How to Pitch an Investor

To prepare for the Mixergy Funding Forum, I did a pre-interview with William Quigley, the Managing Director at Clearstone Venture Partners. He allowed me to record the conversation for anyone who can’t make it to the Forum.

William Quigley

William Quigley

Clearstone Venture Partners

William Quigley is the Managing Director at Clearstone Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm.

A few lessons from this program

Here are some of my notes:

How to Pitch

William says too many entrepreneurs talk about the market as it is at the time they pitch.

He prefers a presentation that starts by talking about where the market is right now and who the current players are. And then the pitch needs to explain where the market and each competitor is likely to be in the coming years. Finally, he wants to know how your company fits in this universe.

The idea is to look at the market like a moving chess board. You need to go beyond where your opponent’s pieces are now, and consider where those pieces are likely to be later in the game.

The PayPal Example

That pitch format allows him to help entrepreneurs find hidden opportunities. He talks about how PayPal’s pitch was focused on a payment system that worked on portable devices. Because of the way they presented their business plan, Clearstone was able to help them realize that the market for portable devices wasn’t going to be big enough and email was a better medium.

The podcast

We discuss several ideas that are helpful to anyone working on a startup business. You’re better off listening to the conversation that reading my notes on it.

Who should we feature on Mixergy? Let us know who you think would make a great interviewee.