What it’s like to pitch in Silicon Valley

I’m writing this week from the University Cafe in downtown Palo Alto.


It became famous in The Facebook Effect book as the team’s regular hangout when they moved to Palo Alto.


It’s an unremarkable cafe, often packed with people like me, in town to try to convince VCs (venture capitalists) to invest in their start-up idea. Looking around I can see 11 other Mac laptops and four guys pitching to a VC over coffee.




Palo Alto is an odd mix: Old, small-town charm filled with people who work in technology. The Apple Store is a main street landmark, there’s Wi-Fi everywhere and even the hummus deli asks customers for feedback on their beta site. It lives and breathes start-ups.


It’s a privilege to pitch here; I’m proud to have successfully raised investment from this town. I’ve been here four times over the past year, spending my time meeting VCs and presenting my PowerPoint deck. It sounds like a romantic journey and in some ways, it is.




Not always. So I’ll share my experience of raising money in Silicon Valley.


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