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A friend and I are planning on pitching an idea to venture capitalists in a few weeks at SIEGE 2010. He is handling the business plan side of things and all those related questions so I only need technical questions here. What types of things should I be prepared to answer about our project?

For reference its an economic game for mobile platforms(targeting android to start with).

EDIT-CLARIFICATION: I am aware that they may be more interested in non-technical questions, but my friend is handling that end. I am mainly concerned with technical questions as he should be able to field most of the rest.

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5 Answers 5

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If you are going to be implementing the idea then they will have the most questions about staying on schedule; involving things like estimates of development time and of milestones or prototypes, test plans and the equipment (test devices) you'll need to develop the app, and other technical resources you might need (if you need to purchase any development software or libraries). Also you might be fielding some questions regarding staff members; for example, do you think you can develop the app yourself or will you need to hire some team members for graphics, programming, testing, etc.

If they are smart they will also be looking to the future; how will you ensure the app can run on future Android devices or even take advantage of new features that are yet to come? And how much maintenance will the app require? How often will it update? (updates are a great thing, they help remind users that the app is installed and I think they might bump your app to the top of the new list in the Market, though I'm not sure).

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alot of good considerations. Thanks. –  lathomas64 Sep 14 '10 at 21:23

VC's are rarely technical. The want to know you have the people in place to get the job done, but outside of that their concerns are more financial. They want to know:

People

  • Who is involved in this venture?
  • What's their track record of success?
  • Have these people shipped products before? Shipped them together?
  • Do you need to hire more staff?
  • How do you plan on attracting qualified additional staff?
  • Are you depending on anyone else (Outsourcing/Middleware) to finish the job?

Market

  • How competitive is the market?
  • Is the market growing/shrinking?
  • What makes you stand out in this market?
  • How can you leverage your work into other markets?
  • What's the average sales for titles in your market?
  • What are typical dev costs in your market?

Return

  • How long till the company starts to see revenue?
  • What's your exit strategy? (a.k.a.) How do they make a 10x profit on money invested?
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Very true for most part VC only care about possible returns. That's why there that C in there for capitalist =p –  Wight Sep 15 '10 at 6:17
    
Well my friend is handling the business/financial side of things/preparing for questions, which is why I specifically ask for what technical questions might be asked. Thats what I need to focus on/prepare for. –  lathomas64 Sep 15 '10 at 13:21

My first question as a VC would be, why are you targeting Android when it seems pretty clear that the ROI is much better at the present time on iOS? Once you make your money back on iOS you can port to Android, but it seems like a weak platform to lead on.

note: I own an Android device and detest the iOS devices. This is not meant to endorse one or the other but rather to ask a question that the OP will likely encounter.

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My questions as a VC to a technical person would be:

  • Who are you? What are your credentials?
  • What is your educational background, how many years of experience do you have as a programmer?
  • Show me two successful games/apps you have published or have participated in on the Android Market. What was your role in them?
  • What other major projects have you participated in or have accomplished in the past?
  • Do you develop for other platforms other than Android?
  • We receive alot of demos from all the other presenters who come to us, now show me yours.
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In addition to the factors above I can think of 2 questions I would expect to be able to answer. Remember, VCs care most about the possible financial windfall on large-scale success so expect to be able to answer:

  • How would your game/technology work if scaled to hundreds of thousands of players? For instance if your game has some sort of multiplayer component they would be concerned that your design may not scale above 10000 customers, which would not make it worth it to most VCs, who are looking for potentially big wins.
  • Can your technology become a "platform" for other types of experiences? VCs like platforms that can be the basis of a variety of experiences as opposed to just a single implemented game with no room for branching out.
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