Inbound Requests from VCsOutbound Outreach as Part of the Pitch ProcessBest PracticesShadows on Investor CallsAdditional Resources
For an early stage company, receiving an inbound intro meeting request can be exhilarating. No matter how “informal” an intro meeting can appear, it’s important to keep in mind that:
All meetings with VCs are inherently pitches - even if you’re not presenting a pitch deck, VCs are
See suggested processes at How to Interact with VCs.
- Review pitch deck and practice pitches with OCV team
- Review pitch deck and practice pitches with Friendly VCs group first
- Include both co-founders on the pitch call (CEO & CTO)
- Showcase your passion for the project and company, don’t be afraid to go deep in your answers to investor questions
- Demonstrate your domain expertise in your space
- Know who your customers are and what they need - synthesize your conversations with customers
- Know your addressable market and competitors / competitive landscape
(Real-life advice from one OCV company CEO in mid-2022)
Portfolio CEOs should consider how conversations about positioning and high-level strategy and roadmap, whether with their board or with large shareholders, will impact the team in terms of distraction/confusion before opening up those conversations to a wider audience.
Advice from one OCV CEO: set expectations with shadows on investor call before inviting them to meetings. Otherwise, general discussions can create confusion about major ongoing company activities.
Aaron Harris (YC Partner): “The mistake that a lot of founders make is that they are constantly fundraising while building product and trying to do both things at the same time. What we did with Demo Day was say, ‘No, no, no. You do one thing at a time.’ You basically take your product work and you make that X number of months until it's good enough, until you have customers. Then, at some point, when it's good enough you switch over to fundraising because fundraising takes all of your time and energy and effort. To do it well you really need to work on it and you can't work on your company and your product and your customers at the same time.”