By Mysty Rusk
Raising funding can be rough for early-stage companies, not to mention doing so during a pandemic and with global funding down from previous years.
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COVID happened a matter of days before our 2020 San Diego Angel Conference, or SDAC, where 53 angel investors would choose a startup from an original pool of about 100 to receive a $200,000 investment.
SDAC, one of the largest angel conferences and startup pitch competitions in the country, had to quickly pivot. In an instant, 12 months of planning had to be reworked as we shifted from an in-person event in a standing-room-only auditorium to a livestream on YouTube.
More steak, less sizzle in a Zoom world
As we focused on maintaining attendance virtually and training investors and entrepreneurs remotely, we started to discover the fundamental elements that remained, regardless of a new virtual platform and some seeming challenges that become opportunities. Following are some of the lessons from 2020 that we are taking into 2021.
For SDAC–and most angel investing groups–entrepreneurs standing in front of an in-person audience to deliver “the pitch” is a foundational aspect of the startup fundraising process. Welcome to startup pitching in COVID times where virtual pitches on platforms like Zoom are the new norm.
Virtual pitches bring