Business Pitch: Don’t Confuse Optimism with Business Potential

by Tim Berry

I listen to a lot of business pitches and way too many of them try to make something out of the entrepreneur’s attitude. Commitment is great, but who isn’t committed? Passion is great but who isn’t passionate about their business. Saying that adds nothing. It’s assumed. So too, with optimism. Business pitch optimism is vastly... Read More »

Business Management

10 Myths vs. Reality on Business Plans and Startup Investment

by Tim Berry

I gather from a stream of emails I’ve received that there are a lot of misconceptions on the relationship between a business plan and getting seed money and/or angel investment. So here’s a list of reality checks to apply to all those lists. Business plans are necessary but not sufficient. Even a great business plan... Read More »

Hit the Target

Elevator Speech Part 4: Delivery

by Tim Berry

In the real world, you know your so-called elevator speech and you use it when appropriate. Every time you do it, you and it get better. I'd recommend taking time out and working on it, but you probably won't; you're... Read More »

Elevator Speech What You Offer

Elevator Speech Part 3: What You Offer

by Tim Berry

Now explain what that person you're selling to gets. Or the organization. You've personalized the need or want, identified your unique qualities to solve the problem, and now you have to put the need or want in concrete terms that... Read More »

Elevator Speech

Elevator Speech Part 2: Why You?

by Tim Berry

In the next part of your elevator speech address 'why you'? Why your business? What's special about you that makes your offering or solution interesting to the target person or organization you just identified. That was my previous post. This... Read More »


Elevator Speech Part 1: The Market Story

by Tim Berry

If you can't say it in 60 seconds, you have a problem. Your strategy isn't clear enough. Nowadays we call it "the elevator speech," meaning a quick description of the business that you could do in the time you share... Read More »

Chart_shutterstock_42227020_by_ArchMan (2)

Which Comes First: Plan or Pitch?

by Tim Berry

It’s not exactly the same as the chicken or the egg, but it has some similarities. I get this question a lot lately, so I decided to take it here to my blog. Don’t pitch a business without planning it first. That’s a lot like trying to film a movie without having a screenplay. You have... Read More »

A Pile of Cash

10 Things Angel Investors Ask About Startups

by Tim Berry

Today the angel investment group I’m a member of (Willamette Angel Conference) finished our eighth year of choosing a startup to invest in. Our investment runs $100K to $500K, roughly. It’s announced every year on the second Thursday in May. The announcement comes later in the day, not here. Our annual angel investors process Every year... Read More »

Video: Startup Funding. Bootstrap. Then “Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You.”

by Tim Berry

I stumbled on this brilliant video of an after-hours startup funding event at the Stanford business school, a panel discussion putting two of the best-known, most influential, and most successful investors (Marc Andreessen and Ron Conway) together with another successful entrepreneur (Parker Conrad, founder of Zenefits), a moderator, and a group of interested entrepreneurs. The... Read More »


Contrarian Advice on Investment Pitch from a Pitch Veteran

by Tim Berry

“We coach entrepreneurs ‘think big.’ ‘Think change the world.’ That doesn’t mean use adjectives that are not credible. Everybody’s revolutionary and everybody’s disruptive now.” That’s Bill Reichert, managing director Garage Technology Ventures, veteran investor, a board member on multiple startups, and someone who has heard and reacted to hundreds of investment pitches. In this talk... Read More »