Last week, The Startup Garage had the pleasure of attending the fourteenth annual Venture Summit in San Diego, hosted by the San Diego Venture Group (SDVG). The event brought together more than 35 of San Diego’s ‘coolest companies’ as well as venture capitalist firms. The diverse audience included attendees from tech, software, consumer goods, life sciences, health, and other industries.
An array of valuable information was shared over the course of the event. Here are some of our favorite business tips for Startups shared during the Venture Summit:
1. Tell your story in a clear, concise, and passionate manner. Entrepreneurs are often so ingrained in their business that when they pitch their vision to potential investors, their message seems robotic and potentially unclear. It is crucial to investors that you tell your story with both passion and direction. Investors understand that your company is your baby, that you’ve invested an excruciating amount of effort, time, and finances to see it succeed. Be excited to share your baby with investors and really show them how passionate you are.
2. Target your story to your audience. The ability to tell your story effectively does not come easy. It is highly recommended to practice with as many investors that are willing to listen. From that practice, you develop a keen sense of understanding of their perspective and you will be better suited to modify your story to fit your target audience.
3. Keep your story organic and fluid. The ability to flex your pitch on the spot demonstrates mastery and confidence. Practice makes perfect. Practice your story alterations to yourself in the mirror to keep your story fluid and relevant. Being able to tailor your presentation based on your audience will allow you to connect more effectively with investors.
4. San Diego is a booming start-up community, leverage your “neighbor”. With the rising living costs in places like San Francisco, companies and employees alike are searching for other areas where exciting growth opportunity exists, and San Diego is rapidly become a top hub for Startups. We’ve witnessed a growing number of industries and companies calling San Diego home; CourseKey, CureMatch, eSUB, and Freetz to name a few. The blend of technology, sunny weather, and beautiful beaches has attracted entrepreneurs from all over the world, and will continue to do so for the coming years – so start building your network today.
5. Ask for constructive feedback. Oftentimes, entrepreneurs receive a “No” from investors, and are afraid to ask them for feedback. Don’t be afraid of asking them for a few words of advice or why they decided not to invest in your company. A simply phone call can go a long way in helping you develop the perfect pitch and, ultimately, finding the best investor for your company.
In a given year, a venture capitalist firm comes across 1,000 potential deals, 50 of which undergo the due diligence process, and only 1 of the 1,000 is invested in. Having the right tools, team and support system is critical.