Riley seeking the perfect pitch
But in the world of innovation, the pitch is two minutes which make the difference between billionaire and dreamer.
That's why aspiring billionaires from Finland and Australia were among those who gathered in a 26th floor law office conference room for the VC Taskforce's early stage pitch session Monday. Even well-practiced serial innovators came to try their chops.
It is one of four such sessions the VC Taskforce holds each month. Founder and CEO June Riley saw a need to improve the process of creating wealth from innovation in 2001. Now more than 14,000 are part of the database.
On Oct. 30, the Draper family, among the most respected names in venture capital and technology, are the honorees for the third annual Innovation Catalyst Award at the Palo Alto Hills Golf and Country Club. The Draper family has over three successive generations, invested in and grown hundreds of start-up companies. The program will include: Recollections of the Draper Family given by Franklin "Pitch” Johnson, Chairman, Asset Management Company. The special guest speaker is Matt Flannery, CEO of Kiva, a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Organization. "Silicon Valley, Venture Capital and the Future” is the topic from Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The highlight is a fireside chat with Bill and Tim Draper.” For more information/registration: http://vctaskforce.com/content/view/965/
During the regular pitch session Monday, amiable and lanky moderator Max Levine took seriously his role as enforcer and coach. He drew on his previous experience as an NBA scout. With him were three venture capitalists/angels who listened to the two-minute presentation for ten aspirants, asked four minutes of followup questions and then gave feedback and a rating on a one to five scale. Only one person scored a five from any of the judges.
It underscored the difficulty of explaining often complex products and services, plus selling oneself individually and describing potential markets -- all in two minutes. Many return for the practice sessions multiple times in order to make that winning pitch.
In the world of venture capital, one pitch can be the World Series.