How much traction? What’s the market size? Who else invested? Are you the target user? These are the questions every investor will ask you, so you better build a business with the right answers and get ready to recite them. That’s what Pitchbot.vc helps you practice.
Pitchbot simulates a pitch meeting with an angel, incubator, seed fund or VC firm. You respond to multiple-choice questions about your product, team, growth and values as you try to impress the investor. If your answers show you know how to build a great startup, you win a mock-up funding term sheet. Seem like a misguided wantrepreneur, and you’ll get shown the door.
Pitchbot is surprisingly fun, but also extremely educational. That’s because it’s based on the blogs of 20 top investors, like Sequoia and Y Combinator, and what they ask founders and what they’re looking for. You’ll learn how angels care a lot about who else invested because there’s little data to judge by with new startups, while later-stage VCs want to be sure you’re swinging for a multi-billion dollar exit and won’t sell short for a cushy acqui-hire job.
“I’ve pitched and been pitched hundreds of times” says Pitchbot’s maker, angel investor and Gigster CEO Roger Dickey. It turns out the interviews are pretty predictable, so entrepreneurs can gain a big edge by preparing for the common questions.
Dickey built the tool to help the startup community while showing off what his own startup can do. Gigster lets anyone with an idea get an app conceptualized, coded and designed, for a fee. He commissioned Gigster to create Pitchbot to demonstrate how anyone can create a useful app. Gigster’s full-service development shop has raised a $10 million Series A from prestigious investor Andreessen Horowitz, so clearly Dickey knows what attracts funding.
“There’s a lot of mystique and fear, and this sense that you need to get it right the first time or you might burn a bridge. This is why the common wisdom is to pitch ‘friendlies’ first, then use their feedback to hone the pitch, then go make real pitches,” says Dickey. “This tool is a like a friendly investor for everyone.”
So will your pitch earn you a massive valuation from the top VCs? Or do you need to go back to the drawing board? Pitchbot lets you know before you’re in an investor’s office — in the real hot seat.