Dos and Don’ts for Pitching Investors
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

(Image: ThinkStock)

News broke on Monday that web-building platform Placester raised a $2.5 million seed round, led by Romulus Capital, along with financing from David Anderson, David Cohen and Angel Street Capital, among other angels. The company will expand its online marketing offering throughout the US, according to reports.

Geared toward real estate agents, brokers and home owners, Placester offers a platform where realtors can create maintenance-free websites within minutes. It’s customization options, mobile-compatibility and search engine optimization (SEO) options is what keeps those in the real estate industry coming back to the platform.

With Placester co-founder Frederick Townes speaking on Black Enterprise’s Tech Start-UP Fast Track: Launch Code S.U.C.C.E.S.S. panel at the Entrepreneurs Conference on Thursday, May 16, the savvy entrepreneur outlined some pitching dos and don’ts (which he’ll talk more about during his panel session):

DO ask for advice. Don’t ask for money. Finding money is not easy, but it is a lot harder when you’re looking for it. Develop good relationships where you can ask investors their opinion on things as you try to figure out your product market fit or whatever your current challenge is.

DON’T try to obfuscate reality. Make sure that you make things clear when pitching.

DO your homework. At early stages make sure you are building something that people will actually want to part with money to use.

DON’T assume that investors understand your market. You want to tell a story and you want to make sure the investor has the context to understand why your story is compelling. Assuming is a huge mistake.

DO talk to customers and investors. But do your due diligence so that when you go get advice or feedback from customers or investors it looks like you understand the problem that you are solving.

DON’T stop! It is one of the biggest things that people don’t seem to understand. There are various businesses from various sizes with remarkable ideas. If they had stopped the world would be a different place. As long as you’re learning and listening, whatever you’re doing can only get better if you don’t stop.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.