Tag Archives: Investor Presentation

Inside The 2016 Tech Coast Angels 10th Anniversary Quick Pitch Event

Inside The 2016 Tech Coast Angels 10th Anniversary Quick Pitch Event

It’s no secret, the Tech Coast Angels is one of the largest, if not THE largest angel investor group in the nation. “Consisting of experienced CEOs, senior executives, current and former entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other professionals, members have invested over $180 million in more than 300 companies and have helped entrepreneurs attract more than $1.6 billion in additional capital rounds,” according to the TCA Website. Regional chapters include: Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Central Coast, and the Inland Empire. Within those chapters, the San Diego John G. Watson TCA Quick Pitch Competition celebrates its ten year anniversary this year.

“The Quick Pitch Competition is one of the most recognized angel investor events in the nation, showcasing talented entrepreneurs who each have two minutes to pitch their business to an expert panel of judges and large audience of investors, business executives and community leaders,” states Qualcomm Ventures. Finalists this year showcased San Diego’s entrepreneurial diversity, showcasing companies in various industries, including life sciences, consumer products, and tech industries.

This year the event was conducted a little differently, instead of the winner being selected by the judges, the audience of 500 were privileged enough to name the 2016 Quick Pitch winner. Another incentive for entrepreneurs was the doubling of last year’s cash prize to $30,000, although the top three winners would have to divide up the cash prize. The ten judges were therefore considered coaches and provided insight and feedback to the top ten savvy startup competitors. The winners were announced following an evening of meet and greet with TCA members, quick pitch finalists, and thought leaders within the San Diego startup community. As one can imagine, these entrepreneurs were eager to hear the results, but they were able to enjoy themselves throughout the entire event.

In The Hot Seat [The Feedback]

With a panel of the top players in the San Diego Startup Community serving as coaches during the TCA Quick Pitch event, there was extensive feedback provided to each presenter. Following each two-minute pitch, judges were given three-minutes to provide constructive thoughts or ask questions to each presenter.

Top 5 Points of Feedback From the Coaches

Credibility – Highlight key experiences and certifications that make you and your team a credible player in your target space.

Traction, Traction, Traction – Clearly present metrics and data points that show how your company is gaining traction.

Customer Acquisition Cost – this is a key metric all investors are interested in. Lifetime value (LTV) is also a key metric in rationalizing your CAC by quantifying your ability to monetize customers.

Optimization – If you are allotted a specific time period, use every second as effectively as possible. Two minutes is short – asking the audience questions, spending too much time on basic company information is not a meaningful use of your time
Growth Potential – Make sure you clearly communicate current revenue as well as the big picture in Year 5; investors want profitable, scalable companies to invest in.

Mark Your Calendars

The Startup Garage is a proud sponsor of the annual TCA Quick Pitch event. For San Diego entrepreneurs, these events not only bring entrepreneurs and major Angel investing groups in the country together, but they provide an open environment to collaborate, learn, and strengthen our startup community. With the increasing number of innovative startups being created every year, these events keeps everyone up to date on ongoing trends and resources. If you are a company looking for funding, please visit the TCA website and check out their application criteria.

At TSG, we believe that entrepreneurs change the world and push the boundaries of innovation, especially when they collaborate. San Diego is an expanding ecosystem of business owners and thought leaders from all walks of life. Be sure to mark your calendars for future events similar to the TCA Quick Pitch event as they bring a multifaceted perspective on industry trends and provide insight into what it means to be an entrepreneur in a time where innovation is ever evolving.

Business Plan Writer vs. Business Plan Strategic Consultant

Business Plan Writer vs. Business Plan Strategic Consultant

People often ask me, “What are my options for writing a business plan?”

At the highest level, there are two options, writing it yourself or hiring someone else to do it for you.

The benefits of writing the business plan yourself are that you will save money and you will learn a lot about your business by going through the research and financial modeling processes.

However, this can be a risky option if you haven’t written a business plan before and/or if you haven’t raised capital before.

It is important to have a solid understanding of the way investors see value in a company as well as the milestones they care about if you are going to be successful writing the business plan yourself.

Furthermore, even if you have a good grasp on the investors’ perspective, you often miss out on objective, third-party pushback that can elevate your business plan to the next level. Lastly, as a time-strapped entrepreneur, spending several hundred hours writing your plan probably isn’t the best use of your time as you should be focusing on developing your product, expanding your team, and establishing
awareness with your customers.

While hiring someone to write your business plan for you will save you a lot of time, the capital outlay may or may not be worth the time savings – who you hire to write your business plan will make all the difference.

Hiring a Business Plan Strategic Consultant that can elevate your plan and strategy to help increase your chance of nailing the first impression with investors is money well spent. However, hiring a Business Plan Writer that merely saves you time but doesn’t add value to your pitch is a waste.

Below we’ve provided the differences between a Business Plan Writer and a Business Plan Strategic Consultant.

Business Plan Writer

A Business Plan Writer can be half the cost, or more, of a Business Plan Strategic Consultant. Typically, these savings come at the expense of the quality of the final product (you get what you pay for type of thing).

A Business Plan Writer typically completes a business plan in far less time simply because they can only put a limited amount of time into the plan in order for their business model to be profitable.

The problem with this model is that a business plan isn’t complete once a certain amount of time has passed; a business plan is complete once all red flags and issues have been identified, addressed, and overcome.

At the end of the day, a Business Plan Writer will require you to present the content, solutions, and answers that they will plug into a cookie-cutter template. While a Business Plan Writer can certainly save you time, the plan will ultimately only be as good as the information and strategies you provide them.

Business Plan Strategic Consultant

Hiring a Business Plan Strategic Consultant is certainly more expensive than hiring a Business Plan Writer or writing the plan yourself. However, the result will pay off in the long run when it comes to providing yourself with the best chance possible of successfully raising capital.

First a foremost, a Business Plan Strategic Consultant brings specific experience and education in the startup sector beyond expertise in broad business writing.

Second, a Business Plan Strategic Consultant understands what it takes to attract capital. They have an intimate knowledge of the capitalization timeline, who invests at the various stages, and what investors need to see at each stage. They will be able to coach you on the milestones and accomplishments you should be focusing on while crafting the investment story.

Third, a Business Plan Strategic Consultant takes a holistic approach to assessing your business including monetization strategies and business models, target markets and competitive differentiation, management team and personnel plan, sales and marketing communication strategies, and more.

Fourth, a Business Plan Strategic Consultant identifies red flags and gaps in your model by asking tough questions and challenging your assumptions in a way that is constructive and educational.

Finally, a Business Plan Strategic Consultant will compile all of this information in investor friendly documentation (business plan, executive summary, pitch deck, financial projections, one-page business plan, etc) based on your specific needs and audience.

The Startup Garage is a recognized Business Plan Strategic Consultancy that helps founders raise capital and get out of the garage through proven business plan writing and startup strategy consulting services. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

Startup Weekend San Diego Powered By Google for Entrepreneurs Kicks Off

Startup Weekend San Diego from The Startup Garage

Startup Weekend San Diego Powered By Google for Entrepreneurs Kicks Off

Google, which began in a garage nearly two decades ago, celebrates the entrepreneur in all of us in community events throughout the world.

The objective of these events is to encourage entrepreneurs to learn, connect, and create companies that will change the world.

Today, Friday November 14 2014- Sunday Nov 17th is time for participants of Startup Weekend San Diego to turn innovative ideas into reality. Over a mere 54-hour period teams of individuals will turn cutting edge ideas into newly launched companies that will be pitched to a panel of judges on Sunday evening. Participates will also be part of the Global Startup Battle, a virtual competition, where founder teams go toe to toe against nearly 200 cities. A feat, which will require various talent pools, excellent communication skills, and the ability to move at startup speed.

This year’s event MEGA event will blend Web, Mobile, and Maker innovation. Tackling both hardware and software into makeable products. The first Startup Weekend San Diego ever to include hardware prototyping. Physical product or inventions will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience in using 3D printers, a laser cutter, electronics prototyping equipment, along with expert coaching

There perhaps has never been an environment more appropriate to do so.
This year #SWSD will be held in the new downtown San Diego library.
A $185 million dollar modern construction, designed by esteemed architect Rob Quigley. Toped with an iconic steel and mesh dome, the structure promises to be the ultimate thinking cap for creative discovery.

With Forbes Magazine naming San Diego the best place to launch a Startup in 2014, there has never been a better time in history, to immerse yourself and your business within the local Startup community. The Startup Garage is passionate about entrepreneurship and dedicated supporting the San Diego and Global Startup Community. We are proud to be sponsor, and coach at the event.
Please stop by our booth and introduce yourself.

Cheers to a Successful and Empowering Startup Weekend San Diego Powered By Google for Entrepreneurs.

Whether you have a question about your Startup or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

What’s The Best VC Pitchdeck?

Venture Capital Pitch Deck from The Startup Garage

What’s The Best VC Pitchdeck?

What’s The Best VC Pitchdeck?

Don’t live your life impressing others. Live your life impressing yourself.

The above is an interesting quote that relates to many aspects of life and business, especially when pitching your startup to the venture capitalists.

The best pitch deck comes from the heart; it’s not one created for the benefit of venture capitalists. It is for yourself, an outgrowth of the startup business you’re raising.

When you prepare your company’s business model for the VC pitchdeck, pay attention to the details:

  • Make it eye catching
  • Demonstrate your passion for your business
  • Make it compelling
  • Make it concise and to the point
  • Demonstrate the urgency of getting this deal done. Show the VC why it benefits him (not you) and if he doesn’t go with the deal, make sure he understands someone else will.

Your VC pitch deck needs to be a great snapshot of your business.

What You Need To Know

As an entrepreneur seeking investment, you will be asked to present a detailed financial model.
A financial model that demonstrates and explains all of the possible assumptions behind the numbers.

This financial model is the key to your getting the funding you need. It is a tool you use to show your real perspective to investors. Your financial model needs to be more compelling than the average run of the mill catalog financial model.

How to Prepare Your Financial Model

Think of answering these core elements when preparing for a funding round:

  • Assumptions that a VC could make.
  • P&L Marketing
  • Balance Sheet
  • Key Forecasts
  • Metrics

Cover These Vital Elements in Your Presentation

You must do your homework and cover these areas as they relate to your particular heading.

  • Your Market Size
  • Projected Growth of the Market
  • The Way in which Your Business Meets Your Client’s Unmet Needs
  • The Value Your Business Offers
  • Market Competition
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Business
  • Business Model
  • Metrics
  • Financial Model
  • Historic Outline of Your Business
  • Future Timeline
  • Return Options
  • Risks
  • Exit Strategy
  • Your Team

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Keep in mind that VCs want to see your past, current and future actions. These are key elements that speak to them. They don’t want to hear the fluff. Show them a detailed financial model that tests their assumptions. Show them how your startup is going to make them money.

What Are the Assumptions a VC May Have?

A VC will always make assumptions. That’s the way he forecasts the possibilities for investing in the business. Use historical data to base your future growth assessments on reality.  Use metrics that demonstrate the number of users for your service or product, the amount of money you generate for each user, new types of revenue and other data that pertains to your business.

Short Term and Long Term Cash Strategies

A VC wants to know about your cash administration. He wants to know how you are going to manage your finances and the potential funding raised.  Effective cash flow strategies ensure you keep enough cash on hand to meet the business financial obligations. These include payroll, suppliers, customers, loans, inventory and expenditures.

What Happens Afterwards?

When and if you do get VC funding your business and financial models don’t sit idly by. You and your management team need to work and improve these models constantly. They serve as a guide for your business as it develops. Your performance will be judged according to your initial forecasts.


Whether you have a question about you investing or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

Questions You Can Expect From Investors

Questions to Expect from Investors from The Startup Garage

Questions You Can Expect From Investors

The Most Common Questions Asked by Investors

Statics show that investor receive thousands of plans a year and will only proceed to the next round with 10% of those at best.  Regardless of the type of investor you are targeting (sophisticated individuals, angel groups or VC firms), it is important to be fully prepared to answer every question that they may come up with.  Some of the most common questions that you can expect to hear are the following:

  • Why should I/we invest in you?
  • What are your competitive advantages?
  • What is your current market traction?
  • Is this business scalable?
  • At what point do you break-even?
  • What is your exit strategy?
  • What are some comparable exits of other companies in your industry?
  • Do you have intellectual property such as a patent?
  • What is your valuation and how did you derive it?

Time and time again unseasoned entrepreneurs’ presentations fall flat when they are not prepared to answer these types of questions.  Take the time to make sure that your business planning is complete, that your business plan is dialed in and that you are prepared to answer these and related questions.

Whether you have a question about Investor Presentations or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

10 Tips to NOT Fail a Pitch Presentation

10 Tips to NOT Fail a Pitch Presentation from The Startup Garage

10 Tips to NOT Fail a Pitch Presentation

The reason why most people dislike giving presentations (such as your startup pitch), is because they aren’t any good at it!  Thankfully, there are some tips that you can implement fairly quickly to step up your game.

1. Personality

You need to show some energy during your presentation.  Your audience will make a very quick judgment call as to whether they want to listen to this presentation or merely be present while they check their emails on their iPhones.  Your pitch is not a conversation at a cocktail party; use your hands, project your voice, have some movement, add variety to your tone and appear to be excited about your product or service by acting animated.

2. Structure a Story

You should structure your pitch in the form of a story with a beginning, middle and end.  The beginning brings your product to life and excited the audience for the rest of the story to come.  Think, opening action seen of a James Bond movie.  The middle provides the plot and supporting evidence: what is the problem, who are the bad guys and how does the hero solve the problem.  The ending builds on the beginning and middle of the story with a climactic action scene that brings closure to the story and leaves the audience feeling utterly satisfied.

3. Be Memorable

Your investors will likely have seen tens if not hundreds of pitches in their career.  Your goal is not end up as another forgotten entrepreneur whose business plan made it to the trash.  However, keep in mind, your main goal is to show your audience that you are able to make this business a success.  As a result, humor, self-deprecation and unprofessionalism is not the name of the game.  It can be subtle, such as a powerful image in your deck or unique structure to your presentation.

4. Know Your Audience

The more you know about your audience, the more you can use it to your advantage.  If the majority have kids, have advanced degrees or enjoy sports, you can incorporate these pieces of knowledge into your presentation to establish common ground and likability.   You will also want to think hard about your audience’s pain points.  What is that they need you to answer in order to achieve your desired outcome?  What is it that they don’t want to hear that will send them running for the hills?

5. Keep It Simple

Don’t confuse your audience by providing them with every last detail of your product or service.  Give your audience the essentials what you want to convey and why it matters.  Use as few words as possible to still get your message across.  It is OK to use facts and figures in your presentation, but only if these numbers help you to tell your story in a compelling way.

6. Keep Your Pitch Deck Visual

You want your audience’s attention on you.  They are investing in you and not your pitch deck.  The more time they are spent trying to read a spall sentence on your slide, the less time they are focusing on you.  You can provide two version of your presentation: one with a lot of detail that can be left behind as a takeaway or emailed, and one with mostly images and key takeaways that support the message you are delivering at that point in time.

7. Practice, Practice, Practice

It is all too apparent when someone has not prepared.  You should know your presentation in and out.  Furthermore, you should be prepared to answer questions that are not provided in your presentation.  In fact, it is a good rule of thumb to have backup slides ready to help you answer questions that you anticipate the audience asking.  Not only will this help you to answer the question, but it will show your commitment and that you came prepared.

8. Stick to the Time Frame

If you have been giving a time frame for your presentation, stick to it.  You can even plan on going under and leaving time for questions.  Your presentation will always go longer than you anticipated, and if you end early, your audience won’t mind a bit.

9. Demo and Remote Control

If you have a demo, have someone else deliver the demo.  The last thing you need is the confusion of operating your demo while trying to remember your talking points.  Additionally, plan on investing in a remote control to change from slide to slide if you do not already own one.

10. Summarize

Before moving on from each slide or each major point that you are trying to make, be sure to summarize the key takeaway.  This not only helps to provide a clear transition and signals the audience that you are moving on, but it helps drive the point across.

If you are not already doing so, start working these 10 tips into your pitch strategy to step up your game.


Whether you have a question about Pitch Presentations, or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!