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PITCH PERFECT

Is there a formula for the perfect pitch? We asked a top VC

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

In this six-part video series for Quartz members, Scott Kupor, managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz,  breaks down each stage of the pitching process, using Instagram’s and Lyft’s early pitches as case studies. Kupor has overseen the venture capital firm’s growth from $300 million assets under management in 2009 to more than $10 billion today. To continue the deep dive, tackle our syllabus, curated by Kupor. 📚

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01 // Market size 💰  

VCs need to be convinced that your product will generate a high enough return for their investors. That means going after a market that’s big enough and, crucially, showing the thinking behind your projections of market size.

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02 // Pitching your product 💼  

In many cases, the product you’re pitching doesn’t actually exist yet. How is your idea tailored to a problem in the market that you’re trying to solve?

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03 // Selling your team 🧠

Why should the VC back you as opposed to someone else with a similar idea, trying to go after a similar opportunity? The key is what Andreessen Horowitz calls an “earned secret.”

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04 // Go-to-market 🤝

Your go-to-market strategy explains how you’ll reach your customers. You need to show the VC that you’ve thought through what that will cost and how much they’ll pay.

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05 // Next round 💸

Whether or not you’re doing well, you’ll likely need to raise more money. It’s possible to plan for the next round in your pitch without being presumptuous. 

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06 // To sum it all up 📝

Test your knowledge.

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Syllabus 📚

Collectively, these resources have shaped Kupor’s thinking around the perfect pitch.

Books

  • Thinking in Bets, by Annie Duke (2018): “but I guess that’s obvious given my day job!”
  • Devil Take the Hindmost, by Edward Chancellor (1999) – “a great history of speculative booms and busts, from late seventeenth century London through to the Dot Com crash.”
  • Father, Son & Co, by Thomas Watson, Jr (1990): “a great historical review of the original IBM”
  • Range, by David Epstein (2019): “admittedly not finished yet, but I am a big believer in the power of generalists/thinking skills vs over-specialization (for most professions)”

Articles

Podcasts

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