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Select areas of expertise:
  • Applied AI
  • SMBs as a market
  • Commerce enablement
  • B2B marketplaces
  • Female founders & executives
Recent appearances / in the media
Note: This is not a comprehensive list of Anna's conference and press appearances

Introducing RocketGuides by M13

Our interactive M13 RocketGuides are built by founders, for founders, to help you learn from experts who have been there before.

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Table of contents
By
Mary Lara
Mary Lara
Brent Murri
Brent Murri
Rob Smith
Rob Smith
Zach Naglieri
Zach Naglieri
Carter Reum
Carter Reum
Lizzie Francis
Lizzie Francis
Samantha Hughes
Samantha Hughes
Melissa Montan
Melissa Montan
Amelia Zack
Amelia Zack
Karl Alomar
Karl Alomar
Anna Barber
Anna Barber
Christine Choi
Christine Choi
Abigail Snodgrass
Abigail Snodgrass
By M13 Team
Link copied.
June 3, 2024
|

5 min

M13 RocketGuides are interactive masterclasses in building your startup, from crafting an investor-impressing pitch deck, to strategic conference selection, to writing clear and actionable investor updates.

Written by our expert operators, investors, and former founders, these guides include in-depth insights and best practices to help your company shine. Dive into our guides below.

M13's Guide to Early-Stage PR

Brand communications touches every aspect of your business. Brand at the early stage includes PR (or "earned media"), social media, thought leadership, and events, and strong branding improves investor decks, product marketing, and internal comms. Done right, with a commitment to iterating quickly, the function keeps your startup top of mind, impacting customer purchase decisions, talent hires, fundraising, and more.

Whatever your experience, our comprehensive RocketGuide to Early-Stage PR will help you announce your near-term company news and, more meaningfully, activate your brand comms flywheel to achieve business goals going forward.

Highlights:
  • The brand flywheel — An overview of how all the pieces of a scalable brand comms function fit together, even at the early stages. This includes your website, social channels, visual brand, earned media, and more.
  • Fundraise announcement example — An example of a traditional fundraise announcement, what information is in there, and why. This is useful for crafting both a press release or a blog post announcement.
  • Fundraise announcement timeline — Announcing a milestone takes time and prep work. Use our activities timeline to get the most out of an announcement—and learn why you should start earlier than you think.
Our AI workflow automation tool experts:

Christine Choi, Partner & Head of Brand Comms; Mary Lara, Director of Product; Emma Miller, Content Manager; Abigail Snodgrass, Creative Director

M13's Guide to AI Workflow Automations in 2024

There are seemingly endless AI tools out there to help you do your job more efficiently, and you might not have time to test them all. So we did it for you.

Welcome to your new go-to resource for the latest in AI workflow automation. Dive into our curated selection of the top AI tools, carefully selected to meet the needs of startup founders—from AI meeting assistants to content generators to customer prospecting and more.

Highlights:
  • AI code co-pilots: Assisting engineers in writing code has been an key early use case for generative AI. Various tools are attacking the problem from different angles, with the goal of enhancing the output of very expensive engineering resources. When done right, implementing these tools can multiply the impact of teams large and small.
  • AI image editors & modifiers: Kate Middleton unfortunately made headlines for using AI to retouch and edit images of her and her family—but these tools can greatly reduce the time and money needed to make edits. The real power of these platforms is that now, even relatively unartistic people can make changes to existing photos and visual content directly. It's usually no more complicated than drawing the area a user wants edited and writing a quick prompt. Some of these workflows are finding their way into mainstream tools as well, showing promise for the space.
  • AI for resume sorting & filtering: Job postings can attract hundreds of applicants, and manually sorting through them can take hours if not days. Now, emerging solutions can cut that time down to minutes. Particularly in high-growth situations where you are hiring dozens of positions with a small or non-existent HR team, these tools can help you avoid needing to put other founder duties on hold while hiring, hugely saving time and money.
Our AI workflow automation tool experts:

Mary Lara, Director of Product; Zach Naglieri, Data Operator; Carter Reum, M13 Co-founder & Partner; Rob Smith, M13 Partner & Head of Product

M13’s Guide to Investor Updates

Investor update emails are a crucial part of effective communication to help you leverage your investor network. They’re your opportunity to share your progress, celebrate your wins, and ask for help where you need it. 

In this interactive guide, we cover everything from deciding what metrics to include to finding the sweet spot between under-sharing and oversharing—so you can transform your updates into irresistible must-reads.

Highlights:
  • "Investor updates can be just as important for potential investors as they are for current investors. If we meet a founder in between fundraising, we will often ask to be included on their investor distribution list. It’s a great way to stay top of mind for potential investors and give them some sizzle to get excited about." —Brent
  • "Be transparent about challenges your startup is facing and the steps you're taking to overcome them. Acknowledging risks shows that you're realistic and proactive." —Rob
  • "End with an action. Consider adding a CTA at the end (i.e. schedule a meeting, review a document, etc.) so it’s clear what action investors should take next." —Mary
Our investor letter guide experts:

Mary Lara, Director of Product; Brent Murri, M13 Partner; Rob Smith, M13 Partner & Head of Product

M13's Guide to Strategic Conferencing in 2024

Conferences present a huge opportunity for networking, fundraising, showcasing your product, gleaning insider insights, and much more. They can also be chaotic, overwhelming, and expensive.

If you’ve wondered: Should I be going to conferences? Which ones? How do I find them? How do I make the most of my time there? Then our RocketGuide to Strategic Conferencing—featuring M13’s Conference Finder Tool—is for you!

Highlights:
  • Pitching investors? Consider creating a data room specifically for the conference, with links to your deck, product demos, and testimonials. Prospective investors you meet can share the link with anyone on their team and you can set up unique link tracking to understand views and engagement." —Amelia
  • Be a good (and strategic) host. Identify great partners and sponsors to add to the network you can bring together, and keep close track of the overarching event schedule—both the conference and offshoot events—to choose an optimal time for your own event." —Melissa
  • Introvert? You’re not alone! Up to 40% of the population needs some solo time to energize. Figure out the 1–3 things that will re-energize you while you’re in the thick of it. AM meditation? 30-minute workout? Favorite B-vitamin supplement from home? Plan these in advance so you know your cup will be filled." —Lizzie
Our conference guide experts:

Lizzie Francis, M13 Partner & Head of Propulsion; Mary Lara, Director of Product; Samantha Hughes, Community Program Coordinator; Melissa Montan, Director of Propulsion; Rob Smith, M13 Partner & Head of Product; Amelia Zack, Portfolio Operations Analyst

M13's Guide to Building Your Early-Stage Fundraising Deck

Raising a seed or Series A round? Our comprehensive guide walks you through every. single. slide. your potential investors will want to read, from introducing an interesting problem you’re solving, to a strong product roadmap, to defining key metrics for your startup’s success.

Or check out the full deck below:

Please note: This deck is best suited for desktop viewing.

To view on mobile, please download the Figma app.

Highlights:
  • Investors can be lazy. If they only read the titles of your slides, that should be enough to tell your startup story.” —Rob
  • Twist the knife on your problem slide. Start with a problem, then highlight what makes it even worse. Use action words; be declarative.” —Anna
  • Financial projections should be optimistic but realistic. Make sure you understand what “good” looks like, and highlight that on your financial forecast slide.” —Karl
Our fundraising deck experts:

Karl Alomar, M13 Partner; Anna Barber, M13 Partner; Rob Smith, M13 Partner & Head of Product

Stay connected

Sign up for exclusive early access to future M13 RocketGuides

M13 RocketGuides are interactive masterclasses in building your startup, from crafting an investor-impressing pitch deck, to strategic conference selection, to writing clear and actionable investor updates.

Written by our expert operators, investors, and former founders, these guides include in-depth insights and best practices to help your company shine. Dive into our guides below.

M13's Guide to Early-Stage PR

Brand communications touches every aspect of your business. Brand at the early stage includes PR (or "earned media"), social media, thought leadership, and events, and strong branding improves investor decks, product marketing, and internal comms. Done right, with a commitment to iterating quickly, the function keeps your startup top of mind, impacting customer purchase decisions, talent hires, fundraising, and more.

Whatever your experience, our comprehensive RocketGuide to Early-Stage PR will help you announce your near-term company news and, more meaningfully, activate your brand comms flywheel to achieve business goals going forward.

Highlights:
  • The brand flywheel — An overview of how all the pieces of a scalable brand comms function fit together, even at the early stages. This includes your website, social channels, visual brand, earned media, and more.
  • Fundraise announcement example — An example of a traditional fundraise announcement, what information is in there, and why. This is useful for crafting both a press release or a blog post announcement.
  • Fundraise announcement timeline — Announcing a milestone takes time and prep work. Use our activities timeline to get the most out of an announcement—and learn why you should start earlier than you think.
Our AI workflow automation tool experts:

Christine Choi, Partner & Head of Brand Comms; Mary Lara, Director of Product; Emma Miller, Content Manager; Abigail Snodgrass, Creative Director

M13's Guide to AI Workflow Automations in 2024

There are seemingly endless AI tools out there to help you do your job more efficiently, and you might not have time to test them all. So we did it for you.

Welcome to your new go-to resource for the latest in AI workflow automation. Dive into our curated selection of the top AI tools, carefully selected to meet the needs of startup founders—from AI meeting assistants to content generators to customer prospecting and more.

Highlights:
  • AI code co-pilots: Assisting engineers in writing code has been an key early use case for generative AI. Various tools are attacking the problem from different angles, with the goal of enhancing the output of very expensive engineering resources. When done right, implementing these tools can multiply the impact of teams large and small.
  • AI image editors & modifiers: Kate Middleton unfortunately made headlines for using AI to retouch and edit images of her and her family—but these tools can greatly reduce the time and money needed to make edits. The real power of these platforms is that now, even relatively unartistic people can make changes to existing photos and visual content directly. It's usually no more complicated than drawing the area a user wants edited and writing a quick prompt. Some of these workflows are finding their way into mainstream tools as well, showing promise for the space.
  • AI for resume sorting & filtering: Job postings can attract hundreds of applicants, and manually sorting through them can take hours if not days. Now, emerging solutions can cut that time down to minutes. Particularly in high-growth situations where you are hiring dozens of positions with a small or non-existent HR team, these tools can help you avoid needing to put other founder duties on hold while hiring, hugely saving time and money.
Our AI workflow automation tool experts:

Mary Lara, Director of Product; Zach Naglieri, Data Operator; Carter Reum, M13 Co-founder & Partner; Rob Smith, M13 Partner & Head of Product

M13’s Guide to Investor Updates

Investor update emails are a crucial part of effective communication to help you leverage your investor network. They’re your opportunity to share your progress, celebrate your wins, and ask for help where you need it. 

In this interactive guide, we cover everything from deciding what metrics to include to finding the sweet spot between under-sharing and oversharing—so you can transform your updates into irresistible must-reads.

Highlights:
  • "Investor updates can be just as important for potential investors as they are for current investors. If we meet a founder in between fundraising, we will often ask to be included on their investor distribution list. It’s a great way to stay top of mind for potential investors and give them some sizzle to get excited about." —Brent
  • "Be transparent about challenges your startup is facing and the steps you're taking to overcome them. Acknowledging risks shows that you're realistic and proactive." —Rob
  • "End with an action. Consider adding a CTA at the end (i.e. schedule a meeting, review a document, etc.) so it’s clear what action investors should take next." —Mary
Our investor letter guide experts:

Mary Lara, Director of Product; Brent Murri, M13 Partner; Rob Smith, M13 Partner & Head of Product

M13's Guide to Strategic Conferencing in 2024

Conferences present a huge opportunity for networking, fundraising, showcasing your product, gleaning insider insights, and much more. They can also be chaotic, overwhelming, and expensive.

If you’ve wondered: Should I be going to conferences? Which ones? How do I find them? How do I make the most of my time there? Then our RocketGuide to Strategic Conferencing—featuring M13’s Conference Finder Tool—is for you!

Highlights:
  • Pitching investors? Consider creating a data room specifically for the conference, with links to your deck, product demos, and testimonials. Prospective investors you meet can share the link with anyone on their team and you can set up unique link tracking to understand views and engagement." —Amelia
  • Be a good (and strategic) host. Identify great partners and sponsors to add to the network you can bring together, and keep close track of the overarching event schedule—both the conference and offshoot events—to choose an optimal time for your own event." —Melissa
  • Introvert? You’re not alone! Up to 40% of the population needs some solo time to energize. Figure out the 1–3 things that will re-energize you while you’re in the thick of it. AM meditation? 30-minute workout? Favorite B-vitamin supplement from home? Plan these in advance so you know your cup will be filled." —Lizzie
Our conference guide experts:

Lizzie Francis, M13 Partner & Head of Propulsion; Mary Lara, Director of Product; Samantha Hughes, Community Program Coordinator; Melissa Montan, Director of Propulsion; Rob Smith, M13 Partner & Head of Product; Amelia Zack, Portfolio Operations Analyst

M13's Guide to Building Your Early-Stage Fundraising Deck

Raising a seed or Series A round? Our comprehensive guide walks you through every. single. slide. your potential investors will want to read, from introducing an interesting problem you’re solving, to a strong product roadmap, to defining key metrics for your startup’s success.

Or check out the full deck below:

Please note: This deck is best suited for desktop viewing.

To view on mobile, please download the Figma app.

Highlights:
  • Investors can be lazy. If they only read the titles of your slides, that should be enough to tell your startup story.” —Rob
  • Twist the knife on your problem slide. Start with a problem, then highlight what makes it even worse. Use action words; be declarative.” —Anna
  • Financial projections should be optimistic but realistic. Make sure you understand what “good” looks like, and highlight that on your financial forecast slide.” —Karl
Our fundraising deck experts:

Karl Alomar, M13 Partner; Anna Barber, M13 Partner; Rob Smith, M13 Partner & Head of Product

Stay connected

Sign up for exclusive early access to future M13 RocketGuides

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The views expressed here are those of the individual M13 personnel quoted and are not the views of M13 Holdings Company, LLC (“M13”) or its affiliates. This content is for general informational purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal, business, investment, tax or other advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters and should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of this content. This content is not directed to any investors or potential investors, is not an offer or solicitation and may not be used or relied upon in connection with any offer or solicitation with respect to any current or future M13 investment partnership. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Unless otherwise noted, this content is intended to be current only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in funds managed by M13, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by M13 is available at m13.co/portfolio.