How to Pitch Me: 7 Investors Discuss What They’re Looking For in March 2023

It is too early to determine if The fall of the SVB heralds a new era for venture capital, but based on anecdotal evidence, confidential discussions and discussions with colleagues, it appears that we are back to business as usual when it comes to fundraising from pre-revenue start.

Not a scientific sampling, but several investors have signaled this week on Twitter that they remain interested in speaking to founders who are still in the idea stage. My take: With the contagion contained, the VC community feels good about writing small checks for pre-revenue startups, but Series A and more? More or less.

As long as this slowdown persists, this Q&A for investors will be a monthly TC+ column. If you are recently dismissed worker considering going on strike on his ownA H-1B employee who has so faror just looking for tips and advice that can help you connect with early career investors, please read and share.

Thank you very much to all the investors who took the time to answer these questions in such detail! If you are an early career investor who would like to be included in future columns, please email with “How to introduce myself” in the subject line.

Here is who participated:

Brian Backeen

What kind of investment opportunities are you looking for in March 2023?

Like many investors, we are bullish on AI. We made two AI-related investments in April and continue to look for opportunities in this area.

How would you prefer to be approached by a founder with their initial pitch: a cold email, a warm introduction, or some other method?

We have an online portal at that founders can use to request an investment. We do this to avoid a problem with venture capitalists called “network bias”. Founders should apply on our portal and follow Twitter.

What’s a traditional fundraising tactic that founders should remove from their toolkit – something that no longer works, but is still common practice?

Ask for warm introductions and try to “build a relationship” with investors. Spend your time building a great business and you will gain in investment. I don’t need new friends.

Tell us about the best pitch you received recently. When during their presentation did you realize that you were going to invest?

I was recently introduced by a company called MuseTax. Great founders, subject matter experts; the real deal. They made me want to invest in the first 10 minutes. They are now in diligence.

Can you share a tip that can help a newbie founder stand out?

Don’t focus on investing; focus on the design. Don’t let your engineers build you a lousy product with great password reset functionality but limited user value.

Don’t let the engineers tell you it’s not ready; It is. Push it and learn.

Design it well and users or investors will follow. Design the first version well and you’ll end up with lots of engineering bills and no progress.

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?

I keep rewatching “Billions” Season 1. You know, before it gets weird 🙂. Big show.

Masha Bucher

What kind of investment opportunities are you looking for in March 2023?

In a healthy fundraising environment, the most successful founders often rely on their storytelling prowess and can win over investors with their charisma. They are the ones who are naturally good speakers and articulate with their vision.

There is a second type of founder with a different background. They are often headlong, rambling, and resource-driven. I call them “survivors”. Survivors are often immigrant founders, people of color, women, or others from underrepresented backgrounds.

I believe survivors are the type of founders to support during a downturn. They were driven to be scrappy and to survive all their lives; they are uniquely equipped to handle what the current times demand of them. They are good at making something out of nothing and are extremely profitable.

I’m looking for paths to monetization, business models, and paths to profitability. Investors are paying much more attention to numbers, business models, and how founders manage their finances. Expect many more questions challenging the business model.

I look at how much revenue comes from product quality versus marketing. Founders who drive virality based on product quality show they can make money with little marketing spend.

We like companies with high EBITDA. We love companies like Quinn, who have hit millions in revenue in just a year of launching with viral, zero-cost marketing on TikTok.

How would you prefer to be approached by a founder with their initial pitch: a cold email, a warm introduction, or some other method?

Cold emails work great, but it’s surprising how few people can do it right. In a cold email, every sentence should convince me to make an appointment. With every word and every phrase, you must create the desire for an investor to meet you in person. You need to show a clear reason why they need to meet with you now, not next month.

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