10 Things to avoid when pitching your Value Proposition

We at Blackhawk see around 500 business pitches a year and have learned over the years what we like to hear and especially what we don’t.

Here are some key things I strongly recommend any entrepreneur against talking about – no matter what type of investor you are talking to – as they raise red flags and are real deal killers.

  1. Sex, Religion and Politics ….. as we are an odd mix of people very sensitive to those issues.
  2. The Weather, Traffic, Shopping and Celebrities. This kind of small talk could get you pigeonholed as a waste of time.
  3. Yourself. Not too many of us want to hear your life story, credo, introspective viewpoint – We would rather want to know what you can do.
  4. Petty scams and schemes. A way to game the system or find a technical flaw to exploit is boring. Everyone wants to hear however how they can get rich by changing the world, slaying a Goliath, or outsmarting the best.
  5. Astrology. Think very carefully before you bring any superstitions, metaphysics or paranormal stuff into the conversation.
  6. Negativity. This is probably true everywhere. Nobody ever made themselves great by pointing out other people’s failures. George Carlin the comedian maybe. But he’s not an entrepreneur.
  7. The appropriate salary to pay a founder of an investor-backed startup. You are wasting your time doing this and will get you nowhere.
  8. Having us sign a NDA. They are useless, non-enforceable and produce no result other than aggravation.
  9. Being in the game just for making money and a quick flip. Biggest turnoff ever.
  10. That your company has no competition and is bound to capture x% of a multibillion dollar market industry. Pretty delusional

Hope you are one day smarter and that we can work together avoiding the above.

Written by

Ziad K Abdelnour is a Wall Street Financier, Author, Philanthropist, Activist, Lobbyist, Oil & Gas Trader & President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc.,