Episode 11

#11 Are Pitch Meetings Minefields? Heidi Messer and Susan Lyne give advice about Investor Meetings, Pitch Deck Tips, and Thought Leadership

Does unconscious bias affect the language we use when talking about startups and founders? This week on BroadMic Bonus Cuts, listen to Heidi Messer & Susan Lyne about…

  • Their fascinating (and different!) takes on Reid Hoffman’s quote about what he looks for in an entrepreneur: “I look to see if someone has a marine strategy, for taking the beach; an army strategy, for taking the country; and a police strategy, for governing the country afterward.”
  • Their practical tips and inside info on what they look for in an entrepreneur’s pitch deck
  • Susan Lyne’s view on the critical difference between thought leaders and influencers.


Tomorrow’s Advance Man by Tad Friend, The New Yorker

LinkedIn’s Series B Pitch to Greylock: Pitch Advice for EntrepreneursReidhoffman.org

Quantifying Silicon Valley’s Diversity Issue by Jessi Hempel, Wired

These 10 Male Executives Are Committing to Reach Gender Parity in 5 Years by Valentina Zarya, Fortune

Additional Reading

Startups Serving The 99 Percent Will Be the Next Billion-Dollar Companies by Hans Tung, TechCrunch

Lessons From The Early Pitch Decks Of Airbnb, BuzzFeed, And YouTube by Linda Dishman, Fast Company

Marc Andreessen: How to address diversity in techFortune video

The Network Man: Reid Hoffman’s big idea by Nicholas Leman, The New Yorker

Lessons From A Study of Perfect Pitch Decks: VCs Spend An Average of 3 Minutes, 44 Seconds On Them by Kim-Mai Cutler, TechCrunch

8 things you should never, ever include in a pitch deck by Scott Gerber, TNW

Positioning Your Startup is Vital — Here’s How to Nail It by Arielle Jackson, First Round Review

How to Write a Great Business Plan: Competitive Analysis by Jeff Haden, Inc.

The Official Definitions of Seed, Series A, and Series B Rounds by Jason Calacanis

Guest bios & transcripts are available on www.broadmic.com.


HeidiMesser_headshot copy

HEIDI MESSER is Co-founder and Chairman of Collective[i], the first network using data and technology to provide business users on demand enterprise-wide analyses developed and curated by the world’s leading data scientists. Collective[i] takes essential questions about marketing, sales, service and support data and delivers answers.

Prior to Collective[i], Ms. Messer, along with her brother, Stephen Messer, founded, built and managed LinkShare Corporation until its sale in 2005 to Rakuten for $425m. Ms. Messer received her B.A. from Brown University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. She received her juris doctorate form Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude.

Ms. Messer is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship, digital marketing, technology and the future of the Internet. She has been cited in various publications including, Inc. Magazine, The Nikkei, Vogue Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, Chief Executive Magazine and The New York Times. Ms. Messer has also appeared on NBC’s Today Show, Fox News, CNBC’s Power Lunch, CBS Morning News and the Fox Morning Show.

Ms. Messer has received several honors including most recently selected as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs in 2012. Ms. Messer serves on advisory boards for Dell Computers, NBC Universal and American Express OPEN. Additionally, she serves on the board of AllianceBernstein.

Heidi Messer:






SUSAN LYNE - Susan Lyne is President of BBG Ventures, a new venture fund for women-led tech start-ups. The fund is focused on consumer internet businesses – services, content, commerce – based on the belief that there is a huge opportunity in backing smart entrepreneurs who reflect and understand the consumers driving the fastest-growing areas of the internet. Before launching the BBG Fund, Susan was most recently CEO of the AOL Brand Group where she oversaw AOL’s unique content brands including AOL.com, TechCrunch, Engadget, StyleList, Moviefone, and MapQuest.

From 2008-2013 Susan was CEO and then Chairman of Gilt Groupe, the innovative ecommerce company that pioneered flash sales in the United States.

Prior to that Susan spent three decades in the media industry. She served as President and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) from 2004-2008. While there she was named Publishing Executive of the Year by Advertising Age and received a Matrix Award from New York Women In Communications.

From 1996 to 2004, Ms. Lyne held various positions at the Walt Disney Company and ABC, including EVP of Movies and Miniseries and later President of ABC Entertainment where she was responsible for the network’s primetime schedule, overseeing the development of shows including Desperate Housewives, Lost, and Grey’s Anatomy.

Before joining Disney she was Managing Editor of New Times and The Village Voice and created and launched Premiere Magazine, serving as Editor-in-Chief and Publication Director.

Susan Lyne is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Gilt.com and a director of Starz LLC. Additionally, Ms. Lyne is a trustee of Rockefeller University and The New School, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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