Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Making the pitch

PitchAfter 15 months, I’m back on the road.

Pitching.

Startups live on dollops of funding, ladled out by syndicates of investors as milestones are reached, where the company’s value is enhanced and the risks are reduced.  Cash from the prior fundraising round defines the runway, the time available to achieve the next milestone before the accounts run dry.  Canny entrepreneurs keep a weather eye on the burn rate, how fast resources are consumed, month by month, to stretch the investment as far as possible.

And when problems occur, the ground can come up very fast.

The past six months have been an enormous challenge, but we’ve arrived at a point where both of  my startups are back in the market, raising next-round funding after meeting their milestones. It’s no mean accomplishment: few startups progress round-to-round, fewer still with increased valuation, and very few that overcome the personal and technical challenges that we’ve faced.

So it’s a bit of a victory tour as well as pitch.  I’m proud of what the group has accomplished and the story we have to tell.

The slides are done, I’ve rehearsed the 7-minute patter until it’s second nature: I don’t even glance at the screen any more.  The swing through Guernsey, London, Yorkshire, Cambridge lasts all of this week: planes, trains, and automobiles, formal presentations in stuffy boardrooms and breakfast meetings on windy terraces, a suit and a smile at every stop.

Sept 2013 ChTunnel  (1) 1 DSC09915 (1200x900) 3 DSC09901 (1200x901)2 DSC09863 (1200x849)

The responses so far have been good, ‘every hope that we bank the next round in short order.

‘Every hope that we’re good for another year to get to revenues.

‘Life in the big leagues.

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