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VC Reverse Pitch- Learn a VC's investment criteria

by Rob Weber and Mary Grove | 9:25 – 10:10 in Theater | View Schedule

Sick of pitching? Let's turn the tables so you can stop sweating it out over your pitch deck. We'll tell you what we look for, so you can decide whether your startup should get our investment.

MinneDemo has been the first place where aspiring Minnesota tech entrepreneurs have publicly shared a demo of their project over the past 10+ years. Many of these projects have gone on to become the most successful growth companies in the state of Minnesota backed by millions of dollars in venture capital.

Through Rob Weber's 12+ years of experience investing as an angel investor in Minnesota startups, and now full-time role as managing partner of the new Great North Labs venture fund, he will share with you what he is looking for before making an investment. Mary Grove is Partner at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and previously spent 14 years at Google working with startups in over 100 countries. She’ll share with you what she looks for in making investments and supporting companies she invests in.

Topics will include-
* Total addressable market. What is it and how to estimate your startups TAM.
* Team. Early stage VC's care about your team. What should you share and why.
* Traction/Product-market fit. At what point have you demonstrated enough progress to be ready for venture capital.
* Defensibility. At scale, how will your startup create a moat around it and produce a lasting, valuable business.


About 1/3 of the session will be left open for Q/A.

All levels

Rob Weber

Rob Weber is Managing Partner of Great North Labs, an early stage venture fund focused on helping founders launch and scale companies in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest region of America. Prior to Great North Labs, Rob co-founded NativeX (formerly named W3i/Freeze.com) in 2000. Rob has been a successful entrepreneur since the age of 16 when he, along with his brothers, launched their first e-marketing business. By the age of 20 the Weber brothers had turned their basement endeavors into a multi-million dollar business, and Rob became CEO.

In 2006, Rob shared the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award with his twin brother, and business partner, Ryan Weber. Rob was also named to the 2007 Inc. 5,000 CEO’s Under 30 list.

Rob received his B.S. in Entrepreneurship from St. Cloud State University. Rob has been one of the most active regional angel investors since 2005 when he co-founded the 32 Degrees angel fund. Rob previously served on the Board of Directors for Minne*, the 20,000+ member community of Minnesota tech enthusiasts.

Mary Grove

Mary Grove is a Partner at Revolution's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund where she is focused on investments as well as managing the engagement platform to support the Rise of the Rest portfolio. She is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Prior to joining Revolution, Mary spent 14 years at Google in Silicon Valley, NYC, and Zurich. She was the founding Director of Google for Entrepreneurs and led the company’s global efforts to support entrepreneurs and communities in over 100 countries. She also led New Business Development partnerships and worked on the company’s IPO deal team. Mary is the co-founder of Silicon North Stars, a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire young Minnesotans from economically underserved communities toward futures in tech. She and her husband co-founded the organization in 2013. Mary has served on the boards and advisory boards of the Techstars Foundation, Astia, UP Global, and the Stanford Alumni Association. She earned her BA and MA from Stanford University.

Mary lives in Minneapolis with her husband Steve and their two-year-old twins.


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