Mark Sparks is a venture capitalist, philanthropist, serial entrepreneur and author. The following is a summary of an outline that Mark Sparks created for what venture capitalists like himself are looking for in a business presentation when they invest their funds and time in a venture.
Mr. Sparks starts out with the following quote. He says that if he is in, than he is completely in all the way until the end. Focus is absolutely critical in any business or venture. Marc Sparks says that it is far too easy to lose focus and fail because of lack of focus. You can get derailed just by the coming and goings of everyday life. Losing focus can lead to failure in business Spreading out investments into too many businesses is another reason why entrepreneurs and investors fail alike. Rather it is best to focus on one or two businesses and make sure they succeed.
The first point Marc Sparks makes in his outline is to make sure that your visual cues actually convey a message or stand for something in your business. Venture capitalists like himself do not appreciate pointless graphics or images that have no real purpose or meaning. To him such images are a waste of time and show that you are just dressing up your idea or business rather than actually explaining what it is or what it can do.
The second point Marc Sparks stresses is to use real data and information. This means that you use real facts, figures and statistics that prove your business is successful or is growing. Use data and scientific research to show that an idea is valid or that an opportunity exists. By using facts and stats that are true and accurate, you can really bring home a venture capitalist like himself.
Another thing that many presenters to venture capitalists seem to miss is the importance of keeping the presentation simple. Far too many make their presentations complex and think this strategy will somehow win them over. That is actually contrary to the truth. Keep the presentation simple and to the point. Venture capitalists will be able to spot any info they need themselves. There is no need to walk them through every detail. A venture capitalist can always follow up with questions if he or she is more interested in a project.
The last point that Marc Sparks urges people to keep in mind when doing a presentation is to bring out the entire team. This means that you show or at least give credit to your entire team that helped you build the business or develop that product. Venture capitalists want to and like to see what is behind a business. You also want to show your passion, emotion and hard work to the venture capitalists. What better way to do that then by showcasing your team that has built your company.