By Hanah Cho
The Dallas Morning News.
What are investors looking for in a startup? Dallas venture capitalist David Matthews offers tips on how to draft the most effective pitch.
Matthews is managing partner at venture capital firm Trailblazer Capital. He is also managing director of Dallas accelerator REVTech, which provides seed funding and resources to retail tech startups.
What’s the problem that’s solved through the application of your product? What’s the scope of this problem that speaks to the importance of your solution? How is your product different from competing offerings, and what makes it truly unique? What are the unit metrics that make the product compelling?
How big is the market for your product and its direct competition? How fast is this market growing, and what is driving that growth? What’s your go-to-market strategy — the path from where you are today to ultimate success? Connect the dots along that pathway and explain how rapid scale can be achieved.
What is the relevant experience of your team that provides confidence that successful execution is possible? Does your team have both product-facing and market-facing skills? Has your team worked together before — ideally on something relevant to the current project? What are the respective roles of your first two hires?
Once you’ve proved the viability of both product and market, who are the most likely acquirers of your company? Explain how your product fills a critical gap in their respective product lines that will cause them to place a high value on your company. How much capital and time do you think it takes to get to this point?
Do your homework
What is it about the investor that makes you think we would be a good fit as a financial partner? You’d be surprised how few entrepreneurs take the time to research potential funding sources based on an investor’s respective experience, connections and investment appetite.