Groove Capital Blog

Pitch Perfect [The Startup Edition]

Kiley Giebel

16 December 2021

So you’ve decided to raise venture money for your startup. Whether you know it (or not) you’re up against possibly hundreds of other companies competing for an investment... so now what?

Navigating your way through the fundraising process can be intimidating. We get it, and we want to help.

While it’s important to consider that not all venture capital firms are the same (do your homework to know the differences, it helps), here's a few ways to increase your odds of partnering with us.

First Contact
Many founders will search for warm introductions or connections to get an “in” with a venture capital (VC) firm, though that helps, referrals are not required to be considered for an investment at Groove. In the spirit of keeping funding opportunities accessible, and to ensure a chance to evaluate the most promising startups in Minnesota, founders can contact us via a simple form on Groove’s Get Funded page.

The Initial Call
Before beginning the formal application process, it's common for many entrepreneurs to engage in a short call with the team. Our Sourcing Lead(s) and GP are regularly available for office hours, just ask. These calls are meant to help both parties decide if the opportunity is right for the fund (not a formal pitch), and whether or not it makes sense to move forward with the process. Founders are also encouraged to ask any and all questions about fundraising, thesis fit, etc. — we know this can be totally foreign for some, and that's ok.

Next Steps
Following that initial call, you’ve probably received some direction regarding what comes next. Follow up with any questions or tasks identified in the call; solid follow through is positively reflected in your evaluation. 

After determining the opportunity is within the bounds of Groove's investment thesis, we typically refer founders to our application to gather more information about you/your company. Take your time, and show thoughtfulness and conviction in your responses. If our team likes what they are seeing, you will move forward to a formal pitch.

The Pitch 
Nearly all pitches are conducted virtually. The meeting includes brief introductions, your pitch, and a lot of time for Q&A.

Strategies for the Pitch
The ins-and-outs of perfecting your pitch is informed by your own personal style, but following  pointers are universal in making sure your pitch is well received:

  • Use your time wisely: It goes by fast. Make sure to focus on the key points without getting lost in the details. Have appendix slides ready for more detailed questions. Additionally be respectful of the investor's time.
  • Do your homework: You don’t have to have everything memorized, but before meeting with a VC you should have a solid understanding of their firm and the key aspects of where there is alignment with your startup. Groove Capital’s investment thesis, portfolio companies, and much more can be found on our website
  • Rehearse: Practice, practice, practice! Check your timing. Please check your timing. No seriously, time it. Pitch to friends and coworkers first. If Groove is the most likely fund to invest in your company, we would suggest working out the kinks with other investors first. If you want to work out your kinks with us to have more success with others, that's fine too :)
  • Avoid industry-specific jargon: Unless you know the investor has specific familiarity with your industry or your product/service, craft your messaging to be easily understood by a non-expert. Don’t assume a VC or investor has knowledge of insider processes, acronyms, or pain points. Demonstrating an ability to explain complex systems simply will make you look smart, and provide the VC confidence in your ability to connect with future investors and customers alike. 

Now that you have the inside scoop, we’re excited to hear from you!

Kiley Giebel

Kiley Giebel is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management where she is pursuing her Bachelor's in Marketing and MIS. She serves as a Sophomore Representative at CSOM and is the VP of Communications at Atland Ventures. Kiley enjoys working with early stage entrepreneurs who are driven to create change within their industry. She also enjoys traveling, being outdoors, and learning about up-and-coming trends in her free time.

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