Here’s an email exchange that I had in the past 24 hours with an entrepreneur. Remember, I try to answer all of my emails and be responsive to any inquiry – this was a random one (which I get between 25 and 100 a day).

Entrepreneur: I just wanted to touch base with you and see if you are taking on new startups right now.

Me: Can you send me a paragraph and I’ll tell you if it’s something we’d be interested in. Everyone else to bcc:

Entrepreneur: It’s difficult to accurately describe the company, myself, and everything else in a single paragraph. To write something so small but somehow include every important aspect is near impossible, if not impossible. My company is too complex to be described in a single paragraph.

I responded politely that I didn’t think this was something I’d be interested in exploring. I did skim his longer description and took a look at the website (which was a landing page with some a vague description of the business.) I could determine from this that it’s not something we’d be interested in (it’s outside of our themes) but this entrepreneur also missed his chance to engage me more deeply since he couldn’t articulate what he was doing.

I was in Oklahoma City earlier this week with the entrepreneurs at the Blueprint for Business accelerator (it’s a member of the Global Accelerator Network). There were five companies there and in addition to the various talks I did around Startup Communities I stayed at BP4B until about 10pm doing 15 minute meetings with each of the teams. I did my typical 15 minute “top of mind drill” where I start by saying “tell me about yourself as quickly as you can and then let’s spend most of the time talking about whatever is on the top of your mind.” Several of the teams explained themselves in a minute or less and then had 14 minutes to ask me questions; several of the teams took five to ten minutes to explain themselves leaving less time for questions.

I strongly believe that a founder should be able to explain what they do in one paragraph. I’m not a believer in the “one sentence mashup approach” (e.g. we are like pinterest + groupon + facebook for dogs). Rather, I like three sentences: (1) what we do, (2) who we do it to, and (3) why you should care. Sometimes this can be two sentences; sometimes four, but never more than a paragraph.

Yesterday, I spent 30 minutes with one of the teams in TechStars Seattle that I’m a lead mentor for. They are a month away from Demo Day and wanted to practice the very rough version of the demo day presentation. I gave them a bunch of feedback – some specific, some general, including:

- Show don’t tell
- I hate doing the overview / bios at the beginning
- You wasted the first 60 seconds
- Weak explanation of what you are actually doing and why I care
- Still don’t really know what you do

If you are an entrepreneur, you have less than 60 seconds to get an investors attention. Don’t waste it.

Pingback: The Founders: The Problem, The Solution, and Why We Give A Shit()

Pingback: Brad Feld: “Hai solo 60 secondi per catturare l’attenzione di un investitore” | SBL()

Pingback: Breakfast Links | Points and Figures()

Pingback: Geek Reading October 8, 2012 | Regular Geek()

Pingback: Here come the bios()

Pingback: B&W » Weekly Startup Links: ‘Making Yourself a CEO’ and more()

Pingback: Setting the Context of your Product()

Pingback: Other People’s Thoughts On Product Definitions « Elia Insider()

Pingback: Demystifying the @ihubCluster for the average Wangechi, Waititu, Alai and Mama Mboga minds - Thus Spaketh Idd Salim()

Pingback: Your Questions About Niche Marketing Examples - The Niche Market - The Niche Market()

Pingback: xbox 360()

Pingback: Eugenio Tahon()

Pingback: Helen Matthews()

Pingback: penisadvantage()

Pingback: host gator coupons()

Pingback: win a free ipad()

Pingback: best led tv()

Pingback: penis advantage review()

Pingback: quality backlinks()

Pingback: truth about abs review()

Pingback: penis advantage review()

Pingback: the truth about six pack abs()

Pingback: does penis advantage work()

Pingback: Stefany Lonneman()

Pingback: Shawanda Heckmann()

Pingback: Cammy Trusillo()

Pingback: free ipad()

Pingback: best led tv 2013()

Pingback: penis advantage review()

Pingback: get backlinks()

Pingback: free xbox 360()

Pingback: portable dvd player for kids()

Pingback: the truth about abs()

Pingback: penis advantage scam()

Pingback: Bernie Northington()

Pingback: Dannie Wardrop()

Pingback: Johnathan Bobson()

Pingback: Verlie Chism()

Pingback: Gillian Boehringer()

Pingback: Delmar Hudek()

Pingback: Burt Rochell()

Pingback: Thaddeus Tabbert()

Pingback: Mohammed Castro()

Pingback: Thanh Faldyn()

Pingback: Huey Cluff()

Pingback: Tamica Sebold()

Pingback: Tamica Sebold()

Pingback: Gary Nabzdyk()

Pingback: Michal Liukko()

Pingback: Terra Goshen()

Pingback: Thanh Slimmer()

Pingback: Stevie Saleeby()

Pingback: Kareem Henton()

Pingback: tao of badass review()

Pingback: Jena Donchatz()

Pingback: Jordon Sylney()

Pingback: Cordell Dombroski()

Pingback: Beverley Waldrep()

Pingback: Aldo Eitel()

Pingback: Albertha Nave()

Pingback: Sal Moreida()

Pingback: Reynalda Herrman()

Pingback: Russell Fingleton()

Pingback: Geoffrey Giorgi()

Pingback: Willa Balogun()

Pingback: Stefany Pangelinan()

Pingback: Angelica Ginsburg()

Pingback: Oliva Strole()

Pingback: Antione Durando()

Pingback: Margherita Martensen()

Pingback: Ewa Hord()

Pingback: Jung Azatyan()

Pingback: Brenda Tom()

Pingback: Hunter Ruvo()

Pingback: Franklyn Cargile()

Pingback: Wilmer Cringle()

Pingback: Clotilde Acker()

Pingback: Lonnie Lommel()

Pingback: Ailene Stuemke()

Pingback: Delana Friends()

Pingback: Byron Brisendine()

Pingback: Larhonda Laventure()

Pingback: Kaye Barufaldi()

Pingback: Sheridan Malfatti()

Pingback: Lucie Fillingham()

Pingback: Jody Naman()

Pingback: Hugh Knepshield()

Pingback: Cortez Bedingfield()

Pingback: Choose Best()

Pingback: freeipad2review.com()

Pingback: Ashton Bartle()

Pingback: iOs()

Pingback: Tammara Drozd()

Pingback: Larisa Groebner()

Pingback: Kum Kotas()

Pingback: Pierre Spanner()

Pingback: Gabriel Pinkleton()

Pingback: Eric Losser()

Pingback: Maximo Kreines()

Pingback: Ferdinand Rothmiller()

Pingback: Terrance Engelken()

Pingback: Orlando Ellman()

Pingback: Teddy Briant()

Pingback: Calvin Hubbert()

Pingback: Kim Wessler()

Pingback: Jimmy Yerkes()

Pingback: Rowena Crill()

Pingback: Kendrick Kutsch()

Pingback: Micah Mantanona()

Pingback: Bette Tourigny()

Pingback: Shala Sudo()

Pingback: Ray Kebe()

Pingback: Jarred Lafevers()

Pingback: Sarita Gloston()

Pingback: Jeffery Wyatt()

Pingback: Laquanda Amos()

Pingback: Paul Emayo()

Pingback: Carmelo Slomski()

Pingback: Stacey Seidner()

Pingback: Jerold Barmer()

Pingback: Bernadine Shore()

Pingback: Grisel Stotz()

Pingback: Wilbur Visalli()

Pingback: Graham Taulman()

Pingback: Lean Kuba()

Pingback: Garrett Martiniz()

Pingback: Stasia Derhammer()

Pingback: Raelene Gierhart()

Pingback: Renaldo Seda()

Pingback: Shalonda Bryars()

Pingback: Jamel Eickhoff()

Pingback: Dave Wackerbarth()

Pingback: Trenton Nasca()

Pingback: Corey Faley()

Pingback: Mike Carmo()

Pingback: Sofia Edds()

Pingback: Mikel Delorme()

Pingback: Annabelle Maltez()

Pingback: Chung Hoyer()

Pingback: Lashonda Witcraft()

Pingback: Cheri Swepson()

Pingback: Karla Turcott()

Pingback: Lino Houchen()

Pingback: Junior Traw()

Pingback: Charise Degear()

Pingback: http://rrcs-69-193-30-5.nys.biz.rr.com/groups/bufsdwellnesscommittee/wiki/c6ae4/Precisely_what_Every_body_Really_should_Understand_about_the_Truth_about_Six_Pack_Abs.html()

Pingback: http://libraryxserve.holyfamily.dbq.pvt.k12.ia.us:8080/groups/technologycommittee/wiki/9fc9b/Unlock_your_excellent_new_music_expertise_aided_by_the_top_defeat_doing_software_program.html()

Pingback: Jonah Yerkovich()

Pingback: Efrain Query()

Pingback: Pisanie PRAC()

Pingback: Ogłoszenia Ślubne()

Pingback: Ayanna Hardmon()

Pingback: Cinderella Organista()

Pingback: Diedra Belile()

Pingback: Kelley Liscio()

Pingback: Myesha Hillesland()

Pingback: Steven Villnave()

Pingback: Guy Cardinas()

Pingback: distill water()

Pingback: Kylie Viniegra()

Pingback: Scotty Murach()

Pingback: Mohammed Mollett()

Pingback: tao of badass()

Pingback: Kandis Wamhoff()

Pingback: Sid Goeing()

Pingback: Alberto Busie()

Pingback: Alanna Oyen()

Pingback: Christopher Naas()

Pingback: beer-making()

Pingback: Bo Gaumond()

Pingback: Acne Home Remedies()

Pingback: itning.com()

Pingback: Wilson Santorella()

Pingback: Bernardo Kenealy()

Pingback: Donnette Bateson()

Pingback: Tasha Froschheiser()

Pingback: Ignacio Rohs()

Pingback: online workout log free()

Pingback: Colin Kolmetz()

Pingback: Rolf Scarrow()

Pingback: Amos Mewborn()

Pingback: Ruthanne Bing()

Pingback: Al Stoppkotte()

Pingback: Suzann Arbuthnot()

Pingback: artesanato()

Pingback: Jacinto Epperly()

Pingback: Darrell Tomlinson()

Pingback: Toney Lenz()

Pingback: Deanna Cafagno()

Pingback: filtrowanie wody()

Pingback: Olympia Arabian()

Pingback: Dessie Freber()

Pingback: Myles Abler()

Pingback: Randa Ravert()

Pingback: money making ideas()

Pingback: Maria Leners()

Pingback: Kori Gallian()

Pingback: Major Schmith()

Pingback: My Blog()

Pingback: Carry Venus()

Pingback: Yong Coury()

Pingback: Odell Bekhit()

Pingback: Clifford Egwuohua()

Pingback: Joseph Hoel()

Pingback: Tatyana Recher()

Pingback: boots()

Pingback: Kara Boundy()

Pingback: Trey Bubolz()

Pingback: Leena Block()

Pingback: Sherita Youssefi()

Pingback: Bella Cuchiara()

Pingback: led flashlight()

Pingback: Beatris Shina()

Pingback: Galen Raupach()

Pingback: Alphonse Fenti()

Pingback: led flashlight()

Pingback: Dinorah Felberbaum()

Pingback: Migdalia Bartkus()

Pingback: Marx Ovadilla()

Pingback: reign()

Pingback: buy lipitor online us pharmacy()

Pingback: Fatima Harpool()

Pingback: Louie Voita()

Pingback: Sally Weiner()

Pingback: acrylic()

Pingback: Shawnee Bradicich()

Pingback: seo new jersey()

Pingback: Tanya Edenholm()

Pingback: Ellis Fehn()

Pingback: Malcom Hurston()

Pingback: free()

Pingback: Doris Sogge()

Pingback: BEING SUED()

Pingback: push gift()

Pingback: brazolot migration group()

Pingback: Empower network scam()

Pingback: Charley Papich()

Pingback: SDAO d'or()

Pingback: Oblique Interiors Singapore()

Pingback: College Job()

Pingback: leviev()

Pingback: http://www.911paydayloans.co.uk/()

Pingback: footwear()

Pingback: easy holdem()

Pingback: la prescription du docteur()

Pingback: العاب المزرعه()

Pingback: youtube views()

Pingback: xenical prix()

Pingback: iDeals()

Pingback: best way()

Pingback: green coffeee beans()

Pingback: view this()

Pingback: outlet stores oakley sunglasses()

Pingback: quarter ounce gold maple leaf()

Pingback: swinger club()

Pingback: lesbian romance()

Pingback: AV Blog()

Pingback: para hacer negocio()

Pingback: izrada web sajtova()

Pingback: Customer Feedback()

Pingback: Unda Seroyale()

Pingback: new england wedding bands()

Pingback: Margarett Leuthe()

Pingback: sneakers()

Pingback: Curt Whitter()

Pingback: Email marketing()

Pingback: how to pole dance()

Pingback: Meri Frisbey()

Pingback: Phentermine side effects()

Pingback: HTC desire()

Pingback: Jimmie Iacovone()

Pingback: seo blog()

Pingback: more info()

Pingback: Hilary Struckmann()

Pingback: jogos de carros()

Pingback: hack skype password()

Pingback: Vincenzo Ehrman()

Pingback: cleveland dui arrest()

Pingback: motorcycle carrier()

Pingback: Agricultural Fencing()

Pingback: Big Idea Mastermind()

Pingback: how to make money with blogging()

Pingback: Vick Strizheus Big Idea Mastermind Creator Teacher()

Pingback: Hampers Ireland()

Pingback: Rosendo Debey()

Pingback: cc skye()

Pingback: mobiliario de jardin()

Pingback: Buy HCG()

Pingback: workplace injury attorneys()