I don’t LIKE going before a room full of “Investors”. Why you ask??
A: I know nothing of them however I am still expected to spill my guts to a group of strangers that may or may not be interested in my product/market; may or may not have expertise or experience in your field; and might just be a group of elitist “getting their toes wet” voyeurs.
B: Even when you have their undivided attention and wholehearted interest or questions – it is rarely the learning platform that you wish to obtain by the experience. (Follow up = 0, Coaching = 0, Encouraging Feedback = -0)
C: It’s nerve racking to be a dancing monkey for the amusement, quick barbs and cookie cutter (“savvy” investor) questions that are posed in such a time constraint. .
“If anything, pitch events reinforce the wrong message — that the best place to tell your story is in front of other startup people. That companies can be adequately judged by the way they present themselves, in a few minutes. And that entertaining an audience is as important as figuring out your business.
Startup pitch events have become another sort of entertainment for founders, investors, other startups, bloggers, service providers, and wantrepreneurs. …. however, it never really occurred to me why I found most events banal and empty. The worst tend to be the pitch events with judges that often have little quality input to provide other than barbed responses and witty comments. Just like a fast food meal, you eat a lot of empty calories and not much else.”
-BY MARK BIRCH · AUGUST 4, 2014, Alleywatch.com
Sour Grapes??? Maybe. But any small business entrepreneur knows what it means to work at financing – and each presentation takes another bite out of precious time and energy that could be applied in productivity for your business. They could, after all, get most of the information that they need from Gust or Angel List without the group hug.
Yeah – I may lose some followers – some “would be” investors perhaps, with this posting. But I do believe that it’s time for the funding community to apply the respect to entrepreneurs that they have demanded for themselves for decades. Not all, but many, of us are what makes the rich richer. They are not inherently cleverer simply due to their monetary status, nor do they have to create and build the business that they have cherry picked.