Coincidences of life: I read Deborah Perry talk about the place of the investment of risk in the Silicon Valley in one night, the next morning I have a meeting scheduled there. That's how my first meeting with a VC started, in Sand Hill Rd. It was a day full of learning, starting with how the meeting was scheduled.
One of the first steps to close an investment is finding the lead investor, the one that will do all the bureaucracy. Once that is done, the others follow, that is how it works. The leader gets paid for this, but since it's a lot of work to analyze all the documents of the deal, not everyone likes to lead. Our first goal in the Series B round of investments was to find the leader. What did we do? We listed all the VCs (Risk Investors) that had lead investments in the last year and we sent an email introducing ourselves, that simple.
If you don't take the risk, you will never know the answer.
Fortunately, we had a few positive answers and got some meetings. We then took the second step, researching the profiles of the people we were going to meet with. It is always important to know a little about the other side of the table. You are trying to convince them, aren't you? A curious fact about this part: we found out that one of the VCs had a Rock band! Unfortunately, I couldn't go to one of his concerts.
About the actual meeting, it was partially a disaster. They seemed interested in our speech, but nothing worked! Nothing! Starting with the TV. It took us 20 minutes to get the right HDMI port. Anyway, we did a good portion of the presentation without the slides, without having our confidences shaken at any time. Another thing that did work was our Demo. We always bring a prototype to show how the technology works; it's the most efficient way to get the listeners attention and interest. Words are like the wind, but seeing it working is something else. That was my part, but even without the Demo, I figured it out. I had a series of videos on my computer that showed the device working, besides that, I showed the App with real data. It was satisfactory.
It was good for learning, but we also had a chance, let’s wait and see how it goes. The lesson here is: try, you don’t have anything to lose. Even if it doesn’t go as planned, you have to trust your work. You are meeting with a VC to help make money!
Also, another peculiarity of this day of mine, I ended up having tea at the Rosewood Hotel. For those who don’t know, the hotel lounge is known like the “drinker for the rich i
nvestors”. It’s a meeting spot for anyone who wants to make business a ‘see and be seen” style. It wasn’t our case, but we were there anyway...