I had the opportunity to speak at the Montgomery Technology conference in Santa Monica yesterday and, as often happens, the experience of presenting FirstRain every half hour for hours was exhilarating.
The conference is run by the specialist investment bank – designed for investors to talk with companies – and it attracted about 1,100 people this year. As a small company the reason to participate is to raise awareness of what we are doing and network with other CEOs, business development people from the Forture 1000 and, of course, talk with potential investors.
Since it is now so easy to quickly show the value of FirstRain I decided not to use any slides but just show it in every meeting. Having a light MacBook Air, wireless and fast fingers I had fun showing the product off in every discussion – in the general coffee area, in a suite, in a meeting room and eventually in my presentation. Now I did use a few slides when I was presenting to the room – but even then just a few and I quickly switched over to the product since seeing is believing with FirstRain.
And the result was a double edged sword. Everyone I spoke to was very impressed – “that’s really impressive” always sounds good to a CEO – and every potential investor I spoke with wanted to understand our stage and whether we were a good fit for them to invest in based on their approach (they were mostly PE or late stage VCs). And I had to disappoint every one. We closed a round of financing 2 weeks ago for $7.2M and so we are not in a position to take additional investment now.
So I took another path to bring them value. Almost everyone I met with is currently a Capital IQ user and so I showed them how to use FirstRain for their research and advised them to just call their Capital IQ sales person and ask for FirstRain through them since they are now one of our reseller partners. It was such fun to be selling, hand-to-hand selling. I love it! And I am glad to say I made a couple of connections with potential partners too.