Khosla’s Adina Tecklu explains tips on how to nail your pitch – TechCrunch

Pitching is maybe the most important skill that every founder needs to improve. So it’s not surprising that we’re kicking off our TechCrunch Early Stage 2021 – Marketing & Fundraising event with all the tips and tricks needed to get the most out of pitching and slide decks. On site was Adina Tecklu, a director at Khosla Ventures who previously built Canaan Beta, the consumer seed practice at Canaan Partners.

We’ve talked about the importance of knowing your client (including your potential investor) and focused on the story, typical slides in a deck, the attachment slides, the formatting, and then alternate formats that come in a pitch -Deck should be avoided.

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Know your customer, in this case your investor

We started our discussion with advice that is as valuable as it is obvious. Despite the abundance of resources that are available on the Internet for background research of potential investors, founders regularly go to their pitch meetings like a deer in the spotlight without knowing the interests, tastes, investment phase and more of the respective investor. Don’t be that founder.

The number one key is knowing your audience. The best founders understand their users, regardless of whether they are end users or corporate customers. They have done research to understand what motivates their customers, how they make purchasing decisions, and what their customers like and dislike about their own product. Fundraising is essentially where your VC becomes your client. So before you start pitching or even building your deck, it’s really important to do some research beforehand to understand the companies and partners you are planning to pitch. (Timestamp: 2:25)

If you do this right

This knowledge enables you to proactively address any concerns you may have. And really make sure that you position your company authentically, but also in such a way that it is well received by the VC. (Timestamp: 3:20)

Story-driven, not data-driven

Data is the most important source of wisdom in Silicon Valley, at least that’s what they think. However, the reality, especially with early-stage investments, is that the data can only paint a partial picture of a startup and a founder’s ambitions. Don’t let a dense forest close off the wider forest in which investors really invest.

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