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Debi Kleiman Headshot 20.jpg


I'm Debi Kleiman, experienced coach, mentor, and educator. I am the author of First Pitch: Winning Money, Mentors and More for Your Startup, a venture capital and entrepreneurship best seller.


My high energy keynotes and workshops bring together best practices for pitching along with concrete advice about developing your network and building important business relationships to drive your success. I also coach entrepreneurs 1:1 to prep for pitch competitions or fundraising presentations.

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My Story

Before diving into the startup world, I was a CPG marketer for some of the best brands in the world such as P&G and Coca-Cola. This classical brand marketing training created the foundation for the way I approach business and innovation - with an emphasis on competitive positioning, compelling value propositions, storytelling, and creating emotional connections with your target audience. These skills came into play as I developed my methodologies for startup communication and pitch development. What I found was that the advice I gave to founders of all kinds was also useful to anyone trying to be a better communicator and relationship builder. 

Speaking & Workshops

My book was the result of two decades of coaching, mentoring, and teaching early-stage startups and seeing founders struggle mightly with the pitch process. From developing the deck and talk track to presentation skills and coachability, I provide guidance and concrete advice that helps entrepreneurs become compelling and persuasive presenters in any situation. 

Workshops and speaking topics include:

  • 5 Steps to Bold Storytelling and Value Propositions That Resonate

  • Networking ROI and Building Strong Business Relationships

  • Just Can't Say No: Creating Support for Your New Idea

  • Spot It and Switch It: Communication Strategies for Under-Represented Entrepreneurs

  • Creating A Compelling Pitchdeck with the 4H Framework

I also provide 1:1 pitch coaching to prep participants for pitch competitions. Packs of 10, 15, or 20 half-hour 1:1 sessions are available.

Organizations I have worked with . . . 

Nana Yaa Bankah

Program Manager

Fowler Competitions

University of

St. Thomas, MN

""We were honored to have Debi lead both a pitch workshop for over 49 teams from 12 countries as well as one-on-one sessions for 15 teams.
Feedback from our students was overwhelmingly positive. Several ranked her session as one of the most valuable they attended during our program.
In a world of online meetings, Debi has a unique gift of making her presence felt across the screen. She also has a knack for connecting with people of various backgrounds and helping entrepreneurs craft and share their stories in an authentic way. I highly recommend her for coaching and mentoring ventures at any stage."


Please email me for availability and fees. 

Special rates available for Universities and Non-Profits.

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