Shake it up

Here are the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when asking VCs for money

Raising cash may be the hardest job of an entrepreneur.

The number of total venture capital deals declined by a stark 24 percent worldwide in 2016, according to a KPMG report.

With increasing competition, it's likely even harder to stand out — or at the very least, not mess up a pitch presentation. CNBC recently sat down with three global venture capitalists who shared the biggest mistake done by entrepreneurs seeking funding.

1. You're too focused on your own solution, instead of a problem

William Bao Bean, managing director of Chinaccelerator, a Shanghai-based VC firm that connects China's start-ups with the rest of the word, thinks entrepreneurs need to learn to detach from their idea.

"They keep on talking about their product, but not the problem that they're trying to solve," he said.

"They're so tied with their product because that's what they're doing all day," he added.

He advised entrepreneurs to spend more time proving to an investor that the problem is actually a problem. Only after that is it time to prove you're the best person and team to solve it.

2. You don't understand your potential investor

There's no one-size-fits-all approach when pitching to an investor.

"When you're pitching investors, understanding what stage we invest at and what we need also — not just what you're looking for," said Bay McLaughlin, co-founder of Brinc, a Hong Kong-based accelerator, incubator and investment fund.

"It's really about intimately understanding that VC's model and making sure you're right for the investor before you pitch them," he added.

3. You're not honest with your failures

Boasting that your journey as an entrepreneur has been a breeze may seem like it's a competitive advantage, but it's actually a turnoff for Raj Ganguly, co-founder and partner of B Capital. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Singapore and was co-founded by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

"One of the biggest mistakes is entrepreneurs who come into our offices and tell us how great their company is, how everything is working phenomenally well," Ganguly said.

"At our firm, we've all built companies before. We know how tough it is," he added.

For Ganguly, your challenges actually can be an asset. "We want to be partners with entrepreneurs who've learned along the way, who've had challenges."