I am not a VC. I am not an angel (don’t like the term). But I am a business mentor. Most of the times my mentoring is accompanied by an investment. Occasionally I get some shares in exchange for mentoring. If you look at the right side of this blog you will see the companies that I have invested in. Wikio, Netvibes, Plazes, Dopplr, Tumblr, Technorati, Eolia, Seesmic, Vuze (Azureus), Meneame, Joost, Moneytrackin, 23andMe, Aura Biosciences, Sonico, DineroMail, Sevenload, Vpod, and Xing.
As a result of these investments I get many pitches. More than I can handle. So I have two great people helping me look at these investments. One is Eduardo Arcos, the entrepreneur behind Hipertextual, the second largest blog network in Spanish in which I am an investor. The other one is Mahesh Kumar, a brilliant Indian student whose time I share with Result, a company in which I am also an investor. Now, other than that Eduardo and Mahesh are two great analysts, there is another reason I work with them going over pitches. Analysis is such a slow process.
So before getting more pitches, I would like to explain what my ideal format for getting pitches would be like. What I want is to get not the typical Power Point. Instead I want a TALKING Power Point. I want a Power Point in which I hit play and in 5 minutes I hear a presentation of the company narrated by the entrepreneur. I want to hit PLAY when I get a presentation not go over slides that were meant to be narrated but I still get 1999 style without video or sound. And of course it does not need to be in Power Point which I don’t even have (I use open source software to read PP). My ideal pitch could be slides with a small box for the entrepreneur to speak in video, or an alternation of the entrepreneur and slides, or simply slides with a voice over a la web demo. It could also be in stages. It could be 5 minutes and then the choice of… interested? Here’s some more. So if I like it and want to go in depth I can. These 5 minute pitches would make my day. And probably Eduardo’s and Mahesh’s day as well.
I would like to end by saying that my criteria to invest in a company are hardly objective. I only invest my funds, so I don’t need to have committees or fill up forms for liability protection. My criteria are: an entrepreneur with whom I would like to hang out with, a product I would love to use, and a valuation that is reasonable. But I have met some of the entrepreneurs I ended up mentoring through pitches, so I figured I would share my ideal pitch format with my readers.
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