Bikesh Lakhmichand couldn’t have asked for a worse first demo day for his startup accelerator, 1337 Ventures (pronounced Leet Ventures). Back in 2012, he remembers sitting at the back of the room, cringing at the quality of the pitches he was hearing. It’s not that the products being pitched were bad; it was the way they were being pitched that left Lakhmichand flabbergasted.
To add salt to the wound, Dave McClure, the founder of Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm 500 Startups, was in the audience, at the invitation of 1337 Ventures. As Lakhmichand puts it, “it was a painful experience”, but one that really helped him shape his company.