October 24, 2014
Gavin McCulley noticed a problem. Founders have a difficult time raising capital. This is nothing new to people living startuplife, but it doesn’t mean that this problem needs to be perpetuated. Sometimes, the difficulty lies in the fact that the business dosen’t deserve or warrant being funded, but MANY times you’ve got a great team, a great concept, but these messages are poorly communicated to investors.
McCulley decided to do something about it. He started a podcast that he calls “The Pitch Deck – Inside the Startup Funding Game” which focuses on helping entrepreneurs raise the capital they need, from the right investors. 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week, The Pitch Deck interviews active angel investors, influential VCs, and founders who have raised serious funds for their business. Listeners, in turn, gain free, expert advice and insights.
“Every day,” says McCulley, “I ask the investors who are writing checks and founders who have raised the money what it takes to be successful in the startup funding game.”
A week’s worth of episodes have been released to date, and as promised, the guests have ranged from venture managers, VCs, and founders who have raised capital such as Tech Cocktail startup showcase alum AJ Agrawal of Alumnify. In Episode 4, Brett Topche of MentorTech Ventures shares where he finds strengths – and weaknesses – in the comments founders make during these pitch conversations.
One of the largest mistakes a founder can make is to misunderstand the market. Don’t make huge assumptions that you can get 1% of a projected market. Even that first 1 percent is by far the hardest to get, and you’re demonstrating that you probably don’t really know your market. “If you’re at 6% of the market and trying to get to 7, that is worlds easier than trying to get from 0 to 1,” says Topche. There are other warning signs he sees in these pitch meetings, and one real showstopper is a founder who claims that there are no competitors in the market space.
For more insight, check out all of the Pitch Deck episodes.
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