Equity · Investor pitch

Pitch and fundraising consultant - what percent/compensation should they get?

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

June 4th, 2014

I've been contacted by some pitch helpers. I'm not that great at it, been doing it for the past 2 months and can get the meeting, but want some help to move to the next stage and get financing.

I'll be working with a couple people to do the following:
Demo Day Talking Points
for our Demo Staff

I'm thinking of doing a straight up percent for the raise or a mix of raise and percent for incentive.

Anyone else ever do this? What do you suggest?
A-level teams with B-level ideas succeed. B-level teams with A-level ideas fail. This course provides a comprehensive roadmap for building a standout team, teaching everything from hiring to structure, compensation, and culture.

Jeff Axup Sr. Manager, Palo Alto UX Design Research Group at Bosch

June 4th, 2014

I've done a number of formal pitches (hundreds informally) and we made it through a demo day at Wearable World. We're currently raising a seed round. Happy to collaborate offline and share tips if it's useful.

Jessica Alter Entrepreneur & Advisor

June 4th, 2014

You should either pay them hourly or make them an advisor.  They are only a small part in whether you actually get money. FWIW, you should definitely be able to find advisors that are great at fundraising and will give you the feedback you need, either through FD:Advisors or if you're part of an accelerator they should be doing intensive pitch prep.

Rob G

June 5th, 2014

Alison, just to clarify, are you proposing that  these people would actually do the pitching for you or?  As a side note, investors often don't like the idea of a portion of their check going to pay consultants to help raise money.  i would second Jessica's comment. 

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

June 4th, 2014

We have lots of advisors in the incubator and people giving advice all over the place. Looking for people who have a lot of experience who can bare down and work... that sounded. Been practicing and pitching for 3 months now, my tone is great, people like me, but I am not getting it in sync. 

I've practice pitched over 30 times and it's still missing some element that investors want to hear. I think you have to care about what they care about and I'm finding it difficult. 

I am looking for people that will take me through this process so I learn it firmly and quickly. Kind of a hands on tutor. 

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

June 4th, 2014

sorry if that sounded brash.... didn't mean too! 

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

June 4th, 2014

sorry if that sounded brash.... didn't mean too! 

Bob Binder Member of Technical Staff at Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

June 5th, 2014

First, read and internalize Kawasaki's "The Art of the Start" - about $20 with shipping and handling. Develop your ten slides, then try that in front of every audience you can think of. Imagine yourself on Shark Tank and try to role play each of the inquisitors, or get your friends or others to do that. There are many non-fee advisors in my area - incubators, university projects, and government-related business development.  Most metro areas have the same. Find them and pitch them.

It sounds like you may have done some of that already. Are you certain your business has compelling investor value? Why can't you clearly communicate that?  

If you still think you need to pay for assistance, check out Chris Shipley - http://www.cshipley.com/  Take that as the gold standard, and compare others to her. Offer payment contingent on success - they get paid after you deposit the check from investors. Ask the prospective helpers for references of others they've helped who were funded. Also ask for references of those they helped, but who did not get funded. Have a nice long chat with each. If actual value is evident, I'd offer a flat fee you can afford or options that vest at a later liquidity event.- not a percent of the raise, unless they are absolutely essential to making the deal.

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

June 5th, 2014

Great comments. Thank you. I have many advisors; very few are able to sit down and go through the weeds with me to make our story clear to an investor mind. They just say "try this" and "try that" So I try. 

As for WHY, I think it has a lot to do with this being a grand vision in the fashion industry with a long term technology play. I don't want to go small, we want to get in there and do it right. We're going asking for a lot and we're going to try for big. Here is someone who had to raise big as well:
http://www.crunchbase.com/organization/misfit-wearables

There is something I'm not doing right and I want to fix it and get moving. 

We've already gotten revenue and been running for two years. Now it's time to go big or go home. 

As a 1.2T industry with $96B in handbags alone (32B in online sales), I think it's pretty important that tech get in the fashion industry, not the wearable industry. 

That's what we aim to do with our products and licenced SDKs. 

See our site: www.switchembassy.com 




Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

June 5th, 2014

Rob. I have the same concern about money to outsiders. One of the people is an official advisor and will get percent. Is that alright? 

Vinit Modi Co-Founder Campusly | Mobile Web & User Research Consultant | Strategic Leadership

June 5th, 2014

I almost feel like if they are coaching you for money/equity then their interests are not aligned.

Ideally they should be coaching with passion and that they believe in the company and you. 

With that being said - finding someone to help has been super hard and am in the same boat.