SVASE VC Breakfast with Robert Troy of Geneva Ventures

I’ll be moderating another SVASE VC Breakfast Club meeting Thursday, October 25th in San Francisco.

As usual, it’s an informal round-table where up to 10 entrepreneurs get to deliver a pitch, then answer questions and get critiqued by a VC Partner. We’ve had VC’s from Draper Fisher, Kleiner Perkins, Mayfield, Mohr Davidow, Emergence Capital …etc.

This Thursday we’ll be joined by Robert Troy, Managing Director at Geneva Venture Partnersl. Robert a former Entrepreneur / CEO himself sold his company, Verilog in 1994, then relocated to Silicon Valley and became an investor. Managing Geneva Venture Partners he invested in early stage software companies including (NYSE: CRM) and Zantaz (sold to Autonomy this summer). Geneva’s focus is on Enterprise software, Infrastructure software, Wireless, RFID, VOIP and Embedded technologies.

These breakfast meetings are a valuable opportunity for early-stage Entrepreneurs, most of whom would probably have a hard time getting through the door to VC Partners. Since I’ve been through quite a few of these sessions, both as Entrepreneur and Moderator, let me share a few thoughts:

  • It’s a pressure-free environment, with no Powerpoint presentations, Business Plans…etc, just casual conversation; but it does not mean you should come unprepared!
  • Follow a structure, don’t just roam about what you would like to do, or even worse, spend all your time describing the problem, without addressing what your solution is.
  • Don’t forget “small things” like the Team, Product, Market..etc.
  • It would not hurt to mention how much you are looking for, and how you would use the funds…
  • Write down and practice your pitch, and prepare to deliver a compelling story in 3 minutes. You will have about 8-10 minutes, half of which is your pitch, but believe me, whatever your practice time was, when you are on the spot, you will likely take twice as long to deliver your story.smile_wink The second half of your time-slot is for Q&A.
  • Bring an Executive Summary; some VC’s like it, others don’t.
  • Last, but not least, please be on time! I am not kidding… some of you know why I even have to bring this up.clock

For more information check out the SVASE event page, and don’t forget to register.

See you on Thursday.


  1. There are numerous errors and inaccuracies in Robert Troy’s description.