Sponsored by the global law firm
One hour of free coaching for your company. Or just watch and learn.
Coaching for Investor Presentations and Quick Pitches
Open Coaching is a format I’ve perfected over the years. It’s a fast, efficient, learn-by-example way to prepare entrepreneurs to pitch to investors.
The sessions are valuable for both first-time entrepreneurs and veteran, serial entrepreneurs raising money for the umpteenth time.
It’s called OPEN coaching because it’s open to ANY venture company, no matter what stage, to come watch, observe, learn. It’s also OPEN — not private— because everybody watches everybody else be coached and shares in the lessons. You absorb the principles faster when you see them applied to other pitches, not just your own.
The COACHING part comes in two flavors, formal (Investor Presentation 360) and informal (Quick Pitch Rodeo).
Investor Presentation 360
In each Open Coaching session, I coach one or two investor presentations—the formal ten-minute version with slides. Each featured company gets an hour of my undivided attention, a simulation of a private coaching session. I have a lot to say about slides, but this is much more than just tweaking slides. I dig deep to understand your business, tease out your core story, advise you on what to include in the presentation and what to leave out, how to sequence it.
If you have investor meetings coming up, or are preparing for a venture fair or pitch competition, this one hour will make a discernible difference.
You need to be approved to be featured in one of the formal coaching slots. Follow the instructions below the photo.
Quick Pitch Rodeo
The informal part is where I coach the “quick pitch” (aka elevator pitch). Your goal is to be prepared when an investor comes up to you and says, “So, what does your company do?”
I’ll coach as many people as I can in the time we have—roughly ten minutes each.
No prior approval necessary. Just register and show up. Speak up when I ask for volunteers.
Quick Pitch Rodeo can be chaotic in an intense, fun sort of way. Anything can happen depending on who shows up. It’s also the time to ask burning questions about investors and raising money. There’s a lot of give and take. Be ready for anything.
Who Should Attend
Open Coaching is a real eye-opener for first-timers. Learning from real-world examples, being coached by an expert, is the quickest way to learn how to create a great investor presentation.
Experienced entrepreneurs gain just as much, if not more. I teach advanced presentation techniques while at the same time reinforcing the rudiments. More valuable yet is the fresh insight you get into your own company. If you’re too deep in the weeds, I’ll show you the forest for the trees. The discussion can go broad, sometimes delving into questions of strategy and financial feasibility, not just slides and story.
Open Coaching is only for venture companies from any industry, including life sciences—that is, companies with a high tech component, is highly scalable, and with the potential to be acquired for a high-multiple return to investors. Bio-tech and medical devices are venture companies. Companies with a big service component, or a limited local market, are not. Open Coaching is preparation for angel and venture capital investors, and they only invest in venture companies.
Investors, advisors, mentors, and teachers are encouraged to join us as well. I’ll put you to work.
Another benefit is the networking: entrepreneurs discovering common interests, cross interests, and synergies. Everybody comes away with new connections, new ideas—and lots of notes. Bring business cards.
When Open Coaching is held at DLA Piper in One Liberty Tower, Center City Philadelphia. It’s a classy event. Great food: fresh fruit, bagels, muffins, juice, coffee.
And did I tell you about the view? From the 50th floor we’re looking down on Penn and Drexel, and on a clear day you can see Wilmington!
Time and Place and Registration
Open Coaching is always three hours. I ask that you plan to attend the full session.
I try to hold Open Coaching every Wednesday during the busy season for investor pitches. All regular sessions are at DLA Piper in Center City, from 10am to 1pm.
Bookmark this BizClarity.com page where I post the next few sessions. Sometimes I hold sessions in other venues — University of Delaware, for example. Those sessions will be posted here as well.
Or, if you join Startup Money MeetUp and get notices of all Open Coaching session—plus other events I have planned—in your email. www.meetup.com/startupmoney
Follow links on this page to register (Eventbrite) or if you join Startup Money, you can RSVP through Meetup.com. Same difference. Registration is required so we can order enough food and so your name will be on the list for building security. And so if a session is cancelled (it happens) you’ll get an email.
Always free. It comes out of the DLA Piper market budget.
INSTRUCTIONS. If you want to be coached, do this!
Venture companies from any industry (including life sciences) are welcome. You need to be approved in order to be featured for the one-hour coaching. I'm screening mostly for stage because if you're too early, it doesn't work. Pre-revenue is ok. If in doubt, just send me your stuff. I'll confirm so you know your date.
You will get one hour of coaching, as if we were in a private session.
To apply to be coached, email me at email@example.com. Attach something (slides, execsum, etc.) to show me where you are now with your company. If you have your info on Gust.com, tell me and I can see it there.
Let me know if you're preparing for a venture fair or pitch competition (like MADV or PACT or Angel Venture Fair) and I'll give you priority.
Ideally, I'm coaching the CEO because investors expect the CEO to give the pitch. If you’re not the CEO but you want to be coached, explain when you email me.
If you’re being coached, it’s important that you attend the whole three hours.
Be sure to register.
If you want help with your Quick Pitch
No approval necessary. Register and show up.
If you want to observe only
All entrepreneurs are welcome, no matter what stage company. Also all venture investors, mentors, and advisors to start-up companies are welcome.
If you're service provider, ask me first.
Just be sure to register.
A Word from Our Sponsor
All of these workshops and coaching are free, thanks to the law firm DLA Piper.
What’s the catch? None. It’s DLA’s way of getting their name out. It’s also a way to boost and nurture the entire venture community.
DLA Piper is one of the biggest law firms in the world, a leader in corporate and start-up law. They believe in investing in the long-term growth of the Philadelphia entrepreneur community. That's why they provide all this training to help entrepreneurs raise money for their companies.
For information about legal services tailored to entrepreneurs, contact
Steve offers private coaching to companies preparing to pitch to investors or deliver an important talk. Companies engage Steve directly. Organizations such as incubator programs and "boot camps" can hire Steve to do any combination of workshops and one-on-one coaching with their members.
Venture Fair Coaching
I've been closely involved with the regional angel and investment community for over 15 years, in particular the annual Angel Venture Fair held at the Union League in Philadelphia, and the quarterly Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures events held at the Philadelphia Country Club.
Angel Venture Fair (AVF)
I'm the Head Coach for the 2018 Angel Venture Fair (sponsored by DLA Piper, Philadelphia). If you're preparing for Selection Day or for the Angel Venture Fair, this is where you learn how to get help with your presentation.
But we're offering more than just coaching! I've been part of AVF for nearly it's full history. I'm eager to share with companies all kinds of advice about how to make the most of the whole experience. It's not just a bunch of pitches, it's a community, a network of people who want to help entrepreneurs be successful.
If you're preparing for Selection Day or for the Angel Venture Fair itself, read the Angel Venture Fair Help Page.
Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures (MADV)
I'm both a judge and coach for Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures hosted by Temple University's Fox School of Business. I help prepare qualified companies to present at the quarterly events by ensuring that investment materials are comprehensible, defensible and compelling.