The annual cycle of venture capital conferences are again underway, setting the stage for entrepreneurs and investors to seek capital financing. However, gaining the most ROI from a venture conference requires an overall strategy, great preparation and tactical maneuvering throughout the VC conference cycle – namely, from the application and coaching preparation through the entire event day – and beyond.
For those seriously seeking investment from angels, venture capitalists or strategic investors be SUPER prepared and do so well in advance. This includes your team, your product demo, your ‘Investor Ready Business Plan’, and your intro ‘elevator’ pitch (30 seconds to 1 minute). You need a firm and compelling ‘total investment opportunity story’ that permeates your people, your presentations, and your promotions. All players must be singing the same song and on their A+ game. Be on message and in key across all formal presentations, table discussions, hallway chats and cocktail reception conversations. This is ‘show time ‘folks at every touch point…all day…with everyone – from the moment you arrive in the parking lot until you drive away from the venue. With excellent preparation you will relax and tell your story with confidence. The day is about moving onward and upward. And importantly, follow up with a thank you to all you meet, an invitation to connect; and be set to immediately send your venture capitalist (VC) presentation deck and your concise ‘Investor Ready Business Plan’ to qualified prospective investors.
For those testing the waters, I recommend you go as an attendee first, read the room, understand the dynamics of the day, make face-to-face connections and gather contact information –most especially from investors, as well as with services providers, who often server as influencers. Consider the best technologies, products, markets, teams and investment stories that gain the best attention, awards and interest from investors. Learn from them – both from their successes and failures. With this first hand intelligence and with the right advisors you, and your team, will be able to become ‘investor ready’ for your own ‘show time’ at the next venture capital conference.
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About the Author
Sylvester (Syl) Di Diego, Managing Partner, Strategy Dynamix, LLC is a venture advisor and interim executive. Syl has empowered hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors to successfully navigate the venture growth lifecycle. He has assisted in raising $300 million of capital financing to date. Learn more and connect with Syl at http://www.strategydynamix.com/aboutus/executives.php