How to Not Lose Yourself in a VC Pitch

What Founders Pitching Investors Can Learn From Eminem’s Rap Battles

Feliks Eyser

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Illustration by Ariane Frida Sofie

Look
If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?

In the final rap battle of the movie 8 Mile, Eminem crushes his opponent by doing the opposite of what’s expected of him. He leaves his adversary speechless by employing a simple yet effective tactic. Remember what he did?

Start-up founders are an optimistic bunch. I certainly was when I ran my company before I transitioned to investing. So I understand when founders pitch me their company and focus on the “good stuff.” The business model is the best, the team the greatest, the market the biggest, and so on.

If start-up pitching were a rap battle, most founders would focus on why the future is bright, on why and nothing can stop them.

As a “founder turned investor,” it still leaves me wondering.

I dislike investing in deals that sound too good to be true. My own entrepreneurial journey often felt like sailing a small floating vessel on the edge of a waterfall. The ups and downs taught me that usually, not all things are as good (or not as true…). Investors often think the same way.

As such, guess what happens after your pitch meeting ends? Behind closed doors, investors will think about reasons to pass. It’s only natural. VCs invest in merely 1–3% of the deals that they see. All boxes need to be ticked to sign a check. It’s a matter of efficiency to sort out the “bad deals” first.

“Let’s stay in touch, and please let me know if I can be helpful.”. Kthxbye.

The clock’s run out, time’s up, over — blaow!
Snap back to reality, ope there goes gravity, ope
There goes Rabbit, he choked, he’s so mad but he won’t
Give up that easy, no, he won’t have it, he knows
His whole back’s to these ropes, it don’t matter, he’s dope

If you pitch to win, make sure first not to lose

Before you convince an investor to say yes, persuade them not to say no. Make sure they don’t leave the show early.

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Feliks Eyser

Tech founder & investor from 🇩🇪. Sharing experiences for first-time founders💡🛠🚀