You have a great idea that you think is going to be the next big thing. Maybe it’s a mobile app. Perhaps it’s a particular service no one else is offering. Either way, you have convinced yourself that you have to pitch your idea to venture capitalists before you can do anything else. Stop. Think again. Consider teasing your startup before you actually pitch it.
What is teasing? According to Mezy, a Utah company that offers diligence-as-a-service (DaaS) powered by a technology-based diligence platform, it is giving potential investors just enough information to pique their interest. You tease them, then immediately set up a meeting during which you will pitch your startup.
Like Whetting the Appetite
A multi-course dinner that starts with hors d’oeuvres offers a great illustration. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres are a terrific way to whet a person’s appetite for what is to come. And for the most formal dinner parties, they can make or break the entire evening.
Remember that formal dinner parties are not even close to fast food. The idea isn’t to sit down and consume as quickly as possible before getting up and getting on with your evening. Formal dinner parties, by design, can take hours. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres just get things started.
In a fundraising scenario, you are looking at much the same thing. Fundraising is not an event. It doesn’t happen just once. Fundraising is a process that can go on for years. It is the business equivalent of a formal dinner party.
Becoming a Big Tease
With the introductory information out of the way, it’s time to move on to the concept of becoming a big tease. In other words, there is a process for preparing a startup in advance of teasing it. You are generally only going to get one shot at teasing a particular group of investors. If you’re not ready to go when that time comes, your efforts may be in vain.
This is where a solid diligence platform comes into play. A company like Mezy utilizes its diligence platform to help investors find great opportunities. The same platform can be used to package startups. It is all in the data.
The diligence provider knows what its clients are looking for. It knows what questions will be asked during pitch meetings. The diligence provider knows what investors are looking for in terms of management teams, past history, and everything else.
Armed with that information, providers can turn to startups looking for funding. They can help startups compile the necessary data for the coming pitch. They can help management teams prepare for the questions they will inevitably be asked. All of this is in preparation for the big tease. However, it is not the tease itself.
Sending a Summary Report
Despite its crude nature, the traditional striptease is a great way to illustrate this point. An experienced striptease artist leaves the audience always wanting more by only revealing a little bit at a time. That is exactly how you tease a startup.
Rather than sending investors a multi-page cold deck, it’s better to send a one-page summary with just enough of the most relevant details to get them interested. The point is to reveal just a little bit. Again, a diligence platform can be a tremendous help here.
How do you know what information to tease with? A diligence platform can tell you. Combined with the expert analysis of the diligence provider’s human analysts, you can put together a single-page summary document that will have venture capitalists drooling. That is how you do the tease.