Melissa Bradley wears many hats. She’s the co-founder of a startup called Ureeka, an investor at 1863 Ventures, and a professor at Georgetown’s business school. So it’s not an understatement to say that she understands the fundraising process from every angle. And moreover, she has both invested and fundraised for her own startup during this last year, where the landscape has shifted drastically. At TechCrunch Early Stage, she led a session on how to nail your virtual pitch meeting.
Bradley covered how to allocate your time during the meeting, how to prepare, how to close out the meetings with a clear list of action items, and what to avoid.
You can watch the session or check out the full transcript below, but I’ve also pulled out a few highlights from the talk just for you.
Conversation > Pitching
One of the greatest shifts in the pitch landscape during the pandemic was the nature of meetings themselves. Because investors and founders can take 30 meetings a day from the comfort of their home, it means that conversation has been prioritized over presentation. Adding to the need for conversation is the fact that investors aren’t ‘getting to know you’ IRL as they would in the past, and so how you interact (not just the content of your pitch) is critically important.
Bradley explained that planning for extra time to answer questions and go deep on strategy is more important now than ever.
Now is the time to really have a conversation and deeply engage the investor in your story and your vision. You want to be conversational in nature, but still formal in tone. So you want to be respectful; you want to avoid jargon; you want to make sure it’s clear what you’re talking about. But it’s really much more of a two-way conversation than we’ve probably seen before. I think again, pace yourself, be really clear in advance how much time you have. One-third of the time should be spent on your pitch, and the other two-thirds, you should be prepared to field questions and really have that conversation. Pace yourself. Don’t rush through. If you only have 30 minutes, it’s probably not the best time to do a demo. You might want to follow up with a recorded demo or make an offer to do a demo afterwards. (Timestamp – 6:03)
Strategy > Projections