In this interview with Jeremy Glaser, who is a partner at the law firm Mintz Levin and also serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Venture Capital & Emerging Companies Practice, we discuss the shockingly low percentage of entrepreneurs that have a solid startup investor materials. Preparing information about your company for prospective investors versus target customers is significantly different. Have a one page executive summary and an investor presentation that you can easily present in 30 minutes or less. Use stories to communicate with investors. The focus needs to be on your business model and how you make money. Most entrepreneurs want to spend maybe 90 percent of their presentation on their idea, their product, and investors want the entrepreneur to spend maybe 20 percent of the time on the product, and the remaining time on the business model, the competition, the market and the team. If you think you have solid investor materials, pretend that you don’t and be self critical. It is likely that you will be able to dramatically improve your exec summary and presentation if you have strong mentors, try to take the investor perspective, and have a critical eye.
Patrick: Give me a sampling of your client base. Of the executive summaries and presentations that you’ve been sent, what percentage of those do you think are excellent and suitable for raising capital for the audience of an investor?
Jeremy: I’m going to high with which percentage is suitable, and I’m going to say 1%. It might be less than that. Honestly, it’s almost unheard of that I get an executive summary with the pitch material that’s a PowerPoint from a company and founder the first time and it’s ready to go. I might be hard pressed to find a time when that’s ever happened. I think there are reasons for that. The reality is, you and I are in the business of reading these things all day. We help people write them all day. It’s what we do. This is not what most founders do. That’s not their business. They’re doing this for the first, second or third time. It’s not something that they’ve done over and over again. They haven’t read hundreds of these. It’s not that surprising. I think that’s why there is so much demand out there for people to get help in getting their executive summary, business plan and PowerPoint presentation done right and directed towards the right individuals.
This is Patrick Henry, CEO of QuestFusion, with The Real Deal…What Matters.