Nivi · October 5th, 2010
We’re very happy to announce that the Kauffman Foundation has made a significant contribution to support Venture Hacks. If you don’t know them, Kauffman is a $2B non-profit foundation devoted to entrepreneurship.
How it happened
Update: See Bo’s comment about why they decided to support Venture Hacks.
Earlier this year I got an cold email from Bo Fishback at the Kauffman Foundation:
Hey Nivi —
I’ve been following Venture Hacks for a while and have sent many many people there.
I’m interested in talking to you about sponsorship or support. Can we get on the phone for a super short call sometime in the next couple of weeks? Not this week.
After a phone call, I flew to Kansas city to meet Bo and the Kauffman team. I pitched them without a deck. Instead, I built a 1-page outline, Wufoo-style, and “did it live”. If I wanted to show them our analytics, I pulled up Google Analytics. If I wanted to show them our products, I went to our products page. If I wanted to show them testimonials, I went to our Twitter favorites.
When I got home, I got some advice from Steve Blank: when you’re making an enterprise sale, do your sponsor’s work for him. If your sponsor needs a pitch for other people in the organization, build it for him. So I called Solvate and they helped me build a deck which Bo used to make the sale to their grant committee. Here are a few random slides from the deck:
Kauffman is a $2B non-profit foundation devoted to entrepreneurship — they fund Nobel prize winners. And now they want to reach you — the future founders of high-growth companies.
We’re very happy to bring them on board as a supporter and to welcome them to Silicon Valley.