David S. Rose on pitching to VCs

When you pitch to VCs, the primarily product that you are selling is: YOU!

Even more important than the business idea, VCs are investing in people: YOU and your team. So in a very short period of time, YOU have to make them like YOU. They have to be confident that YOU bring the following characteristics:

  1. Integrity (‘Can we trust you with our money?’)
  2. Passion (‘Are you ready to leave what you currently do? put your days, nights and week-ends into the new business?’)
  3. Experience (‘Have you done something similar before?’)
  4. Knowledge (‘Do you have domain expertise?’)
  5. Skills (‘Do you have the skill to run the business, technically, commercially etc?’)
  6. Leadership (‘Do you have a team? If you don’t have the skills, can you find people who are ready to follow you?’)
  7. Commitment (‘Will you be there until the end?’)
  8. Vision (‘How will you change the world?’)
  9. Realism (‘Do you understand how tough it is to change the world?’)
  10. Coachability (‘Can you listen and learn from the experience of others?’)

Here is the video:

FUN! When you start a business, learn from Rocky Balboa

If you are planning to launch a start-up, you need to put yourself into shape. Learn from Rocky Balboa what it takes:

  • you need to believe in yourself, and believe that you will succeed – whatever everybody else (friend or foe) is telling you
  • you need to recognise the opportunity when you see it – and this is unlikely to be the first opportunity that crosses your way
  • you are going to be scared but that’s normal – get on with it!
  • you need to get started – stop the day-dreaming of becoming a champion: get moving!
  • you need to train, fight and become the best – you are unlikely to be the best when you start
  • you need to accept set-backs, learn from them, and get back onto the stage – you learn more from your failures than from your successes
  • you need endurance and build it up step by step, day by day, week by week – you won’t make much progress on a single day, but over months and years, you will be miles away from where you started
  • you need to make sacrifice when you have to – you can’t have it all at once
  • you need to enjoy success when you win!

Watch this video of Rocky and get started now!

The Entrepreneur’s Toolkit

Thinking about launching a new business? Then there is one book not to be missed:

Entrepreneur’s Tookit: Tools and Techniques to Launch and Grow Your New Business

from Harvard Business School Press. In this book, you will learn the following:

  1. Self-Diagnosis: Do you have the right stuff to start a business?
  2. Finding and Evaluating the Opportunity: Is it real and large enough?
  3. Organizing the Entreprise: Which form is best for you?
  4. Building a Business Model and Strategy: How they work together
  5. Writing a Business Plan: The basics
  6. Financing the Business: Where’s the money?
  7. Angels and Venture Capitalists: For serious outside equity
  8. Going Public: Adventures in the capital markets
  9. Entreprise Growth: The challenge to management
  10. Keeping the Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive: The ultimate challenge of success
  11. Harvert Time: Reaping what you have sown

This book is a must read for any new entrepreneur. You can buy it on Amazon.

Last but not least, there is a collection of business tools available on the Harvard Business Essentials companion web site, included a pro-forma financial plan template. Get your own copy!

Guide des Startups High-Tech en France, 16ieme édition, Olivier Ezratty

For our French readers in Europe, Canada, Africa and the rest of the world: there is a fantastic guide on startups for entrepreneurs, published by Olivier Ezratty, a freelance consultant, university guest speaker and ex-Microsoft manager – and also graduate of Ecole Centrale Paris, the French ‘Grande Ecole’.

The guide, now in its 16th edition, is a must-read for those who want to set up a start-up in France, or elsewhere.

It is free and can be downloaded from Olivier’s web site.

To create successful businesses, take advise from serial entrepreneurs

Serial entrepreneurs are a great source of knowledge for all those who want to create successful and lasting businesses, whether small or large.

And the best thing about it is that their advice is available for free. Take a look at It’s called fishing not catching, a web site maintained by Ben T Smith IV. Ben is an Advisor to, investor in, and founder of technology and media companies.

Enjoy the tips and insight!