5 Ineffective approaches to VC funding in France

Apr 30, 2013
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rejectedAlthough there are no guaranteed methods to successful VC funding in France, some approaches are doomed from the start. Here are five such missteps I’ve witnessed, all from just the past few months, and of course kept anonymous because I believe in second chances.

  1. Send me a blind teaser, aka Project X, containing such a paucity of information on the project that an initial judgment is impossible without signing your attached NDA.
  2. Send your pitch to me in an email addressed as Dear Sir or Madam, or Monsieur/Madame.
  3. On an even sillier variation of 2, send me your pitch in an email with numerous other VCs in the To: field.
  4. Following exchange of pitch deck and upon my invitation, spend a fruitful first meeting with me, of which the conclusion is a clear decision to not invest, though not without a fair dose of constructive ideas for your business. Then a few months later, contact my partner behind my back with the same investment pitch.
  5. Prominently pitch your project as having the Oséo qualification Entreprise Innovante. Believe it or not, I still frequently receive pitches where this point is displayed front and center in boldface in executive summaries. If the fact that you completed some government forms to receive an arbitrary “innovation certification” by some bureaucrat is your project’s best attribute, it’s not suitable for investment from a performance-focused VC.

What are your thoughts on this? Other horror stories?