For a Series A, it is essential to pitch in person? What do VCs expect for the first meeting? The VCs we’re planning on pitching to are scattered across the US and Canada. Do we need to factor in the travel expenses to meet each one face to face? This can get pretty costly if we have to meet 10 or 12 of them.
Obviously in person is better but I’m concerned that it could be a waste of time if all they know about us is our elevator story. What information do we need to validate whether pitching to a given VC in person makes any sense? Is it acceptable to request a preliminary call to discuss the business, market opportunity and to assess if what our expectations are in terms of cheque size and exit horizon aligns with their investment strategy? We did this in a couple of cases and it went very well. They want us to come back to formally pitch when our business plan is ready. We’re only planning on pitching to certain types of VCs that invest in our space (MedTech, healthcare, telehealth…). That already assures us they understand the market and business problem we’re solving.
This is a great topic. For me, personally, my preference is first to always meet in person when possible. But, I’m reading a preliminary interest. It sounds like it is very early on and you have impressed some people with your presence, but not necessarily your startup? If you have no business plan, I can’t see any need to fly and meet with VC’s. If it were me, I would have my business plan locked down. I then email the investors the exec summary and the team. I also say how much you need and that you have the plan. This really communicates, “We are ready, we are looking, we are prepared.” Anything short of this seems like a costly handshake. I realize there are differing philosophies about sharing how much you need. I’m one that wants it in an exec summary and upfront. Because if you need $10M, and that investor is only interested in $1M or 2..
But even at that, I’m assuming the VC’s have an established track record. Is it possible for any companies to invest? Also, I generally only reach out to the CEO’s and Presidents of any approach. That means if it is a Forbes 400 billionaire, I go to them, if it’s the founder of the VC, I go to them. That cuts out a lot of go betweens. And if they show interest, there is a better likelihood getting on a plane is worth the cost.
But again, that’s my M.O. I don’t like to waste time. I would be curious to hear more of what you are working on. I only have a few contacts in the Medical Industry, but they are considerably influential and connected.