Ira, our CEO, gave a training workshop to The Entrepreneur Center @ the Northern Virginia Technology Council. In attendance were entrepreneurs, investors, and venture capitalists. Titled, “Effective Investor Presentations: Tips and Best Practices,” he shared a variety of tips and suggestions on how to make your investor presentation more compelling, such that it inspires the investors and venture capitalists to set up that holy grail of a first meeting.
One of Ira’s biggest suggestions was starting with your founder’s story. Well-told founder’s stories are business stories wrapped around a personal experience. Founder’s stories are the Why? he/she started the business. The founder’s story should evoke just the right of emotion and just the right amount of empathy for a business audience.
Your founder’s story must ensure that your audience, irrespective of their background, gender, age, etc. will be “right there” with you. They must be able to quickly and readily comprehend, appreciate, and feel empathy for the situation your product/service solves.
10 CHARACTERISTICS OF A COMPELLING FOUNDER’S STORY
The characteristics of a compelling founder’s story include:
- Has a clear, “Promise of a Better TomorrowTM” message
- Complements and brings to life your elevator pitch
- Takes less than three minutes to share
- Is personal to you and your co-founders
- Includes proper names (they can be substituted if you are protecting someone’s identity) and character dialogue. Make it as authentic as possible. Let us feel like we are there with you
- Defines the problem your business idea is solving and hints at or tells specifically the solution you are about to explain in your investor presentation
- Conveys quickly a universal problem. A universal problem is clearly stated challenge/frustration your audience can nod their head in agreement to, ensuring they understand and ensuring they are in synch with you
- Connects to your audience’s emotional state. Just enough to make them care and not too much that emotions become overwhelming (e.g., solving a big problem in the third world). The emotional appeal should never create a significant imbalance of emotion over business
- Has a clear beginning, middle, and end
- Ends strong
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