Here at 7 Generation Games, we’ve been working on perfecting our pitch. Contrary to what it might seem like when you see someone present an outstanding pitch, a pitch that looks effortless is anything but.
We all know those people who say, “I don’t want to practice what I’m going to say or it will just come off rehearsed.” The reality is 99 percent of the time those people actually come across as a rambling mess. It’s the people that practice and rehearse that nail it — just like when it comes to pretty much anything in life. Every time we pitch, we get some great feedback on how we can make it better and/or some other useful advice.
We’re constantly working on and revising our pitch. We’ve pitched online to the Tech Coast Angels now twice — once a year ago and once earlier tonight. We pitched at an in-person Tech Coast Angels event in Orange County. We’ve pitched at a LATISM event in NYC. We’ve pitched at 106 miles demo event in Santa Monica. We pitched the MIT’s In-NOW-vation showcase. We pitched at our meetup in Vegas. And that’s just the times that come to us off the top of our head.
And here’s the real kicker – right now, we’re pitching and we don’t even need money at the moment. We recently got a major infusion of funding that will carry us through the next two years at a decent clip. Now, if someone came to us and offered us a truckload of money, we’d certainly be up for a lunch.
But getting funding – again just like pretty much everything – isn’t about just getting lucky. As far as we can tell, people don’t just come up to you and offer to give you money for your “great idea.” And you don’t just go out, pitch once and have a room full of investors waving their checkbooks at you as soon as you’re done. (This is contrary to what we’ve heard at some of the events we’ve attended. Those comments were clearly made by people who have never pitched.)
To us, it’s about building relationships. That goes for people we hire. Our intern David was the first person we ever hired that we hadn’t worked with in some previous capacity or who didn’t come strongly recommended by someone we already knew. We feel the same way about investors — and we’re pretty sure investors want that as well.
Go to a few VC meetups/networking events and you’ll hear, “We don’t invest in ideas. We invest in people.” While you don’t seem a lot of money given to people that don’t have ideas, the reality is investors want to know the people they’re engaging in business. It’s not just a one-time open-the-checkbook kind of deal. And for us, pitching as often as we do, allows us to do a few things:
1. Build relationships with potential investors. Not only do we get a chance to meet investors, but over time, we’ve encountered the same people time and again. And they get to see how much we’ve grown. How hard we’re working. How awesome our product is turning out.
2. Refine our pitch. And the better our pitch, the more attractive we are to potential investors.
3. To build awareness of our product. We are CONSTANTLY marketing, marketing, marketing.
And yes, we’re not looking for money at the moment, but we’re aware that we will be looking for investors as we grow even further — maybe 12-18 months down the road.
And you don’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey, I think I’ll find myself an investor today.” Or at least, that’s not the approach we’re taking.