Venture Financing:

Venture Presentation

How to Prepare an Effective Venture Fair Presentation

8 Issues in 8 Minutes

By Terry Collison, Blue Rock Capital. Used by permission.

 

 

These guidelines were prepared a venture capitalist and it provides you with some tips on how to prepare an effective presentation of your venture for prospective investors. To learn how to make it please see "How to Make an Effective Venture Presentation", by Terry Collison.

The worksheet was prepared to guide young companies that get the opportunity to make formal presentations at a Venture Fair. It can also be used to prepare smaller presentations to prospective investors. Some companies have discovered an unexpected use for this as a planning tool. By seeing what topics must be covered, a company can identify key commercialization steps, strategic issues, and critical relationships as a basis for then writing its formal business plan.

 

  

Congratulations! You have been selected as one of the companies to be featured at the upcoming Venture Fair. This annual event is focused on promising seed-stage and early stage venture companies. \

How To Make Great Presentations

Understand EGA of Your Audience

Each presenter will have the opportunity to make a 5—8 minute presentation about his or her company. To support your oral presentation, you have the option to use PowerPoint, 35 mm slides, transparencies or overheads, charts, or hand-outs. The distinguished panel of judges will listen to all of the company presentations before selecting the "Company Most Ready to Receive Funding." The winning companies (First and Second-place) will be honored at the Reception (5:30—7 p.m.) along with the company selected as the "Peoples’ Choice" winner.

As a guide, we have developed a specific list of questions in 7 major categories for you to consider. Eight minutes is not a lot of time. So the best advice is "Keep it simple!"

If your presentation were to be written out as text, the maximum length would be the equivalent of 22 sentences — an introductory sentence plus no more than 3 sentences for each of the 7 major topics. The number of slides or transparencies that can be handled is probably 14 or less (i.e., an average of 2 per topic). This means a new "visual" every 30 seconds.

No presenter will be permitted to exceed the 8 minute limit. At a recent Mid-Atlantic Venture Fair, some of the most effective presentations were from people who told their whole story not in 8 minutes but in just 5! They were relaxed and familiar with what they planned to say, they had obviously practiced out loud (very important), and they did not read their presentations but instead interacted "naturally" with their visual materials. Remember: the goal of your oral presentation is not to be comprehensive. Your goal is to sound interesting and plausible and to motivate people to talk with you "one-on-one" during the break-out sessions.

Keep these thoughts in mind as you develop your own presentation. And call us if we can help.

We'd be pleased to hear from you...

BLUE ROCK CAPITAL makes long-term equity investments in promising seed-stage and early-stage ventures in the Mid-Atlantic region from the Carolinas to New England. The Fund emphasizes information technology, business services, and related fields. It does not invest in biotechnology, invasive medical devices, pharmaceuticals and certain other situations. For more information, please see www.bluerockcapital.com.

 

1

Venture Concept ~ In a single introductory sentence, please provide a very, very abbreviated description of the company’s basic market opportunity... its technology... how its technology is or will be protected... any regulatory approvals that may be required... its manufacturing, distribution, marketing and sales methods... funding to date as well as future funding requirements... and the general credentials of the management team.

Here is an example of such an introductory sentence. To see how such a sentence functions, read it aloud... slowly... and distinctly:

By adapting proprietary multiplexing software which can be licensed on a non-exclusive basis from Paul Murkee Research Laboratories ("PMRL")... and by then utilizing such software (along with proprietary enhancements)... in conjunction with off-the-shelf vendor circuitry... that is integrated in a novel way,... the founders of TeleTeen Technology Communications, Inc. ("3TComm") (one founder has left Bellcore after 25 years of technical and management experience and the other founder has joined the Company after 7 years in national sales for a major office products company)... after having invested $350,000 of their own cash... now intend to raise $1.4 million... to support the commercial roll-out,... through both distribution and VAR channels,... of a plug-and-play black-box component,... in embodiments for both commercial markets (Year 2 sales forecast: $5 million) and the consumer market (Year 2 sales forecast: $11 million)... that will allow single phone lines to carry up to four channels of voice-grade information simultaneously... which 3TComm's device will route via hard-wiring (i.e., standard existing UTP wiring)... to four discrete send/receive devices (all of which must be on the premises).

Business Model

2

Market Opportunity Please provide one or two sentences (at most) on the two most important (but definitely not all ) of the following issues:

Identify the specific need or problem addressed by the venture.

Describe the overall structure, size, and value of the current market.

How is this market need now being met? By which companies?

How strong is each of these companies in the current market?

What share of the market does each competitor now hold?

What is the size and value of your targeted market niche or market segment?

Describe what the market will be like five years from now.

Identify likely customers (either by type or, if possible, by name).

What are their specific buying habits today?

How will the company establish its own position in this evolving market?

Surprise To Win    

Value Innovation    

Differentiation Strategies

3

TechnologyPlease provide one or two sentences (at most) on the two most important (but definitely not all) of the following issues

What is the present state of the technology in this field?

What is limiting in the current situation that makes improved or new technology desirable?

What competing technologies now exist?

What competing technologies are known to be under study or development?

What would be the relative advantage of the company's technologies?

What are the specific goals and objectives of the company's project?

4

Protecting Proprietary Rights Please provide one or two sentences (at most) on the two most important (but definitely not all ) of the following issues

If proprietary technology results from this project, who will own the discoveries?

Is there a suitable technology "assignment" agreement in place between the partners of the company and the company itself? Between the company and its employees? Between the company and its outside collaborators?

In order to undertake this project in the first place, are there any existing patents, copyrights, licensing agreements, trade secrets, or other types of protection that must be considered?

5

ManufacturingPlease provide one or two sentences (at most) on the following issues

How will the resulting products be produced? In-house manufacturing and assembly? In-house assembly of components that have been manufactured by outside sources? Commercialization by out-licensing production and distribution entirely by others?

Regardless of the method, how will Quality Control be handled?

8 Rules for Quality Management         

Kaizen Mindset

6

Marketing, Sales and DistributionPlease provide one or two sentences (at most) on the following issues

How will the company take its products to the market (direct sales vs. rep-based selling vs. a marketing arrangement that is contracted or licensed to a third party)?

Given the selected approach, how will this process be managed?

How will the company establish and support its distribution functions?

Does the project require lengthy clinical trials and FDA certification before market introduction can begin?

Is some other kind of approval required (UL, trade group, etc.)?

Does the company understand what is involved?

Has the time required for obtaining these approvals been estimated realistically?

Does the budget include adequate provision for such approval procedures?

Do the company's sales and cash-flow projections reflect these considerations?

Selling Is Problem Solving     

Buzz Marketing

7

Management TeamPlease provide one or two sentences (at most) on the following issues

What is the experience of the members of the management team?

What are the specific credentials of the team members? Affiliations?

What roles will each member play? What specific responsibilities?

Entrepreneur    

8 Key Entrepreneurial Questions     

Business Architect

8

Funding Please provide one or two sentences (at most) on the following issues

How has the project effort been funded to date?

What funding will be required over time to support the venture?

What will such funding be used for?

What type of sources are most appropriate? Most likely to be interested?

What is the company's strategy for obtaining funds from such sources?

What are the financial results that are anticipated by the company?

 

 

 

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Do-it-Yourself Entrepreneurship 101

Take a company that interests you. Using the space provided below, compose a sentence that fairly and accurately and completely describes this company.

As a test, keep in mind that this sentence should be meaningful both to the company itself (i.e., to "insiders") and also meaningful to someone who would first be exposed to the company strictly through your written description of it.

In addition to factual information, can you write a sentence that conveys the company’s opportunity in the marketplace and how it will operate in order to fulfill this opportunity?  Try it.

Neatness. These simple little sentences often turn out to be not-so-easy to write. Please feel free to make this written exercise as messy as it needs to be. Cross-outs, arrows, marginal insertions, etc. are wonderfully helpful and are encouraged. In terms of legibility and neatness, when you’ve got the words, the sequence, and the concept right, the only requirement is that you be able to read the sentence. It can always be made neater later.


Virginia G. Bonker
230 Lackawanna Dr.
Andover, N J   07821-4113
 Tel 973 426-1767  Fax 973 426-0224
virginia@bluerockcapital.com
 Terry Collison
5803 Kennett Pike, Suite A
Wilmington, DE  19807-1195
Tel 302 426-0981  Fax 302 426-0982
terry@bluerockcapital.com