How to Sell an Idea to a Venture Capitalist

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Don't assume everyone knows what you do.

Steve Jurvetson is a managing partner at the Menlo Park, California–based venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which has backed companies including Skype, Tesla Motors, Synthetic Genomics, and Hotmail. He and colleague Marta Bulaich have met with hundreds of entrepreneurs. One tip he shares is: Practice your presentation with your grandmother, children, anyone unfamiliar with the space, and see if they can understand what you’re doing. "Not every VC will have expertise in your area, and you need to be able to convey your value proposition at a comprehensible level," Jurvetson says.