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Cleo Capital’s Sarah Kunst explains the right way to prepare to lift your subsequent spherical

TechCrunch just about sat down with enterprise capitalist and Cleo Capital managing director Sarah Kunst at our newest Early Stage occasion final week. Kunst joined us to speak about getting ready for elevating capital in immediately’s frenetic fundraising surroundings, digging into the gritty mechanics for the viewers.

Cleo Capital invests $500,000 to $1 million into early-stage startups, with portfolio corporations that embody mmhmm, Cameo and StyleSeat, amongst others.

Subsequent, just a few favourite excerpts from the chat, beginning with Kunst’s notes on the right way to make a killer pitch deck. Questions from the viewers helped direct the dialog, so I’ve tried to pick themes that got here from y’all. We’ll additionally discover recommendation concerning incorporation, the right way to discover a co-founder and when startups are too giant to affix an accelerator. (Quotes evenly edited for readability.)

Earlier than we get into key factors from the dialog, right here’s a rundown of hyperlinks that Kunst mentioned that I promised to incorporate on this submit:

make an excellent pitch deck

Right here’s the factor about decks: Don’t be ugly. Don’t be ugly. Don’t be ugly.

The excellent news is it’s free and simple to make a non-ugly deck. It’s not 1999. You should not have to make use of clip artwork. You possibly can go to Canva. You possibly can go to loads of web sites that provide you with very fundamental, very low-cost — if not free — quite simple decks. Simply use one. It doesn’t have to vary the world. However it will possibly’t be ugly. No Comedian Sans font, except you’re a deeply ironic meme-driven firm. And even then, the chances that that joke will land are infinitesimal. So, simply don’t have an unsightly deck.

What needs to be in your deck? Once more, this will likely be a hyperlink that we’ll have later, however I like for actually early-stage corporations to make use of Guy Kawasaki’s 10-slide pitch-deck format. Don’t ship me one thing that may be a video. Don’t ship me one thing that may be a one-pager. Don’t ship me one thing that’s 100-pager. [I want] 10 slides. Don’t make me obtain something. Hooked up as a PDF, use DocSend.

Make it actually, actually, actually easy and very easy to learn and digest who you might be, what the issue is [you are tackling], what the answer is, why you’re the proper crew to do it, what your traction is, how a lot you’re elevating, [and] perhaps a product slide. That’s it. That’s all I have to know. I’ll take the assembly or I gained’t. And I say that on behalf of each different VC and angel on this planet.

This recommendation is obvious and may allow you to keep away from some frequent pitfalls. Every thing that she mentioned to not do, I promise she’s had despatched to her. Don’t be the subsequent factor that will get deleted. Do what she mentioned.

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discover a co-founder

Look again by all people you understand. That is form of the identical [as] after we get to the family and friends a part of fundraising. Actually return and say, Who do I do know? Not, Who’re my greatest mates, or who was at my wedding ceremony. Take a wider look. And take into consideration the intern you at all times sat subsequent to who was an engineer — what are they to date? Your school roommate’s boyfriend or girlfriend who was an excellent compsci main. What are they doing now? Tweet about it, attain out on social media, attain out on LinkedIn. I’m obsessive about LinkedIn. In case you preserve your community updated, you may actually go search who are you aware who’s a pc scientist? First-degree, second-degree connections [are great]. Then simply attain out to individuals and say, Hey, we’d love to speak with you.