Archives for June 2012

Joe Caruso – Angel Video Interview Series

[This post is part of an on-going series of video interviews with members of the start-up community – see a list of links to the full series here.]

A CEO turned professional board member, volunteer, organizer, angel investor, and most importantly, advocate for entrepreneurs, Joe Caruso is a fixture on the early stage scene in Boston. Always quick to compliment, and hesitant to criticize, Joe wears his passion for start-ups on his sleeve. He has been an angel since long before it was a commonplace thing to do, and has countless deals and board stints to his credit.  Despite all that Joe remains as enthusiastic, energetic, curious and approachable as ever. I consider him both a friend and a mentor. So when we got together for a bite of lunch last week, I figured it was high time to add him to the video interview series.trans.gif  [Read more…]

Does This Slide Deck Make Me Look Fat?

Um, yes. Too much product detail. Empty calories. Get rid of them. Why?  First of all, because you have to get through it in 15 minutes and there is no way. But more importantly because all that detail detracts from your message. Yes, you are justifiably proud of your incredibly sophisticated product and, yes, you need to educate your investors to some degree about its many intricacies. Your investor pitch is neither the time nor the place. You want to keep product details at the “only what is absolutely necessary” level. And with the ones you include, you want to focus on benefits, not features.

Don’t tell your investors what your product does, tell them why it does it. Details can be drawn out in the Q&A and during due diligence, so it is not appropriate to go into depth in the pitch. Great pitches tell a compelling story, usually from the perspective of the customer. Remember, success in a pitch is not defined as telling investors everything about your company, it is defined as engaging their interest enough to generate a follow-up meeting. Keep it simple, jargon free and interesting. And for the love of God, practice your delivery.

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If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy: Customer Crowdfunding: Not So Fast, EntrepreneursThe Long Road to Instant SuccessAngel Video Interview Series,  Thoughts on CrowdfundingEntrepreneur at Work: Caine’s Arcade,  The Crowdfunding Interview (Frank Peters Show), Pattern Matching Can Cause BlindspotsGetting Off The Ground; Early Formation EconomicsPitch Clinic at MassChallenge (Video)Why Angels Chase ElectronsBoards vs. Advisory BoardsDelusional EconomicsThat Vision ThingThe Power of An Advisory BoardLoch Ness, Unicorns & The First-Mover AdvantageAre Entrepreneurs Wild Risk-Takers?Top 20 Dos & Don’ts with Angel Groups & Early Stage FinancingWhat I Look For In An EntrepreneurThe OvertureOpen Forum with Angel, Seed and VC Investors (Video)Pick Your Founder/Co-Investors Carefully & Reflections on the Nature of EntrepreneursShould I Wait For A Technical Co-Founder?When Do You Need My Slide Deck?20 Bootstrapping Ideas.
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