The cornerstone of the VComm program was the understanding
that most companies looking for VC financing really have no idea what a VC
wants to hear. Two years ago I sat
with a group of investors at a major conference and listened to them complain
about the quality of the material and, in the end, how useless it was.
There are, at any given time according to Dow Jones, 5000 tech startups
in the US alone that are seeking funding.
But less than half of those companies have any credible research into
their technology market. The press
covering those markets has shrunk almost to the point of non-existence. The VC's are flying blind nowadays,
which explains why so many are having poor returns. What they need is real information about market potential.
But most companies pitching VC's spend 90 percent of their
time in front of them explaining how great their technology is. Get a clue! They know you are doing something interesting or you
wouldn't be doing it. What they
want to know is, if they invest in you, how are they going to make a return on
their investment. Drew Lanza at
Morgenthaler puts it specifically: "How am I gonna make a bunch of money
for retired school teachers?"
(Think about it. Most large
investment firms are responsible for investing the retirement funds for common
people. They have an enormous
So the purpose of VComm, at the core, is to prepare
companies to present the information that the VCs NEED to hear. Once you have told them that, then they
will be willing to listen about your technology. Based on the comments we got back from the investors at
VComm, that's exactly what we accomplished. Lanza even said the presenters were ready to make an initial
presentation before the assembled partners of Morgenthaler. That doesn’t mean they are going to get
that chance, but how they get to that point is the subject of another post.
What I want to leave you with is another point that I have
been hammering for a decade is: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. If you really have that knowledge you will make progress in
your communications, if you don't you are dead in the water.