Pitching in the Bottom of the Ninth; New Rules for Pressure Pitchers in a Slumping Market

Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from Katalyst LLC

    CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
 If the investment market were a baseball game, many would be calling this the
 bottom of the ninth.  Entrepreneurs pitching their e-businesses to
 increasingly skeptical venture capitalists know the current climate of
 cautiousness creates a whole set of rules. But it still only takes one perfect
 pitch to win the game and gain coveted funding fanfare.
     As a service to start-ups preparing for the all-important funding
 presentation, Katalyst, a Philadelphia-based investor and business builder,
 has created a new scouting report entrepreneurs can follow to throw the
 perfect pitch and make themselves an MVP (Most Valuable Prospect) to Venture
 Capitalists.
 
     Rule #1: Use Your Scouting Report: Due diligence is critical when you're
 due to pitch. Make sure you've thoroughly researched your market and honestly
 assessed your status in regard to competition. Continue to focus on your
 strengths, but to dismiss your competition completely is naive.
 
     Rule #2:  Don't Go In Cold: Cold calls or direct mail to VCs can leave you
 lingering in the on-deck circle. Venture Capitalists are much more likely to
 invest in companies that come via referrals. Look for recommendations from an
 industry contact, corporate attorney, accountant or even friends or family of
 the investor. Just make sure you get one. A reference gives you instant
 credibility and attention, putting you one step ahead of the game.
 
     Rule #3: Don't Balk At The Numbers: Be realistic in the assessing your
 company's profitability. Investors understand that new business financials are
 difficult to estimate. Build reasonable projections and when possible show
 contacts who are willing to vouch for your company and product. Sporting a set
 of outlandish projections, even if you think they can happen, may lower your
 credibility and leave you in the financial dugout.
 
     Rule #4: Know The Strike Zone: Research and understand your prospective
 investor's background, areas of expertise, prior investments, average
 investment amount etc. There are many factors that may make a particular
 investor appropriate for your needs. Don't waste pitches on prospects with low
 probability for success.
 
     Rule #5: Don't Forget Your Infield: VCs want to see balanced business
 teams so don't try to do it all alone. Even the best pitchers have to rely on
 great defense. You may know technology but a lawyer or accountant may explain
 your business model best. Know your limits and don't be afraid to hand the
 ball over to a "pitch hitter."
 
     Rule #6: Keep Bringing The Heat: The average VC firm sees about 1,000
 business plans a year and may invest in 10 or less. So just like any major
 league workhorse you've got to be persistent and keep on pitching. You may
 have to talk to 50 VCs, but remember it only takes one to make a deal.
 
     Rule #7: Waste A Pitch: Practice makes perfect. The more you present your
 business plan, the better you'll be at it. For a small fee, there are forums
 and workshops where you can present your plan and get valuable feedback. View
 these as a way to sharpen your presentation and refine your pitch.
 
     Rule #8: Always Bring Your Ball: It's not uncommon for great pitchers to
 carry a baseball wherever they go. Likewise savvy entrepreneurs should always
 have their deck with them. The best opportunities often arise in informal
 situations. So always bring your ball with you and be ready to pitch your
 idea.
 
     Rule #9: Good Closers Win Games: Just like any baseball game your last
 pitch to a VC is just as important as your first. Be concise and don't leave
 any doubt that you're finished. Close! Close! Close! End with a sentence that
 sticks in their mind and they're going to remember you come funding time.
 
     About Katalyst
     Katalyst LLC is an investor and business builder that integrates venture
 capital, operational expertise and merchant banking for companies in various
 stages of development from early funding through liquidity.  Since its
 founding in 1999, the company has partnered with 22 portfolio companies who
 have raised more than $250MM.  With its own multi-stage investment fund,
 Katalyst is recognized for its proprietary Net Acceleration(TM) Methodology
 that builds on the collective experience and best practices of its
 50 professionals.  Headquartered in Conshohocken, PA the company operates
 offices in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C. and London.
 
     Web site:  http://www.katalyst.com
     CONTACT:  Jason Rocker, 215-564-3200, ext. 10, for Katalyst.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54178350
 
 

SOURCE Katalyst LLC
    CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
 If the investment market were a baseball game, many would be calling this the
 bottom of the ninth.  Entrepreneurs pitching their e-businesses to
 increasingly skeptical venture capitalists know the current climate of
 cautiousness creates a whole set of rules. But it still only takes one perfect
 pitch to win the game and gain coveted funding fanfare.
     As a service to start-ups preparing for the all-important funding
 presentation, Katalyst, a Philadelphia-based investor and business builder,
 has created a new scouting report entrepreneurs can follow to throw the
 perfect pitch and make themselves an MVP (Most Valuable Prospect) to Venture
 Capitalists.
 
     Rule #1: Use Your Scouting Report: Due diligence is critical when you're
 due to pitch. Make sure you've thoroughly researched your market and honestly
 assessed your status in regard to competition. Continue to focus on your
 strengths, but to dismiss your competition completely is naive.
 
     Rule #2:  Don't Go In Cold: Cold calls or direct mail to VCs can leave you
 lingering in the on-deck circle. Venture Capitalists are much more likely to
 invest in companies that come via referrals. Look for recommendations from an
 industry contact, corporate attorney, accountant or even friends or family of
 the investor. Just make sure you get one. A reference gives you instant
 credibility and attention, putting you one step ahead of the game.
 
     Rule #3: Don't Balk At The Numbers: Be realistic in the assessing your
 company's profitability. Investors understand that new business financials are
 difficult to estimate. Build reasonable projections and when possible show
 contacts who are willing to vouch for your company and product. Sporting a set
 of outlandish projections, even if you think they can happen, may lower your
 credibility and leave you in the financial dugout.
 
     Rule #4: Know The Strike Zone: Research and understand your prospective
 investor's background, areas of expertise, prior investments, average
 investment amount etc. There are many factors that may make a particular
 investor appropriate for your needs. Don't waste pitches on prospects with low
 probability for success.
 
     Rule #5: Don't Forget Your Infield: VCs want to see balanced business
 teams so don't try to do it all alone. Even the best pitchers have to rely on
 great defense. You may know technology but a lawyer or accountant may explain
 your business model best. Know your limits and don't be afraid to hand the
 ball over to a "pitch hitter."
 
     Rule #6: Keep Bringing The Heat: The average VC firm sees about 1,000
 business plans a year and may invest in 10 or less. So just like any major
 league workhorse you've got to be persistent and keep on pitching. You may
 have to talk to 50 VCs, but remember it only takes one to make a deal.
 
     Rule #7: Waste A Pitch: Practice makes perfect. The more you present your
 business plan, the better you'll be at it. For a small fee, there are forums
 and workshops where you can present your plan and get valuable feedback. View
 these as a way to sharpen your presentation and refine your pitch.
 
     Rule #8: Always Bring Your Ball: It's not uncommon for great pitchers to
 carry a baseball wherever they go. Likewise savvy entrepreneurs should always
 have their deck with them. The best opportunities often arise in informal
 situations. So always bring your ball with you and be ready to pitch your
 idea.
 
     Rule #9: Good Closers Win Games: Just like any baseball game your last
 pitch to a VC is just as important as your first. Be concise and don't leave
 any doubt that you're finished. Close! Close! Close! End with a sentence that
 sticks in their mind and they're going to remember you come funding time.
 
     About Katalyst
     Katalyst LLC is an investor and business builder that integrates venture
 capital, operational expertise and merchant banking for companies in various
 stages of development from early funding through liquidity.  Since its
 founding in 1999, the company has partnered with 22 portfolio companies who
 have raised more than $250MM.  With its own multi-stage investment fund,
 Katalyst is recognized for its proprietary Net Acceleration(TM) Methodology
 that builds on the collective experience and best practices of its
 50 professionals.  Headquartered in Conshohocken, PA the company operates
 offices in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C. and London.
 
     Web site:  http://www.katalyst.com
     CONTACT:  Jason Rocker, 215-564-3200, ext. 10, for Katalyst.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54178350
 
 SOURCE  Katalyst LLC