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How to Pitch Your Startup with Andrew Goldner from GrowthXYou is part of our Startups 101 workshop series. In this workshop, Andrew gives great actionable advice on the best way to pitch your startup. You can watch the panel or read the transcript below:



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Video Transcript

When I was invited to do this I knew the topic is the how to pitch workshop, and I will spend a couple of minutes talking about that and of course the session you just had, huge amount of value agreed with every piece of feedback that was given. It’s important, the pitch is an important thing. Like I said, I’m going to touch on a couple of things about your pitch but where I really like to spend my time talking and it’s frankly, I think, an area that doesn’t get as much play. Right now you could Google how to pitch series seed and come up with three million websites in half a second. A bunch of it is good advice, some of it is conflicting, you all have to decide what you want to do, the audience is different, the objective is different, those are the things you have to think about, but I like to talk about some things that I don’t think get as much play, which is more of the practical side of fundraising and the work that should be done before you ever pitch.

Quickly, just for context because I always think it’s important that you now who you’re listening to so that you can think about the words and the advice that I’m giving, the feedback that I’m providing and keep it in context. This is just a little bit about me and my background. I’ve seen from a round table, every seat at the table for the last 15 plus years as lawyer, adviser, funder, founder. I am currently raising, so I’m not only up here but also sitting there. I’m raising a fund right now and so we’ve raised a bunch of it already, we continue to raise. I’m in the middle of this myself and certainly eating my own dog food. I’ve had my own startups and funds raised from there, I’ve been in corporate development inside of a corporation and helped build that road map, build that pipeline and buy companies and internalized them and helped run them, so I’ve seen it from a variety of perspectives here in North America on the East and West coast, as well as in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. That’s just a little bit about me.

I guess honestly the advice I have about how to pitch, my first piece of advice is don’t. Don’t pitch; showcase. It’s not just semantics. I do think that there is a difference. Don’t stand up in front of an audience or sit across from someone and sell them something. That’s what I think pitching is. I think the best way to be a seller is to show up as a buyer. And the only that way you can do that is to understand a lot about who it is that you’re talking to and the problems that they’re trying to solve, and why is it that you can help them. That’s absolutely as important when you’re developing your market, as it is when you’re developing your investors and raising money. And so I think there’s a switch of a mindset, and this is in light about what I want to go into today is why it’s important to show up as a buyer not as a seller and how to do that. A couple of other things, my background is also in media. I was also in the Thompson family when we bought Reuters and I became publisher of Reuters news after Thompson Reuters was founded and so I’ve spent a lot of time at 3000 journalists in 200 places in the world putting out content in length the equivalent to the old and new testament combined every single day of the year. We produce a heck of a lot of content at Reuters and it’s read.

How do we capture people’s attention? Time starved information over professionals? I try to apply that same thinking to the narrative of a pitch deck, the narrative of a conversation with an investor. Character driven narratives tend to capture people’s attention more. So be human, even if it’s just made up. I love it when a founder talks to me and there’s the founder product fit because they struggled at their desk for a while and wondered why nobody was doing this or whatever the case is, someone who’s actually felt the pain and then comes to the problem that way and then comes to a solution from that perspective. And when they sit down and talk to me, what they’re doing is they’re just telling me about their day, right? They’re telling me about their previous history and why it is that they came to this problem and the solution from themselves and what they faced in life or at work. That’s great. If you don’t have that personal experience that’s okay, right? This is Bob. Bob is this person and this is what’s Bob’s job is everyday. Here’s Sally and this is what she does and the reason that she thinks this, or the reason that she feels this, or the reason that she is frustrated, those tend to be a lot more compelling to capture and hold audience’s attention than just features and functionality.

Product, team and market readiness and play to your strength. I think that’s a lot of what that sandwich goes to and I think it’s a great graphic and it’s brilliant advice. Product team and market readiness, that’s everything. But play to your strengths. If you’ve got the old gang back together again, you’re a third time founder, you brought the team back together again, this is two previous exits in the same space and now attacking a slightly different problem with a different theme. That’s a bull’s eye, right? Maybe you want to start that way. Maybe you’ve got some enormous traction off the editor’s gates. That traction is going to get an investor’s attention, probably more than anything else. If you’ve got it, start with it because it almost doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you’re going to capture their attention instantly and reduce some of the dissonance that might be in their mind as they are hearing you go through your story. Just think about thematically when you’re pitching or you’re showcasing – product, team, market readiness. And the order of the deck really do play to your strengths. You can go online right now and find thousands and thousands examples of the ideal deck for a series seed round of financing. And it’s going to follow a similar pattern. I think for most people, it’s a great start, but don’t just take it as a template and apply it haphazardly. Think about what your strengths are and then reorder the deck.

I’ll give you one example and this is a bit of a contrary in view point. You’re going to see in most examples online or when you talk to people about advice about pitching, that team comes later or almost last. I give just the opposite opinion. I think you should surface your team up front, always. Why? Because just as an investor, one of the pieces of dissonance that can get created psychologically is why does this guy, why does this team think they’re the ones that are going to actually solve this massive problem? How in the heck are these people going to pull it? Yeah, I’d buy it. This is a huge problem, a ton of people have tried to do it before, other people see this as a problem. How is it that they’re the ones that are going to pull it off? Personally I like to surface that upfront because I think the story flows better. Also, by starting with who you are as a human and who your co-founders are as humans instantly helps you make that human connection. I think that everything is about the human connection. That just helps get that connection started early, and then you can more readily flow into your character driven narrative.

I have a 10-slide framework that I’ve established that I have used dozens and dozens of times. I believe in story boarding, I know the anxiousness of getting to your PowerPoint deck or whatever program you’re using to design your actual deck. I have found it again, it’s part of my background as 10 years as a corporate lawyer. After 13 hours of negotiation, I was the guy that had to go back to my office while everybody went out and had a fun dinner, and I had to memorialize the last 13 hours and 100-page document. One of the things that I learned by building up some of that muscle in my brain was where everybody else thought there was a period, I saw a comma. And that’s because something about transferring down onto a piece of paper and thinking through the narrative as opposed to just jumping right into a solution, which is your PowerPoint deck, helps you develop it. And if you’ve already started on you deck and you’re trying to think about how to improve it or change it, using you deck as the reference point is like that kid in nursery school in the corner with a hammer trying to jam that square peg in the round hole. It’s just a much harder thing to do than starting with a blank piece of paper and story board. What are the seven to ten slides? What is the objective of each slide? And then just in a Word doc or in your Evernote, just type out how you’re going to meet the objective of each of the slides before you try to layer on graphic design because that’s all that’s is. Once you have your story board, it’s amazing how easy it is to layer on the graphic design and now you have a deck. By the way, if you’re not someone who has the skills, the interest, the time to be developing your own deck, and I do think UI is really important nowadays to capture people’s attention and to show that you’re serious and thoughtful about it, that is going to be important that you have an element of design to your deck. But if that’s not your thing, and you’re going to want to turn it over to somebody, this story board is going to make it easier and cheaper for you to do that.

Again, a couple of quick tips. There’s a lot out there, but…One of the questions I was asked which was a really good one is, is there a difference between seed and series A? Absolutely, there is. One of the things that everybody in this audience needs to understand is the traction requirements at every stage of the funding life cycle are getting higher. In fact, they’ve increased just while we have been sitting here today. Five years ago raising your series seed or your seed round was all about proto-typing your product. Today, as we’ve just heard, it’s about product market fit. Five years ago the product traction requirements for your B round, those are now your product traction requirements for your A round. I like to joke with people that A is the fourth letter of the alphabet in Silicon Valley. And it’s true, right? Friends and family, pre seed, seed, A. And so there is absolutely a difference. And by the way, it’s ridiculous to spend any time thinking about what to call the round of financing you’re raising. That absolutely seems ridiculous.

I sat in that chair as a founder and thought, what a ridiculous waste of time. It couldn’t be more important. Why? Because there’s just force and function. There’s funneling, there’s stack ranking that’s going on in every step of the conversations you’re having. And so what it is that you decide, where you decide you are and therefore the type of investor you go to seek and the conversation you have with them, they’re going to be categorizing you and then comparing you. And so from the type of investor you’re going to be speaking to – Is this a seed financier? Is this a series A investor capitalist? They’re then going to stick you in that category and stack rank you against everybody else and I think that’s probably the most important thing, is don’t forget that stack ranking. When you sit down and you’re going to showcase or you’re going to pitch in front of an audience, or one to one, or in front of an investment committee, that competition slide in your deck, that’s actually not accurate for what you’re doing. That’s your competition for your startup as a product to try to sell to customers. But when you’re pitching, your competition is every other startup in the world, across every single industry and sector that is pitching to that investor at that time – the 50 people that sat in you chair before you got there that day and the 50 people that sit there afterwards. Like most angels nowadays, they’re serious or certain investors in terms of venture capitalist, they’re going to have a weekly investor meeting. And they’re going all go through and talk about all of the startups that they’ve heard from during that prior week or those they didn’t get to from that prior week before then, and then they’re going to start stack ranking. And that’s how you’re going to get judged. It’s not you and your team, it’s not your product, it’s not your market, it’s that in the context of every single other startup. And that’s one of the most difficult things now on being on this side of the table and having to write those checks.

We’re very fortunate. We see incredible teams that are approaching really interesting markets with great products every single day. How to make that decision, because regardless of how large your fund is, you’re still faced with that same spreadsheet and typically the demand outweighs the capacity. So, how do you make that decision? Most of the time when I’m giving feedback, and I love giving feedback to founders, I don’t like to say, “Sorry I’m passing you good luck,” or something silly, I really do like to provide useful feedback. Most of the time that conversation is about stack ranking. Yes, you’re doing well. Yes, I think you can make it. Yes, I think the future looks like you have painted it and the question is, “Can you be the one to do that?” But when it comes to for instance to product traction, where the shift nowadays is focusing away from the development of technology and towards the application of technology. And that’s about product traction and exquisite general management. When I compare that traction against the 50 people that sat in the chair before you and the 50 that are coming after you, it becomes more difficult to make that decision depending on where you stack rank. And so, stack ranking is very important.

Anyway, I do have this 10-slide framework that I’ve developed. It’s basically a blank story board with the objective of each slide and a space for you to start to think about and fill in for each slide and each objective what your story is. If you email me, I’m happy to share it with you.

What I would like to spend most of my time here today is talking about this, the number one mistake that founders make when they’re raising money and most importantly, how everybody in this room can avoid it. Raise your hand if you’ve done the Silicon Valley shuffle. I know, I have. It sucks especially with traffic nowadays, you’re driving up and down the 101 in 280 going to some office on Sand Hill road, a VC with a big brand. Here you are with your startup, this is your dream, someone from Greylock reached out and you’re like, “Oh my God! This is unbelievable. I’m going to pitch Greylock” You can’t sleep the night before, right? You’ve got your deck out and you’re tweaking all the graphics and just making sure it’s perfect. You’re running through your pitch with your co-founders. You got to get up early, you don’t want to be late. Maybe you’re going to use waves or something, but still you don’t want to be late so you spend extra time making sure you get down there. You’re hanging out at the Rosewood for the half hour prior making sure that you can walk right across the street, your nerves are fine. The guy’s going to be running late, and then you’ve got let’s say an hour and then you’re just pumped up about how awesome it went or you’re just not sure, you’re, “Shit, I don’t know how that went.” The rest of your day is spent thinking about that one thing that you said, did you screw up or did it make an impact. The reality is, joking aside, when you’re pitching, when you’re living your dream and chasing this thing and chewing the broken glass, it’s extremely emotional. It’s not just the time to drive down or to drive up, it’s not just the time spent with that person, it’s not just the trip home. It’s a huge emotional drain. It takes a significant amount of actual time and emotional time to do this. Doing the Silicon Valley shuffle without really thinking about it because of the name, brand, investor that reached out to you or replied to your email or you were introduced by your friend, without ever taking the time to think about whether this person would ever be interested in what you’re doing and how you’re going to stack rank and what the most relevant and pertinent messages that you can use to attract their interest and get them to want you to come back and even share more, that’s when you end up doing the Silicon Valley shuffle which is why for me, the number one mistake that founders make when they’re raising venture capital is they mistake being busy for making progress. Nowadays, you can be super busy. There’s a ton of capital that needs to get to work. There’s more funds, the funds are bigger, the checks are bigger, venture capital is getting disrupted because of the angel list because of the job zap because of so many other active angels, because right now startups and venture capitals the romantic meter is at an all time high in terms of how romantic it is to be in a startup or to be in venture capital. You will get interest. You will have the opportunity to be busy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making progress. I’ve seen it hurt so many different startup founders and I’ve seen it kill a few. Because busy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making progress.

This is one of my favorite quotes from Einstein. If he had an hour to solve the world’s problem, he’d spend 55 minutes defining it and only five minutes actually solving it. This is the only time I ever get to put my picture alongside of Einstein, but I think the quote works just as well. If I had an hour to raise money, I’d spend 55 minutes defining the ideal investor profile and only five minutes pitching it. And that ideal investor profile should sound familiar because if you’re focused on market development as much as you are with product development, you’ll know that not all revenue is created equally. Not every dollar in your bank account is the same as every other dollar. When it comes time to scale, when it comes time to finding the right customers that are going to be the most useful to you at the early stage to become referential promoters, to help you scale predictably, you’ll want to figure out what dollars you actually want and define those as your ideal customer profile. That’s a lot of what we talk about with our portfolio companies at GrowthX, we take that same approach with raising money. And by the way, I’m doing it right now. Before I set out to raise my fund, we came up with three or four buckets of ideal investor profiles. We’re not going to be interesting to pension funds, so we’re not even bothering with that. But we could, and we’ve got people that want to introduce pension funds. We could go run around and fly around the country and pitch to them, it would be an entire waste of time and even if the worst case wouldn’t be the quick no, it would be the thirteenth month no, which is why no is the second best answer in sales or fund raising and you want to get to it quickly. We spend time. We would love to have gone out and put our deck together and started flying around the country, taking advantage of introductions to wealthy people and home offices. We didn’t, though. We spent 55 minutes first defining what are the three or four motivations, what are the three or four things that we think a certain class of investor is going to be interested in solving for themselves? Do they want deal flow at the series A level? Are they in it for the interestingness? Do they want to just talk about something at a cocktail party? These are things that attract my investors for my fund. Knowing what things are going to be interesting to them, what things they’re looking to solve and figuring what that right messaging is to do that and then finding those people, that’s the same process that we’re following and I suggest you follow when you’re raising money. I know the thing you want to do more than anything else is jump to action, you want to go get those meetings. You want to pester all your friends, show them your spreadsheet and have them list which investors they know and what’s the strength of that relationship and will they make that introduction. I can’t tell you how many times a startup is simply taking a list of all of the venture capitalists on Sandhill Road, or who are the top venture capitalists in such and such space, put them in alphabetical order and that’s the worksheet that they work off of, without thinking for a second about what is going to be interesting to that person. You show up then as a seller, you are pitching. Start up by thinking about what those people are looking for. What do they want? Why do they want it? And how you can then start to reach out with that kind of message.

My promise, three steps to raise the right money from the right people in the least amount of time. We think about traction effort delta when we’re working the market development cycle for our startups. How can we get the most impact for the least amount and make sure it’s predictable and scalable? Same thing when you’re trying to raise money, especially when you’re trying to raise money. The last thing you want to be doing is running around doing the Silicon Valley shuffle raising money. What you want to be doing is going to the customer, getting market feedback, letting that align your product, your sales your marketing and figuring out how to scale predictably. Fund raising has got nothing to do with that.

As I talked a little bit about, define your ideal investor profile. How do we do that? If we’re talking about ideal customer profile, we start with, what have you done so far? What is the closed win, closed loss analysis? What has worked? What has not worked? And why hasn’t it worked? This is just starting with hypothesis, applying on logic and judgement and coming up with some early examples. Looking at the characteristics, the demographics, the psychographics, the geo-graphics, the use case, the buyer type. All the different things you would be doing to identify your ideal customer profile, which you all should be doing when it’s ready, do it for the ideal investor profile. Who is going to be interested? Have you had any yeses so far? And we’re they just referential? If it wasn’t just referential friend or family, why did those people say yes to you? Find out. What are the characteristics of it? Maybe your business model is sass and so you’ve attracted the attention of someone who has been a successful startup founder with a sass business model, and has now turned out to be an angel investor and she loves looking at sass business models because she knows it and she knows that more than her money, she can also help other sass founders accelerate by avoiding the mistakes that she made when she was successfully building a sass startup. This isn’t rocket science. It doesn’t have to be difficult, but you first need to set aside the 55 minutes to define your ideal investor profile and withstand the urge to get into you car and drive down to Sand Hill road. A lot easier done than said, right? It’s a lot easier said than done.

What are the other things? What are the other hypothetical or just logical characteristics about what has worked or not worked or what should work based on what you’re doing? The space you’re in, finding people who have been in your space and have been successful at it and if they’ve shown an inclination to want to invest. That’s why angel list is so wonderful because it’s that early lead gen. Hopefully you’ve got people who aren’t just fronting and wanting to be cool but are actually deploying money. And by the way, don’t forget that when you’re raising money you have an agenda and it’s as important as my agenda or any other venture capitalist or seed investor that you’re talking to. Ask the questions. That’s one of the ways you find out. Nowadays the internet is very useful for this, and more and more investors are starting to shed more light on what things they’re interested in to help cut down the amount of time they spend doing their own qualification. Just researching can help you find out a lot of the questions that you want answered to see if they’re an ideal investor profile. Do they invest in this stage? What size check do they write? Do they lead? Will they follow? Do they have any money left? These are all question that if you don’t find on the website or an angel list profile, ask. And anybody who gets upset with you for asking, be thankful. Say, “Thank you very much for your time,” and usher them out of your life. You don’t have time to waste and anybody who doesn’t appreciate that isn’t someone you should be spending time with. Ask these questions to make sure they’re fitting the ideal investor profile if you don’t see them on the website.

Once you’ve defined the ideal investor profile, and again logic, experience, hypothesis, test it a little bit. Once you’ve got what you believe to be an ideal investor or ideal investors profile, then you can go ahead and start crafting and testing your messaging. I have three or four different buckets that I’m using as my ideal investor profile as I raise my fund. I’ve done my close win, close loss analysis, I know what’s been working and yeah, I’ve started to recognize patterns emerging. Some of the things that I’ve said, some of these buckets of ideal investors, I have noticed over and over are starting to capture their attention. This is the thing that’s converting them into wanting to know more. What is that messaging and tie it to your ideal investor profile. Test it and pay attention to it. One of the first things that we do when we work with a portfolio company at Growthx and we help them with their market development is we start out with the foundational layers. What are the tools and the systems and the processes and the behaviors that you have in place in order to meet the demand that will come your way once the market starts reacting? It’s going to happen, it’s going to put pressure on your team and your product and your systems and your processes. CRMs, are you using one? Is it the right one? Have you set it up in a logical way? And by the way, does the team have the behaviors? Doesn’t do any good if it’s just empty. Have you developed the behaviors so that you have the systems and the tools to collect the data? Are you then entering the data and then using the data, what it’s there for, to think about and analyze and iterate and optimize. Same thing with investors. It’s not just enough to use a spreadsheet. Use the funnel of a CRM and hack it to become your CRM for your investors and define what your funnel is and pay attention to those “Aha” moments during the conversations you’re having with investors. I promise you that if you’re defining the ideal investor profile and you’re thinking logically about what the right messaging is to attract them into wanting to know more, that’s part of the advice you got early. Don’t bludgeon the investors to death with every detail imaginable. Every one of you is a rain man in the space that you’re operating in. You got so much data, you have so much knowledge, so much expertise about what it is you’re trying to do. It doesn’t mean you have to tell everybody every single one of those details. The first thing that you’re trying to do is just attract them. You’re trying to tease them and want to get them to know more. That’s your attraction framework. Once you’ve got that, you’ve got your conversion framework. How do you convert them into an actual opportunity, and then how do you close that opportunity into becoming an investor? If you don’t have the systems and tools and the behaviors to track this and think about it logically, it’s going to be inefficient. You’re going to be very busy but I promise you, you won’t be making any progress.

Third, that’s when you get to go out and actually conduct your investor outreach and respond to inbound interest. It’s only at that point that you then take your framework of your story board, layer on graphic design, have yourself a pitch deck and then go out. Same thing when you’re trying to fill the top of your funnel with leads. You define the kind of leads that are the most ideal, you know the optimized messaging to attract and convert them into closed opportunities, and then you go out and you execute outreach campaign and you test them and you iterate them. You figure out what the right acquisition model is for a customer or in my case or your case, what the right investor profile is that’s going to work the best? The traction effort delta, right? Yeah?

A question on the ideal investor profile. it seems like when we started we’ve really narrowed down variables [inaudible]

Great question, this is not going to be a scientific sample. I think the reality is…again, using me as an example with my current fund. Because of the size of it and because of what it is that we’re doing, we just knew it right from the start that pension funds or other institutions, we’re not going to be interested in investing. It was easy just to take them off the page, right? The reality is when you’re raising money whether it’s for a startup or for a fund, there’s only a finite number. All I would say is just try to define some of the logical characteristics, the geography, people that only like to invest where you are, the business model, the industry, the sector. I think you’ll end up coming up with a half a dozen or so. Again, nothing scientific about it but you’ve got to start with something. Most importantly where you should start is closed win closed loss. Have you had any conversations thus far? And why was the answer yes and why was the answer no? And if you haven’t maybe you can accelerate that by speaking with some friends or other folks who can give you advice from their first person experience. Again, there is no real answer to what that sample size should be, but 55 minutes of an hour that Einstein would use to define the world’s problem and only five minutes to solve it. It’s a difficult thing to do; It’s a very easy thing to speak about. As I’ve said, I’ve sat in those seats before. It’s very difficult to hold yourself back from wanting to jump into action and just get out there talking to whoever it is that you can talk about, or responding to the inbound interest you already have. But I promise you’ll be making that number one mistake. You’ll find yourself super busy and making little progress. Be exhaustive in it. White board it. Think about just all of the logical angles of why someone might be interested in what it is that you’re working on. What is it that they’re looking to do? They’re looking to apply their money and their experience to be useful. What are their backgrounds and what are the things that would be useful? Sometimes it can just be as obvious as an alumni from your college. That’s something that a lot of investors at the seed stage like to connect with. If they’ve got an Alma Mater that they’re very connected with, you reach out and say, “Hey. I’m an alumni from the University of Cincinnati, a bear cat” if you’re a fellow bear cat. I guarantee I’m going to get people get to reply to me just because I’m a bear cat. And that’s fine because that’s going to be one of the reasons they’re actually going to want to help, is they like helping people who have graduated from their college. And then you can get into a conversation from there. It’s better than just simply alphabetizing Sand Hill road and shooting out a generic email. Any other questions right now on that? Yeah?

[Inaudible 00:33:22]

Listen, there’s no question that [?] shows help. It’s like the SATs. It’s a flawed system but how the heck else are colleges going to just instantly cut off a cohort people that they don’t have time talking to or thinking about? For me, for sure, I use introductions from people I trust as part of my outsource due diligence process. I would definitely start there. But that’s not to say that if you define your ideal investor profile, that’s one of the things I like about angel list, hopefully people aren’t just there with their ego. They actually help, they have money to deploy and they still have money in the account this year that they want to deploy. They’re putting out what they want, what they like and what they’ve done before. There’s nothing wrong once you’ve defined them as your ideal investor profile and that you’ve got the message that you think is going to be the most relevant to attract their interest and get them to get on the phone with you that you shouldn’t also do that. Warm introductions are certainly helpful at the institutional level and again if you can triangulate using LinkedIn or some other system that an angel list can also come via a warm intro, great. No question.

That really is the investor outreach. Step one, once you’ve got your ideal investor profile and your messaging down, then find out, using your research who fixed those profiles. More and more venture even at the institutional level are becoming more and more transparent. I hold probably the highest esteem at Bloombeg Beta. You can read the entire operating manual from Bloomberg beta and get hub. It’s extraordinary the amount of transparency that’s out there if you go looking for it. Do that research and once you have the spreadsheet that isn’t just the alphabetical order of Sand Hill but a bunch of prequalified. Think about the work that STR might do for you on your sales team. That’s the work you’re doing. You are your own STR. You’re developing your investors right now. And then the second thing I would do is triangulate using LinkedIn and other available resources to see if you can make warm intros to the people you’ve already defined. And then, by the way, how much more powerful is that message? When you’re hiring, do you want someone who just wants the job or wants to work for you and what you’re doing? Reaching out to an investor and it’s not just Andrew knows Bob and he’s going to make the introduction and it’s not just you’re some big name investor. No, I see you’ve done this, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’d love to learn from you. It’s incredible how often you go seeking advice and you come out with advice and money. Show up as a buyer not as a seller. I think warm introductions are good but again what would be the next layer after you’ve done this other work but also don’t be afraid. Once you’ve defined that ideal profile and you’ve got your messaging, you’ll be surprised how effective outreach campaigns can be, even cold.

That’s it. Raise money, not your ego. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to people and they’re just busy as all hell and they’re not making any progress and it’s because they’re raising their ego not their money. I got to talk to so and so, I got a meeting with so and so. Honestly, stay focused, that doesn’t matter. Anyway, thank you very much.