Guy Kawasaki was the Keynote Speaker at this week’s Elite Retreat. But thanks to the fact that there were 6 presenters and 20 participants in the room, we got the real treat of both listening to and interacting with him. He answered all of our questions as he interspersed comments on being a Technorati Top 100 Blogger, VC hits and misses, and being a stats junkie.
So let’s dispel one myth right away. Everything that Guy Kawasaki touches does not turn to gold. Rather, he openly admits that “If it’s gold, Guy will touch it”.
One of the participants asked a great question about how to get his attention as a company seeking VC funding. So here are the secrets (in order of importance) straight from the source on how to get Guy to pay his Venture Capitalist attention to you :
- Do your homework.
VC firms specialize in many various industries. Garage Technology Ventures focuses on software, services, clean technology, and material sciences. In the life sciences (or other) field? Don’t waste your time reading further. Find a different VC firm that specializes in your industry.
- Get introduced to Guy by a well established Corporate Finance Attorney
Why? You will have already passed one tried and true “Bozo Filter”.
- Make sure you have had your business incorporated by same said Attorney
Don’t use forms from OfficeMax or your relative who usually specializes in real estate law. (No offense meant to past employer Socrates.com or my own lawyer-father, both of whom I’ve used to incorporate past businesses. Good thing I’m not seeking funding!)
- If you are still in school or grad school and go to a name brand university, have your Department Head get in touch with Guy on your behalf.
You (and the head of your department!) had better make darn sure that you have something impressive to put in front of Guy in the first place. As in, the school hasn’t seen this kind of innovation in years. Or ever.
- Have a CEO of a
large company like Yahoo or Googlecompany in a VC’s portfolio that’s doing well make an introduction for you.
- Guy realizes that many people don’t have these connections. His backup advice?
Life is tough. Other people have made these connections. So can you, if you have an idea and company worth investing in.
- So let’s say you have none of these things. What do you do?
You have one shot, three paragraphs, and there’s no room for bullshit.And you better have tried steps 1-6 first. Send Garage Technologies an email. Don’t you dare use the words “patent”, “our partner”, “conservative projections” or “hurry because other VC firms are interested” or bother with any of these other lies.
DON’T send an attachment, don’t waste their time.
DO have brand credentials, and you had better have paid attention to #1 (read his blog, know his company).
You have three paragraphs to pitch your company, talking specifically about how what you do appeals to people. This isn’t just about you – this is the golden rule of “What’s in it for Them”.
- Above all else, if you have a blog, link to him first. (Ok, he didn’t say that, but I am).Guy luuuuuuuvs links.
Update :: Once back home, Guy was able to put up a more detailed answer to our Elite Retreat question on VC funding here.