Venture capitalist sealing a deal between a utility company and an ESS corporate enterprise. Industry concept for partnership between energy storage system manufacturer and power generation provider.

Walking into a high-tech meeting room to meet San Diego venture capitalists can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done so before. Preparation is critical, as the money that venture capitalists provide could be the difference in whether your business is successful. Below, we’ve outlined mistakes commonly made by entrepreneurs when pitching venture capitalists. Avoiding these mistakes while in the meeting room will improve your likelihood of success tremendously.

Not Doing Your Homework

Before walking into a meeting room and randomly pitching your idea to a venture capitalist, you should first do your homework. You should research venture capitalists in the San Diego area and find a handful that focus on your industry. Look up their past investments to determine if they invest in:

  • Large corporations
  • Mid-sized companies
  • Startups

You should carefully select the venture capitalists to who you pitch. Otherwise, you’ll waste your time and theirs. A venture capitalist focused on large corporations won’t want to invest in a startup, no matter how good your pitch may be. Similarly, make sure that the venture capitalist hasn’t invested in any of your competitors.

Not Changing The Pitch

You should use the research that you discover to help craft your pitch. Too many San Diego entrepreneurs use the same angle for every venture capitalist. It will come off as dull and “cookie-cutter.” Instead, you should tailor your pitch to each venture capitalist you target. This will not only make your tone more appealing, but you’ll be able to build a relationship by explaining the precise reasons why you wish to work together.

Not Addressing Concerns

Too many entrepreneurs memorize their pitch and can’t handle when it goes off the tracks. Be prepared to address investor concerns. If a venture capitalist brings up a concern two or three times in a pitch, stop your pitch and address their concerns. Don’t be afraid to have a little flexibility when pitching venture capitalists. You’ll come off as more likable and level-headed as a result.