Hook Investors in 3 Minutes
If you're getting ready for a demo day, like YC, or maybe you're pitching on a stage, you're probably doing your three minute pitch wrong, and I want to help you do it better.
I'm Robbie. I'm a venture partner inside of the venture capital world. I'm also a former trial lawyer and I've helped founders just like you raise $575 million in venture capital.
Founders come to me and give their three or four minute pitch, and it's all facts and figures and just business, and it's really quite boring.
And there's something that cuts through the noise, something that changes the way that investors and an audience feel about this. And let me tell you quickly what I mean by this.
I had a founder I was working with, and they were one of a hundred companies at Emerge. They ended up in the top five and taking second on that stage. And the reason they were able to do this is because they told a story and they did it differently. So I'm going to tell you the framework that you should use as a founder getting ready to pitch.
You want to start with your personal story, your founder origin story. Shocker. I know if you've followed me at all, I've talked about that a lot. And here's what happens.
Founders come and they say, "Robbie, nobody wants to hear that. They want to hear about the business."
Well, at the end of the day, investors are betting on you.
Investors need to know who you are, what you're about, and why you are going to win. The only way to do that is to share with them who you are, why you care how you got here. So when you tell that founder story, let's say you have a four minute pitch. You have about 45 seconds to 60 seconds of your personal narrative at the beginning.
Might be where you grew up, might be that you came to America. As an immigrant, it might be the first time that you made a robotics arm, and that led to the rest of the progression of your career. They need to know who you are. Once they know who you are in that first 60 seconds, now you're going to get into the business thing because your personal story informs why you started the business.
So then you have the next part, about two to two-and-a-half minutes to talk about the business and what the idea is. How it's solving the problem, what the world looks like when you change it.
Remember, you want to be an emotional storytelling, and a video will pop up right here about emotional storytelling is what gets investors excited.
It is painting the picture of the future. It is playing with their imagination. It's allowing them to pull themselves into the story and feel a part of it with you.
Okay, so you have these two minutes to tell about your, your business business model, market size, opportunity, how your clients, customers traction, number of sales, any of the good stuff that you have that shows, hey, this is more than just an idea while still painting the big picture.
Once you finish that, you want to wrap it up. This is the dismount.
Have you ever watched a gymnastics meet where the gymnast is on the balance beam and does everything perfectly, and then face plants when they come off of it? If you've seen that, you know even though the routine was perfect, that gymnast still gets a really bad score because the dismount was bad.
The same is true when you are on a stage at demo day or at one of these conferences, you have to be able to stick the landing. The way that you're doing this is you're creating this emotional upswell where all of a sudden you're.
Finishing bit has to be this huge call to action that makes the emotion rise up where people want to literally get out of their seat and start cheering for you because they're so excited about what you're doing.
And this is exactly what I see with the founders that I work with. They're able to achieve this. And so what happens is it doesn't matter if they win or lose on stage because all the investors are so attached to them and have so much emotion that has been created by this founder.
They come to them and they say, "Hey, we should talk. Let's set up some time. I'd love to invest. I wanna be a part of what you're building."
That's how you make sure no matter what happens on stage, you win by creating that emotional attachment at the end. Giving them the business stuff that they need for that logical brain in the middle, but at the beginning, making sure they know who you are.
Because when they know who you are and they have that emotional pull, all of a sudden one plus one equals funding. And at the end of the day, that's what you want.
So change the way that you're doing it. Remember, the framework is simple. 45 seconds to 60 seconds, your founder's story, two minutes to two and a half minutes of the business.
And the final about 30 seconds is the big vision, the exciting future, the emotional knockout blow. That's what you're going after. And I promise you when you do this, you're going to be really happy with the results you get on that stage because you are going to have the audience eating out of your hand and wanting to be a part of what you're building.
A former trial lawyer and prosecutor in Dallas, TX, Robbie trains founders to become world-class storytellers and venture capital fundraisers.
In barely two years, he's helped founders raise $575,000,000 of venture capital