Guide for young entrepreneurs: advice from George Bell

Entrepreneur: George Bell
Business founded: The Outdoor Life Network (now NBC Sports channel)

George Bell is the managing director at General Catalyst and he is currently on leave and serving as CEO of Jumptap, the leading independent mobile ad network. He started his career as a wildlife documentary producer and writer, and since then has been involved in the creation and growth of consumer businesses for more than 25 years. He shared his tips for a successful business pitch with our student entrepreneurs. 

Know your audience: When you build your business plan, think about the audience you’re pitching to. You need to aim the plan — the language, the graphics, etc. — to that audience and make it as exciting and digestible as possible for them.

Aim for the large market: It allows you to sweep mistakes under the rug.

Have a proof of concept: If you walk into your pitch meeting and say I’ve answered the two key questions you’re going to have about my business, it shifts the upper-hand away from the VC to the entrepreneur. You have more leverage.

Prototype, prototype, prototype: The more that you can do on your own, the better your chances. If someone comes in with a successful prototype, it shows that the entreprenuer has been driven by metrics and not by emotions.

Be interesting. If you’re young and don’t have a lot of experience, speak about your passion. Your background is less relevant than gripping something that really interests you. People know when you’re truly passionate.

Network. The best part about higher education is the networks you’ll form at colleges and universities.

More in our guide for young entrepreneurs:

Michael Bronner | Hedy Jarras | David Fialkow | Jeremy Levine | Nassib Chamoun | Mike Hirshland | George Bell | Rick Webb

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