How Not To Persuade VC Funder Jeff Clavier To Invest In Your Startup

Jeff Clavier
Jeff Clavier

Ben and Hermione Way can’t seem to catch a break in week two of Bravo’s “Start-Ups: Silicon Valley.”After unsuccessfully pitching their health startup Ignite to San Francisco tech investor Dave McClure, the two tried their luck with Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC, another early stage tech investor.

Clavier has a pretty impressive investment portfolio. He’s backed startups including ClassDojo, SendGrid, YourMechanic, Fitbit,, Fab, and Eventbrite.

The Way siblings walk into the meeting feeling pretty confident, after having refined their pitch based on feedback from McClure. And this time, they weren’t out late the night before and in need of nursing their hangovers moments before the meeting.

Clavier initially seems more interested than McClure ever was, but the outcome ends up the same. 

First, Clavier tells them that SoftTech typically tries to advise companies to raise enough to have 18 months of runway. But with the Way’s only seeking $500,000, that would only give them about six months of elbow room.

But the real dealbreaker was that they didn’t have a functional product to demo. Clavier told them that they typically don’t invest in a company without actually testing out the product, so it wouldn’t be a good fit. 

The Ways leave the meeting feeling incredibly discouraged.

“I’m extremely worried that we’re not going to get funding,” Hermione says. “And if word gets around that the investors aren’t investing in us, we’re dead.”

Ben and Hermione Way ignite
Ben and Hermione Way

[credit provider=”Bravo”]

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