In the midst of Salesforce’s developer conference TrailheaDX, three start ups battled it out on stage to convince a panel of judges that they were worthy of the $US50,000 prize.
The prize money from Dreampitch ultimately went to Digital Onboarding, a company whose product is pretty close to its name.
But the real prize may have been the advice for startups offered by the panel of judges.
Here’s what the four VC investors said start ups should do to really make a pitch pop:
- Discuss market size early, says Aileen Lee, founder and partner at Cowboy Ventures. Lee said she listens closely for big numbers, and that any market under $US5 billion won’t be worth while for most venture capitalists. Big numbers early on in a pitch are the quickest way into a VC’s heart.
- Sell yourself as the solution, says Josh Stein, partner at DFJ Ventures. Stein said he likes to know three things up front — why now, why this team, and how big can it grow?
- Show respect for your team, says Arlan Hamilton, founder and managing partner at Backstage Capital. Backstage Capital invests primarily in underrepresented founders, so Hamilton said she looks to see who’s talking during a pitch and if people are given the space to speak when they have an idea.
- Share your passion, says Scott Raney, partner at Redpoint Ventures. Raney said he loves to hear stories about people who build companies from scratch. If you can make it through the highs and lows of the early days, investors will have faith that you’re in it for the long haul.
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