Most likely you wish you can get into his head and understand what he wants to hear and what matters to him. Well, a few weeks ago on Valley Talks, I interviewed Dominik Andrzejczuk from Morado Venture Partners and gladly did the work for you. You’re welcome!

I asked Dominik series of questions about what and who he’s looking for, and he gave me 10 gems that could make you stick out before and during a pitch meeting!

Valley Talks — Sylwia Gorajek interviews Dominik Andrzejczuk from Morado Venture Partners

1. Use Your Extensive and Connected Network in the Tech World

Morado Venture Partners writes around 1 check per month to worthy start-ups. Before the pitch meeting, they carefully select the people they want to interview.

A good, solid network allows them to notice a potential start-up.

2. Be Prepared For a Thorough Examination of Your Company

VC Investors in Silicon Valley conduct a lot of research on your company before a meeting. They will ask you a series of prove-to-me questions.

Investor’s own research on the pitching start-up does not go wasted. He makes sure that he asks the potential start-up all his questions.

The more the fund member is convinced of the start-up’s product, the better he will do convincing the rest of his partners for a final deal.

3. Can Your Business Serve To An Attractive Market?

Dominik and fund partners look at multiple things about a startup’s product. A big indicator of the potential success of the company has to do with the market space.

Just because an investor decides not to strike a deal with a new company, doesn’t mean there isn’t potential for future deals. The good news is, that when they say that they want to stay in touch, they really mean it.

4. Prove that You Are an Expert in Your Field and Passionate about Your Craft

Founders should have quality stakes in their own business and an expertise that no one else has.

An expert founder is also a passionate one. Passion equals charisma.

When you have charisma, you can convince anyone.

5. Understand the Current and Future Generation’s Behavior

Dominik uses Snapchat as an example of a company that was able to tap into market that was already developed and furthered the space.

Morado Ventures Fund fund look for companies that accommodate the modern consumer.

6. Keeping Positive Body Language (Stop fidgeting!)

Investors, just like everybody else, pick up on the subtle body language of founders. A lot of positive or negative things can be conveyed without anything being said.

Don’t hide or oversell anything. The old advice says:

7. Energy! Energy! Energy!

Can you imagine giving thousands of dollars to a boring presentation? Dominik gets straight to the point:

Don’t fake energy or passion. They can tell…

8. Roll With Your Fumbles (literally)!

Okay — a pitching founder does something really embarrassing at the meeting. There’s a way to handle such follies with grace!

9. Put Thought into the Little Things (Design your documents, no Plain Microsoft Word!)

The presentation of your documents really counts. An investor will get the impression, right off the bat, whether you care about every aspect of your company’s image.

Video presentation are always the most useful and efficient. It allows the investor to sit back and participate without doing too much unnecessary work.

10. Demonstrated on a smaller scale

A lot of founders don’t know where to begin. Here is one crucial advice that is really often repeated here in Silicon Valley:

That’s all you need (simple, right?). So do you, a super-smart startup founder, feel better about your chances? Go into that meeting — you’re going to be late — and pitch your awesome idea!

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Good luck!

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Sylvia Gorajek

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Video Storyteller working with Fortune 500 & tech startups. Founder & Host at Valley Talks