This post by NOEW Correspondent Briana Cohen originally appeared on ideavillage.org.
“One of the best things about this world is that we can build something in a couple of days,” said John Biggs, East Coast Editor of TechCrunch. “How you deliver your creation is the tough part.”
Biggs shared his experience and advice on the art of startup maintenance and pitching during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.
Biggs began with the four essential needs of an entrepreneur right from the start: funding, funding, mentorship, and, funding. His presentation included pointers and guidelines to get funding and attract investors to new ventures.
As modern society and technology advances, it becomes easier for people to build stuff, Biggs said. Venture capitalists are aware of this trend, and so they are more selective about investing in product that will scale upwards. To offset this trend, entrepreneurs must be 100% prepared to introduce their ideas to the world. Biggs highlighted the importance of a business plan, design, technology, and coding.
Out of the four, coding might come to some as a surprise, he said.
“Coding is the new literacy, it is a basic understanding of how computers work. You need to understand what good code looks like,” Biggs said. “Then you can know when people give you code that is garbage. It will save you a lot.” He recommended reading books about coding and learning the coding languages.
He also emphasized the importance of design. “Projects that are most successful are well designed. People are far more interested when you have something to show them,” Biggs said.
Biggs also spoke about the best practices of pitching. He noted that interactions with venture capitalists are critical to getting a chance and possibly funding.
“You want to sell them on an idea that did not exist before in their mind,” said Biggs. Venture capitalists do not want to invest in similar concepts that they already have in their portfolios.
From his experiences, Biggs noted that there are six stages of pitch grief: the email, response, preparation, FOMO (Fear-Of-Missing-Out), cold shoulder, and finally, acceptance. Having good communication with the receiver-end of your pitch is key.
“Know who you’re pitching to and ask for advice,” Biggs said.
Regardless of the outcome, Biggs advised entrepreneurs to keep building on their pitches.