How to pitch to VCs if you're a ginger

Faith Merino · February 15, 2013 · Short URL:

Jules Maltz talks redheads and big deals with David Hornik at Vator Splash

So I have good news and bad news for all you redheads out there. The good news is that if you’re pitching to some VCs, they won’t hold your red hair against you (probably). The bad news is that if you pitch to a VC who also has red hair, you can expect to be turned down.

Jules Maltz of IVP participated in the Late Night with David Hornik panel at Vator Splash SF Wednesday night, and he and Hornik had a frank discussion about redheads in venture capital.

“So last time I did this, I had Amy Errett [of Maveron] up here and I asked her if she gets all the gays. Do you get all the redheads?” asked Hornik.

(For those who might be confused, Hornik jokingly asked Errett if she gets pitched by all the gay entrepreneurs because they think she’ll relate to them.)

Maltz shut that shit down.

“The thing is, redheads don’t like each other,” he explained. “Are there any redheads here?” he asked the audience. Someone spoke up. “Yeah, I don’t like you.”

Maltz, who invests an average of $30 million per deal, explained that at IVP, “we give money to companies that don’t need money.”

“So you’re hot shit and the rest of us are trying to come up with new careers,” said Hornik.

“They [IVP] need a quota of redheads on the board,” said Maltz.

Maltz also doesn’t believe that the term “ginger” is derogatory.

“There are worse things a ginger can be called,” he said.

So what do you do if you think you’re a ginger with a great idea? First off, do your homework and make sure you’re not pitching to a board that has another ginger on it. If it’s unavoidable, consider a couple of proactive moves:

1) Try wearing a hat.

2) Pair that up with some eyebrow darkening.

3) Maybe throw on a little bronzer… you know. Put some effort into it.

4) Try speaking with a Turkish accent. 

5) Don't make eye contact. They'll know...

6) Don't mention the looming ginger uprising. 

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Jules Maltz

Joined Vator on

Jules Maltz is a General Partner at IVP and led IVP's investments in Buddy Media (CRM), Checkr, Dropbox, Indiegogo, NerdWallet, Oportun, RetailMeNot (SALE), Slack, SteelBrick, TuneIn, Zendesk (ZEN), and Zenefits

David Hornik

Joined Vator on