Investor Connect Podcast

Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

An elevator pitch is a short version of your fundraise pitch.

Use it when you are engaging investors in situations where the slides are not available and the time is short.

It’s useful for setting up a more formal presentation by giving the investor a reason to take the meeting.

The elevator pitch demonstrates you have a startup that is worth exploring for an investment.

Use it when you are introduced to an investor by a mutual connection or when you meet someone at a networking event.

Online meetings often invite the participants to introduce themselves and say a few words about their company.

The key to a good elevator pitch is to generate interest from the listener such that they want to learn more.

There’s not enough time to tell the listener everything, so focus on two or three key points.

Start with the problem you are solving and how it's a big pain point.

Show how you solve the problem and how it benefits the customer.

Wrap up with a high-level version of your fundraising ask.

Use keywords and phrases to communicate the value propositions you have in your deal.

Don’t rush the pitch, but talk as you normally do.

The elevator pitch is the one pitch you’ll use more than any other.


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Music courtesy of Bensound

Direct download: What_is_an_elevator_pitch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes James W. Day, Senior Corporate Counsel at EquityZen.

EquityZen is a FinTech platform and online marketplace for investors and shareholders in alternative assets. If you are an accredited investor, EquityZen helps you access ordinarily hard-to-find alternative investments (such as secondary sales of pre-IPO equity). If you are an employee or shareholder of a privately held, venture-backed company, EquityZen helps you sell your shares and unlock some of the value created by your efforts. 

By developing technologies that help to streamline and systematize deals implicated by the complex regulatory framework undergirding the private capital markets in the United States, EquityZen has closed over 20,000 investments serving over 250 companies with a combined market capitalization of over $900 billion. Shares of companies such as Coinbase, Lemonade, and Spotify all traded on EquityZen’s platform prior to their public debuts.

EquityZen was selected by the World Economic Forum as one of the most promising technology pioneers of 2020 and as the recipient of the Innovation in Wealth, Asset and Investment Management award at the FinTech Innovation awards in 2016.

Before joining EquityZen, Jim worked as a corporate attorney in several major law firms and multinational corporations. In those roles his experiences include representing early-stage investors and their portfolio companies from initial funding rounds through the corporate lifecycle. He represented the court-appointed trustee under the Securities Investor Protection Act for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC and coordinated hundreds of legal proceedings and avoidance actions in multiple foreign jurisdictions. He also represented debtors, creditors, and acquirers in dozens of complex bankruptcies and restructurings and their related asset sales.

Prior to his business and legal career, Jim served as a Naval Officer and military intelligence analyst. He deployed to the Middle East in support of UN trade sanctions and to South America as the Anti-Terrorism and Gunnery Officer onboard a guided missile frigate that performed one of the U.S. Navy’s most successful counter-narcotics operations. He taught graduate students as a Visiting Professor in one of Mozambique's first MBA programs (teaching Finance, Entrepreneurship and Business Planning). He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy (where he was the captain of the golf team) and holds a law degree and an MBA from Georgetown University, where he studied while working as an analyst at the Office of Naval Intelligence and interning at the U.S. Department of Justice. He has also volunteered as an instructor at The First Tee and the Bridge Golf Learning Center of Harlem; these organizations seek to use golf to teach important life lessons to youth in underserved communities. 

Jim shares his thoughts on how he sees the secondary industry evolving and what criteria qualifies somebody to go for a good secondary.

You can visit EquityZen at, via LinkedIn at, and via Twitter at  

Jim can be contacted via email at, via LinkedIn at, and via Twitter at  

Music courtesy of Bensound.

Direct download: James_W._Day_of_EquityZen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT