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About the Episode
You will hear a story of how this entrepreneur immediately joined the Marines after the 9/11 tragedy and how that has shaped his entrepreneurial career. Also, listen to how a pitch competition was the big breakthrough he needed to get VC investment. And lastly, he gives us his advice on how to present to investors.
Take it from the Marines – The Path to an Entrepreneurial Career:
Difficult is word you do not say to a U.S. marine. This guy has been through the worst situations imaginable. Burrowing in the snow in Afghanistan or lying on the hot desert sands at the mercy of an unrelenting midday sun in Iraq is not quite our everyday idea of training for an entrepreneurial career, but somehow, Jonathan Frangakis makes sense when he observes that success on the battle field requires in some way the same stoic determination that success in entrepreneurship does.
Getting a VC investment Via a Pitch Competition
`Jonathan advises to go to a pitch competition because people have a fear of missing out. Pitch competitions must never be ignored. Read the emails, respond to all of them in a timely manner. Search out pitch competitions on the internet. A developer looking to become an entrepreneur must take every opportunity to find pitch competitions because they are excellent starting points.
How to Present to Investors:
- Have a theme. When presenting to investors, every pitch must be about the theme and/or should come back to the theme. In addition, for Jonathan, there is no such thing as an extemporaneous pitch. He advises that before going to see an investor to make a pitch, to make sure that the pitch has been perfected by rehearsing the pitch not only 10 or 20 times but for as long as it takes to make it sound smooth flowing, spontaneous and most importantly, passionate.
- Personalize the pitch. Do your research and make the pitch personal to the investor. A cause close to the investor’s heart being incorporated in the pitch can go a long way with investors.
- Educate the investor. Investors may not be clear on the product but a little education on the topic will be like opening the little door. Most investors are very open to new ideas. Thus, if a developer comes up with a pitch methodically, investors feel comfortable. Jonathan suggests a 3 step process of 1) this is the problem; 2) this is the solution; 3) this is how I as the developer solves it.
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