I attended a New York Entrepreneur Week panel today about raising seed and angel capital. The panel of seasoned investor consisted of: Brian Cohen and Geoff Judge from NY Angels, Owen Davis from NYC Seed, Jay Levy from Zelkova Ventures, and Dave McClure from Founders Fund.
One of my favorite questions was “What are your biggest pet peeves about how startups make their pitches?” Here are the top four:
1) Pitching your idea, not the problem you are solving
2) Ignoring the environment, including market size, trends and competition
3) Lack of deep knowledge about the customer – often as the result of developing products in a library instead of out amongst customers
4) Failing to explain founders’ professional accomplishments in quantitative terms (e.g. Instead of just “john ran marketing at xyz co”, think “as VP marketing at xyz co, John reduced customer acquisition costs by 25% and attracted 250K unique visitors in two years.”
Got any pitch peeves of your own? Please share.