Startup general interest

Tips for companies attending office hours

By October 24, 2014 April 2nd, 2015 3 Comments

Every month we run an open office hours. It’s a great way for us to meet with lots of founders, improve our deal flow and hopefully give a little back to the community.. Many other VCs do something similar.

We’ve just had our October office hours, and we’ve now met with approaching 100 founders through this programme. Most entrepreneurs come here to pitch us. They don’t have to, the session is theirs to do what they want with – take advice, ask about market trends, anything – but most choose to pitch. Some do it well, whilst others do it badly.

The meetings are only fifteen minutes, and that makes them difficult. Here are some tips you could follow if you are pitching and want to get the most out of the session:

  • Don’t talk fast. The meetings are only fifteen minutes, but the trick is to choose your words carefully and not try to say everything.
  • Try not to be nervous.
  • Do your research on Forward Partners ahead of time (or other VCs if you are meeting them) – you want the whole 15 minutes to be about you.
  • Think about what you want to say before you get here and leave more time than you would think for discussion.
  • Paint the big picture AND show you have a grip on the detail of execution in the short term.
  • Don’t use slides, or if you do keep it to one or max. two.
  • Be clear what you want to get out of the session. Tell us.
  • Ask what the follow up will be.
  • Respect the 15 minute time limit.

Our next open office hours will be on November 21st. You can apply here.

NB 15 minute meetings are a little painful, but I think that’s worth it because we can meet more people. Literally twice as many as if they were 30 minute meetings.