Coaxing Capital: There is no Innovation Without Communications - Lorraine Marchand

Lorraine, your book guides a reader through every step of innovation. But what about raising capital and pitching investors? What are your recommendations for innovators?

“There is no innovation without persuasion. So how can you make sure you have the killer pitch that gets your audience talking to you about dollars and cents? Whether you’re pitching angel investors, VCs, Private Equity, strategic partners or business development at your company, there is a way to prepare any pitch for success. In this chapter, we examine pitch dos and don’ts, analyze great examples of pitches that went on to become funded projects or businesses as well as some epic pitch failures that left some great potential innovations in the wastebasket, along with discarded slides and presentation boards.

“We also look at the role of investors in backing innovation and we explore various funding sources, including friends and family, angels, VC, strategic partners, and corporate investment, grants, foundations, social good sources for profit and not for profits. When evaluating funding sources, you need to develop a process for identifying potential investors, understanding their requirements, and determining the best way to approach them and present the investment opportunity. We share stories of successful investment partnerships and analyze the ones that went awry.

“A VC investor, coaching students in my Columbia University course on Venture Creation, summarized what he wants to see during a pitch: “I’m looking for the pain point and how you’ll solve it; how you’ll make money; how you’ll reach customers with low acquisition cost; how you’ll manage your cash burn and stage your financing.” His advice to first-timers: “Start small and conduct conscious experiments; make fixed costs variable costs; manage the nature and timing of commitments; stage your financing overtime to preserve your equity; and stay flexible and ready to pivot.”

Thank you for sharing, Lorraine.

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