How To Pitch Me

Hi. You’re interested in pitching me your project. Ok. Cool. I like you. Let’s get this done.

So here’s what I ask every time. If you do not complete this basic survey then I will not read your email. Answer each of these questions in clear English in your email. Do not send attachments. Do not send images. Send links to screenshots and a link to your project.


Who are the founders and what is their background?

What is your funding?

How much traction do you have? (real numbers: monthly or daily active users, not downloads or registered, or in your case, transaction volume)

What are the key differentiators between you and other players?

Describe the genesis of the project?

Describe the project in your own words.


But wait, there’s more!

I also want you to read this post by Mike Butcher. It is one of the best guides to pitching ever and it’s written in his inimitable style. If you find my list limiting, please complete the following in your email to me:

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE NEWS *RIGHT NOW* THAT MAKES YOU RELEVANT *RIGHT NOW*?
(Max 5 sentences)

WHAT IS THE BIG PICTURE HERE? WHAT IS ‘THE STORY’?
(Max 5 sentences)

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM THIS COMPANY IS SOLVING?
(Max 3 sentences)

WAS IT A PERSONAL PROBLEM YOU HAD?
(Max 5 sentences)

DESCRIBE THE GENESIS OF THE PRODUCT?
(Max 5 sentences)

HOW HAS THIS PRODUCT SOLVED THAT PROBLEM?
(Max 3 sentences)

WHAT DOES IT *ACTUALLY* DO?
(Max 5 sentences)

DESCRIBE IT AS IF YOU WERE DESCRIBING IT TO A NON-TECH PERSON ON THE STREET:
(Max 3 sentences)

HOW MUCH TRACTION DO YOU HAVE>
(Real numbers: monthly or daily active users, not downloads or registered)

OK, NOW WALK ME THROUGH THE USER EXPERIENCE:
(Max 10 sentences)

WHO ARE THE COMPETITORS?
(Max 3 sentences)

WHAT ARE THE KEY DIFFERENTIATORS BETWEEN YOU AND OTHER PLAYERS?
(Max 5 sentences)

WHY IS THIS BETTER THAN THOSE OTHER GUYS?
(Max 3 sentences)

HOW DO YOU MAKE (OR PLAN TO MAKE) MONEY WITH THIS?
(Max 3 sentences)

HOW BIG IS THE MARKET IT IS ADDRESSING?
(Max 3 sentences)

WHAT IS THE NEW ROUND OF FUNDING?
(Required: Specify Seed, Series A, etc)

WHO ARE THE INVESTORS?
(Required)

HOW MUCH FUNDING (in $) DOES IT HAVE IN TOTAL?
(Required: Specify Seed, Series A, etc)

WHAT WILL THE MONEY BE USED FOR?
(Be specific!)

IF YOU DON’T HAVE FUNDING, WHY NOT? DOES THAT MEAN YOU ARE FUNDING IT YOURSELF? OR YOU ARE BRINGING IN REVENUES? OR YOU ARE STILL LOOKING FOR FUNDING? WHICH IS IT?
(Max 2 sentences)

WHO IS IN THE TEAM?
(Max 3 sentences)

WHERE IS THE TEAM BASED? IS IS THE SAME AS THE COMPANY HQ?
(Max 3 sentences)

DO THE FOUNDERS HAVE A COMPELLING PERSONAL STORY IN SOME WAY?
(Max 5 sentences)

WHAT DID THEY DO BEFORE?
(Max 3 sentences)

IS THIS STORY EXCLUSIVE TO TECHCRUNCH?
(Tip: The answer should be yes)

WHY ON EARTH DO THINK TECHCRUNCH READERS *IN PARTICULAR* WOULD BE INTERESTED IN YOUR STORY? BECAUSE THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE I SERVE.
(Max 3 sentences)

IF NOT, WHEN DOES THE EMBARGO DROP?
(Tip: Avoid embargoes! Just give me the exclusive)

OTHER REQUIREMENTS:

ALL INFORMATION MUST BE SENT IN EMAIL IN PLAIN TEXT, NO PDFs / WORD DOCS
(Journalists are often mobile and don’t want to download off mobile)

CONTACT DETAILS FOR FOUNDERS – Mobile / Skype etc

LINKS TO PREVIOUS RELEVANT STORIES ON TECHCRUNCH / MY TITLE

LINKS TO OTHER STORIES ON OTHER NEWS SITES BUT *ONLY FOR OLD NEWS*, NOT THIS NEWS YOU ARE PUSHING NOW. NEVER, EVER, EVER PITCH A STORY WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN PUBLISHED ELSEWHERE.

*** DO NOT SEND DAMN ATTACHMENTS!! ***

LINKS TO PRODUCT VIDEOS

LINKS TO YOUR PROFILES ON CRUNCHBASE

** NO PDFS! **
(The PDF thing is tedious. OK, put the actual release in text AS WELL. Great. But PDFs cludge up my Gmail and they WILL get deleted along with the original email AND YOUR CONTACT DETAILS when I need my Gmail space back. Just do a LINK to the PDF online somewhere. Then you or your PR client can pay for their own PDF storage rather than ME having to pay for it!)

*LINKS* TO PRESS KIT ON DROPBOX

*LINKS* TO SCREEN SHOTS OF MOBILE APP IF RELEVANT

I THINK THAT’S EVERYTHING…

DID I SAY NO PDFs? NO PDFs!!

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