Paseman and Associates: Pitch Checklist

A startup contains an inexhaustible well of problems waiting to happen. Funding can be the catalyst that unleashes them all at once. The list below is an outline of an idealized Angel pitch that shows you recognize the risks and are addressing them. I don't expect you to have this pitch, but the closer you can get, the better. The list comes from this 2003 presentation I gave at SJSU.

  1. Market Risk - Familiarity and Size: I know the Market. It is big. We can get a big piece. Here’s why.
  2. Market Risk - Competition: I beat the Competition. I will continue to do so. Here’s why.
  3. Product Risk - Development: I have developed the Product. Let me demo it for you. I know what to develop next.
  4. Product Risk - Penetration: I am selling the Product. Look at how fast our sales are ramping!
  5. Product Risk - "Stickiness": I have repeat business. Look at our repeat order rate! Customers love the product. Call them.
  6. Financial Operations Risk: I am Cash Flow Positive. My margins are great. I can be profitable soon.
  7. Team Risk: You know, respect and trust the Team. Help me hire more great people. (Daisy's Team)

More checklist detail can be found on Sequoia's site.  (Sequoia has consistently been one of the best VCs around, so why not learn from them?).

Finally, our relationship will be healthier if I can bring something to the deal other than money: Contacts, customers, ideas, team members, etc. Showing that you have done your research on me shows that you are interested in leveraging every opportunity you have. I am interested in investing in such people.