Lessons Learned: Perfecting Your Pitch With Rui Ma of 500 Startups


You’re stuck in the elevator an investor you deeply admire. What do you do? When given this precious opportunity to express their startup succinctly, many entrepreneurs stumble and stutter, trying to get the right words out to impress their future funder. Because of this, investors pass up brilliant ideas simply because they weren’t presented properly. Rui Ma, a venture partner of 500 Startups, stopped by CoCoon on Monday to talk about creating the perfect pitch, depending on how much time you have.

From thirty second ‘elevator pitches’ to thirty minute interactive presentations, Ma covered all bases, pointing out key features that could make your startup stand out against the rest. She busted myths, scratching out the widely believed idea that pitches were solely meant for the ears of investors. In fact, anyone could be a potential listener for they could have connections to someone else useful or be a possible employee. Ma compared pitching to asking someone out on a date, both situations requiring a great first impression.

Being concise, building credibility and connecting with your listener emotionally will keep the attention you need to get your ideas across and understood. These points were especially useful for those moments when time is precious. Whether it’s traction or impressive technology, important features of your startup will catch the attention of potential investors, broadening the chances of getting the funding you need.

Build your perfect one minute pitch with Harvard Business School Elevator Pitch Tool

This is really cool, simple tool to walk you through the important parts of a pitch.

echelon 2010 Wrap Up Part 1 – The Event


So, what was echelon 2010 like for me? I’d say it was an awesome event, well planned with equally great people attending it. I think the overall theme was that Asia has a developing startup ecosystem that will support the needs locally and can expand globally. 

When I first signed up for the event, I never would have thought that I would have connected up with such a wide variety of people. I now have good contacts in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore that I didn’t have before. On top of that, with the tie-in of Geeks on a Plane, I was able to meet up with a great group of people from the US as well. 

My highlights for the event:  [Read more…]