DC hi-tech boom attracts VC event, and PR pros help lots of CEOs sell, sell, sell

SILVER SPRING, MD: PR will likely be in the spotlight this week at Capital Connection 2000, a get-together of top VC players, as funding-thirsty companies attempt to wring the most out of their pitches in front of 500 venture capitalists.

SILVER SPRING, MD: PR will likely be in the spotlight this week at Capital Connection 2000, a get-together of top VC players, as funding-thirsty companies attempt to wring the most out of their pitches in front of 500 venture capitalists.

SILVER SPRING, MD: PR will likely be in the spotlight this week at Capital Connection 2000, a get-together of top VC players, as funding-thirsty companies attempt to wring the most out of their pitches in front of 500 venture capitalists.

The convention, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in DC, offers CEOs the opportunity to make an eight-minute presentation before an audience of 500 potential investors.

'Some CEOs do well, others bomb,' said Marc Hausman of The Strategic Communications Group, which has been coaching companies on presentations.

'Most are not comfortable in front of 500 people. And there are some that do not invest the time needed to properly represent themselves.'

John Shin, VP of Edison Ventures Fund, agreed CEOs who let their nervousness show can mortally wound the VC dreams of their companies. He described the presentations at events such as Capital Connection 2000 as 'a screening process, a way of determining if the CEO is ready for prime time.'

Such fairs (this one is staged by the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association) are common in tech hot spots such as Silicon Valley and the Route 128 corridor outside Boston. MAVA, however, believes that the DC tech climate may be the hottest of all right now, estimating that 'more than 1,000 Internet-related early-stage companies are now located within a 50-mile radius of Washington.'

Hausman - who notes that his company is the only PR firm sponsoring the event - views the meeting as a way to forge connections that could lead to referrals from VC firms as well as from the fast-track businesses they back. But he also sees his participation as a crucial cog in his agency's PR strategy.

'We usually compete against the Ogilvys and Fleishmans, but we're starting to build brand awareness,' he said. 'So we're starting to do a lot of marketing and PR.'





Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.