Everyone is always trying to figure out how to make “the perfect pitch.” While each VC and angel investor probably has a slightly different view on what “perfect” means, it definitely doesn’t hurt to hear their points of view.
After all, if you want that money, they’re the ones you have to convince.
Bill Bryant has been in the business of potentially losing all of his money on people’s ideas for the past 25 years. Considering he’s still doing it after his own estimation of around 2,500 pitches, he’s clearly figured out just what he’s looking for, both in the individuals he wants to support and how they present their ideas to him.
Entrepreneurs as “risk-takers”
Bryant says the belief that entrepreneurs are risk-takers is true, to a point. He looks for individuals who “assess and understand risk and capture those risks.” Think of yourself as the person who likes trying new and exotic foods, but will probably stay away from eating the potentially poisonous jellyfish.
Being pragmatic and realistic while concurrently being willing to take massive risks may seem contradictory to some, but Bryant insists it’s the perfect personality combination for a successful entrepreneur. If you’re too far out there, you can’t be trusted to to make the shift from the idea level into reality but if you’re too cautious, you’re never going to make that jump in the first place.
Find the balance. Be willing to put yourself out there, but have an idea of where you’re going.
Show him you love what you do
Considering the fact that it takes an average of 9 years for a new company to sell or go public these days, Bryant wants to know that you’re in it for the long haul. If you came up with your idea after simply studying the market and doing a bunch of analysis, chances are you’re not who he’s looking for.
What Bryant looks for is people who are passionate about and committed to their product. Basically, he’s looking for people who have had that “Ah ha!” moment; people who know that their idea is something the world needs right now and who are willing to put everything they have behind it to make it work.
He also wants you to tell him why this idea is the one you’ve chosen. Why does the world need what you have to offer? Why are you the only person who can do it properly? Why this idea instead of any other?
These are all question you need to work through before going in front of an angel investor like Bryant. Obviously you need all the more tangible things too—like your projected sales and who your customers are going to be—but the intangible qualities are really what make entrepreneurs stand out from the crowd in Bryant’s eyes and chances are, he’s not the only one who sees it that way.
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