I Pitched a Robot VC

Every day, founders pitch me on their startups. This morning, I thought “Why not turn the tables for a change?”

So I pitched 3 VC’s on a startup idea. But they weren’t your usual investors — all 3 were robots. 🤖

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These robot VC’s live on a new platform called PitchExpert. They use GPT-3, a form of AI, to ask questions and help you refine your pitch.

I started with an elevator pitch:

It costs $10,000 or more to move into an apartment in many cities. The average person can’t afford that. We provide a loan so you can move into a great apartment today!

Here’s what the grizzled veterans had to say:

VC 1:

I like it! You’re onto something with this idea. Here are a few suggestions to make your firm more attractive to investors and increase its valuation:

  1. Make sure you have a solid business model in place. Figure out how you’re going to generate revenue and profit from this service.
  2. Do some market research to validate your assumption that there is indeed a need for this service. Talk to potential customers and get feedback on what they think of the idea.
  3. Put together a strong team of co-founders and employees who can execute on the business plan and grow the company successfully.

    Hey hey, not a bad reception! And talking to potential customers and figuring out an exact revenue model are great suggestions.

    VC 2
  1. Make sure you are clear on your target market. Who is your ideal customer?
  2. Do your research on the competition. What are they doing and how can you differentiate yourself?
  3. Have a solid plan for how you will make money. How will this business be profitable?

    Not quite as sunny but probably even more useful. Knowing everything about potential customers and competitors is a good tip.

VC 3

This is a terrible idea.

  1. Don’t try to solve the problem of high rent prices.
  2. Instead of a loan, try a subscription model where people pay a monthly fee.
  3. Use that money to help people move into better apartments.

Jerk. I’m going to unplug this guy.

What’s more, a subscription model when people move only occasionally doesn’t make much sense. Why would you pay for a subscription to something you use only once every 5 years, for example?

I’m actually amazed how spot on the first two VC’s were.

I like the mix of VC’s: Mr. Friendly (VC1), Mr. Just the Facts (VC2), and Mr. Abrasive (VC3). It mirrors real life.

I found VC2 to be the most helpful. His suggestions made a lot of sense and could help me refine the business model.

As an investor, I try to be closest to VC2. I mostly ask questions and don’t offer too many judgements, positive or negative.

I am mostly there to learn, not to direct the founder.

What do you think the robot VC’s got right? What did they get wrong?

Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

Where Are All the Startup Acquisitions?

Mark Twain: Venture Capitalist

The Power Law (Part One)

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Photo: “Robot at the British Library Science Fiction Exhibition” by BadgerGravling is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.


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