Life’s a Pitch – The Complete Guide to Creating an Effective Executive Summary Pt 1

The Complete Guide to Creating an Effective Executive Summary Pt 1

I am frequently asked by entrepreneurs intending to pitch Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists ‘how important is an Executive Summary’ and ‘how do I create an Executive Summary’.  So in this post and the next one, I am going to cover just about everything you need to know about an Executive Summary. I’ll give detailed guidance on how to create one, including advice on form and content. The Executive Summary approach outlined in this post is one favored by most investors and is the very same one I have used to raise millions of dollars.

The Purpose of an Executive Summary

An Executive Summary is, in many respects, the most important document you will create before embarking on the fund raising journey. Even if you have a great elevator pitch, most investors will ask to see your Executive Summary before meeting you. It is your door opener.

A concise, two page Executive Summary should provide investors with the bare minimum of information they need to understand the nature of the investment opportunity you are presenting them with. It is the first impression an investor will get of you and your business. Get it wrong and it will be the last impression.

This is a good reference to creating a short form business plan. The second part has already been posted: http://martinsoorjoo.typepad.com/lifes_a_pitch/2010/05/the-complete-guide-to-…

First Pitch Practice – Pitch Masters HK

First Pitch Practice

Announcing the first ever pitch practice session for Pitch Masters Hong Kong. 

The meeting will be on next Wednesday, the 13th of January, 8-9:30pm at the Lan Kwai Fong Beer Bar (formerly California). 

The intent of this meetup is to try out the format of the practice sessions, which are intended to provide a friendly environment for rapid iterative practice of pitching to someone.

For those coming to this meeting, it doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur, investor, or just interested in trying this out, everyone must have a pitch presentation ready of some sort, no spectators.

I’ll put together some more posts that help to shape up what an elevator pitch and the short pitch could be. The topics are up to you, but typically should be related to selling someone (an investor, a client, etc.) on the concept of a business, product, or service.

We will be following this up with additional practice sessions and will be putting together a related meeting to bring in local investors for taking the skills learned in practice sessions into practical application. 

See the post for more details about the format and comment there to RSVP. I’ll be posting up links and related info in that blog (more focused towards pitching and investing).

Pitch Masters HK Proposed Format

As part of trying to put together the Pitch Masters group, this is an outline of the format for the two kinds of meetings. I would appreciate feedback on it:
  1. Practice Sessions: Open and social, held in an informal environment, such as a coffee shop or bar. If investors want to come to this meeting, they must also play the role of entrepreneur and have a pitch to deliver. 
    1. 15 min – Meet and greet time where people practice delivering their Elevator Pitches. 
    2. 30 min (broken into 2×15 min sessions) – We would split the group into two, one group takes the role of investor and the other entrepreneur, after 15 minutes, you switch rolls. A rapid public pitching round that each iteration is timed, perhaps 4 minutes for the pitch and questions, and then 1 minute for feedback. After each time, the entrepreneurs for the round play musical chairs and go pitch to a new person. You get 3 times to deliver your pitch to someone, and then you listen to other people for three rounds. 
    3. 15 min – Wrap up and group discussion, talk about things that were experienced, new books, techniques, etc. 
    4. Take a video of some of these pitches to use for promotional material as well as for feedback for individuals.
    5. The practice sessions could be quite informal, and would work with as few as 4 people, but would probably be better with 6 or more. 
  2. Matching Sessions: Location could be an office or just somewhere that has spaces that could be used privately. I think a good size for this would be to find 5-10 investors and 15-40 entrepreneurs, but could be sized to fit available resources. 
    1. 30 min – Meet and greet, it would be helpful to have some listing of areas of interest or expertise for all participants so that potential matches could meet socially before the pitching rounds. Investors get “dance cards” that are for booking their pitch sessions. Each entrepreneur gets 3-4 pitch slots and must manage their own sign ups to prevent conflicts (ie. Session A, B, C, D). 
    2. 30 min – Public pitches, 7 minutes each, four rounds per investor. 
    3. 15 min – Recess and arrangements for private pitching. 
    4. 1 hour – Given what private meeting facilities are available, arrange private pitches for investor/entrepreneur pairs or groups. This will facilitate discussing topics that are needed to be covered by non-disclosure agreements, etc. 
    5. Retire to a nearby pub, make announcements if there are any to be announced. 
    6. It would be requested that angels give feedback to the people they interviewed, either catching up with them at the pub, etc. or via a note afterwards.