Episode 105

How Storytelling Builds Bridges Between Investors and Entrepreneurs

I’m running my software company in 2015 when this email comes in. As we open it, we’re beside ourselves with excitement because it represents the opportunity of a lifetime. We’ve been selected as one of the very few technology companies to present at the DEMO conference.

I eagerly read the details, including how much time presenters have to speak. I’m looking for our company’s name, and I don’t see us among the slots for the 20-minute presentations… nor the 5-minute ones… nor the 3-minute ones.

I get down to the 1-minute presentations and see us listed there.

Cue the freaking out.

We only have 60 seconds to get on stage and talk about our entire software company and everything we do to a roomful of the most influential people in the world!

So what do we do? Something completely different of course.

My co-founder Mark and I get on stage and ask everybody in the audience to stand up. Then one by one, we ask for anyone belonging to certain groups of people to sit down until eventually only the investors in the room are left standing.

Making a joke about how they’re the ones everyone else in the room wants to most meet, we quickly explain that that’s how our software works. It takes complex bits of data and narrows it down to the five people you need to meet.

Our 1-minute presentation was a huge success! It opened so many doors afterward. And it happened because we chose to create an experience for our audience that built a relationship.

My special guest today, Neal Bloom, knows all about relationship-building from both the entrepreneurial perspective and the investor perspective. In today’s show, he talks about story as it relates to the work he does and answers questions like:

What deeper levels of connection can change the trajectory of your life or business? What money stories impact entrepreneurs when it comes to the investor industry (and vice versa)? And how does telling your story open up new avenues or doors of opportunity for you and others?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How connections can be a life or business story game changer
  • What makes for a great story in your business pitch
  • How story pivots can make you more backable as an entrepreneur

A little bit about me.

Neal Bloom used to think he’d go into one of the family businesses. Instead, he graduated with an engineering undergraduate degree and worked on NASA’s Space Shuttle program. Since then, he’s obtained his M.B.A. with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and marketing.

Neal co-founded a company to help new graduates visually brand themselves using their existing classwork as work experience. After selling the company in 2019, he went on to build Interlock Capital, an investment community of domain expert operators to close the gap between capital and subject matter experts.

Now, Neal serves as the Managing Partner of the venture capital firm, in addition to being CEO of communication firm Rising Tide Partners. Additionally, Neal has launched multiple companies in the education technology and talent technology space, invested in over 50 startup technology companies, amplified the story of governments to help attract innovative businesses to their city, and mentored hundreds of founders to leap into or keep building quality businesses.

Want to take your storytelling skills to the next level?

I've got your back!

Learn how to craft a story that will make your brand unforgettable

The Proven 5-step process to captivate any audience


my proven 5-step process for short-form storytelling that you can apply to your stories forever


and craft your own Spotlight Story that you can use in a plethora of scenarios


on where and why to use storytelling in a variety of business situations to become unforgettable


clarity on the most common mistakes storytellers make and learn how to avoid those

...and so much more!

I want to stand out!

The best storytellers are memorable for a reason.

Traver Boehm

2-time TEDx Speaker, Author, Coach, and Founder of the Uncivilized Movement

Mo Barrett

TEDx Speaker, Anecdotist, Connector, Mischief-maker, Retired Military Commander, Keynote Speaker

Katy Stevens

Musician, Performer, Recording Artist, Voice Teacher

Greg Smith

TEDx Youngstown Organizer and Voice Coach, Chairman and CCO of Compco

Than Baardson

Entrepreneur, Speaker, Connector, CEO of Unseen, Humanitarian

Cathy Sommerville

TEDx Speaker, Coach, Advisor, Leader, Author, Vice President


I'm ready to stand out!