That was when we instituted mandatory pitch coaching for every single company that was selected to present to our membership. The result? Our investment rate more than DOUBLED, and we have funded over $35 million into more than 50 companies during the past six years. In that time, I have handled most of the coaching duties on behalf of the group, and have gotten pretty good at helping entrepreneurs refine their Powerpoint presentations to meet the need of their target audience: early stage investors. Word began to spread about these sessions, and soon BusinessWeek came by to do a story about them, giving me the moniker of The Pitch Coach. The next thing I knew, there seemed to be even more demand for presentation training than there was for my investment dollars!
These days, I spend quite a bit of my time teaching entrepreneurs how to clearly and persuasively get their message across. Most of this happens for New York Angels, at business schools like Yale, Columbia or NYU, or for institutions like the National Science Foundation. However a couple of years ago Chris Anderson, the Curator of the renowned TED conference (and a fellow New York Angel member) asked if I would do a session during the “TED University” event before the main conference. I agreed, but wondered how I would be able to compress what is usually an hour long presentation into the allotted 12 minutes. The answer? Talk faster! [grin] So, with the compliments of TED.com, here is The Pitch Coach, in the super-express-version of “How to Pitch an Angel (or VC)”. I hope you find it useful! (The ‘expand’ button in the corner will bring up a full-screen version.)