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Norwest’s Lisa Wu explains how one can assume like a VC when fundraising

On the TechCrunch Early Stage: Advertising and Fundraising occasion final week, Norwest Venture PartnersLisa Wu took the stage to debate how founders can assume like enterprise capitalists in all aspects of their enterprise. The overlapping in job roles is uncanny: The most effective traders and founders have to search out focus by means of the noise, perceive the load of due diligence and pitch others with conviction. Wu, who has investments in Plaid, Calm and Ritual, used anecdotes and workouts — such because the eyebrow check — within the tactical, participating chat.

Pitch deck or pitch blurb?

Startup founders typically flip to pitch decks when fundraising as a visible illustration of their story — from the origins to complete addressable market to these juicy metrics. Whereas the format positively works, the inflow of pitch decks in a scorching deal surroundings makes it more durable to face out.

Wu gave some tips on how she reacts to chilly pitch decks, and why founders could wish to take some unconventional recommendation.

I find it irresistible as a result of I can rapidly flip by means of the deck and usually kind an opinion on it. And I believe I’ve learn some stat not too long ago, which is that traders actually spend 2 minutes and 47 seconds per deck. It’s a straightforward approach for me to, in that quick period of time, simply get a calibration of the enterprise to resolve whether or not to maneuver ahead.

However, because the founder, I’ll in all probability inform you don’t do [the cold pitch deck]. As a result of for those who’re sending me the pitch deck, I’m rapidly screening after which I’m making a call of whether or not it is sensible to satisfy, however your objective is basically simply to attempt to get the assembly with me to inform the story and let that unfold. And so, give us sufficient of it — like a blurb to tease us to wish to proceed to have interaction is nice. However whether it is potential, I might recommend a late pullback of the pitch deck, regardless that I like to obtain it upfront. (Timestamp: 21:50)

In different phrases, she loves founders sliding into the DMs with pitch decks, however doesn’t assume that technique all the time provides the founder storytelling energy.

This reply triggered a sequence of questions from attendees on whether or not pitch decks are even vital within the first place. Right here, Wu explains how the aggressive enterprise market has impacted her preferences — and her curiosity in what I’d describe it as a personal beta, apart from fundraising rounds.

So, all the pieces is shifting nowadays. As a result of there’s a lot capital [and competition] on the market, typically if I’m chasing a extremely scorching firm, I really desire that they don’t have a deck, or they haven’t created one but. As a result of after getting a deck, meaning you may go and take it out to a bunch of different traders, too. And so it’s useful to construction the dialog and to storytell round it. I believe I like a deck extra so than not, except it’s in a aggressive state of affairs. If I’m attempting to shut the deal, I really desire simply an open dialogue. (Timestamp: 23:30)

We simply have them are available in and we simply put together our workforce internally to allow them to know that there’s no deck right here. And so, it’s simply as much as the founders to essentially simply inform the story to us. And, it’s labored. (Timestamp: 24:20)

  • Don’t ship VC a chilly deck ever once more: Begin sending video pitches
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