Last month, I shared some Tips for Raising Capital Right Now, and within it, I touched on how it’s necessary to have a good slide deck that’s short, sweet, and to the point when you’re pitching to investors.
People are dealing with Zoom fatigue during this pandemic, so presentations should be limited to 8-10 slides. A concise and effective pitch deck will keep investors interested in your idea and give you a better chance at raising capital.
Preparing a solid presentation takes skill. For technology startups starting at ground zero, here are some of the core slides that you should include in your pitch:
1. What’s the Big Idea?
Start by defining your product, your market, and why. You need to clearly outline what your product does and the problem it solves.
2. Ready for Prime Time (Are You Really?)
What makes you think that your product is ready for prime time? This is the time to share your passionate vision. Convince investors to think hard about this opportunity by selling an eye-opening idea that is sure to disrupt the market.
3. Available Market
Do your best to guess the size of the market you think your company can penetrate because nobody really knows the right number. Your best guess is fine since we don’t expect accuracy at this stage, and we wouldn’t believe it anyway.
No matter how unique your idea is, please don’t tell us there aren’t any competitors. Describe how you’re going to disrupt the market and be better than the competition.
5. Early Go-To-Market Strategy (How Are You Going to Do This?)
The strategy may be experimental, but that’s what we’re looking for. Share your best guess for the next steps required to take your product to market and how you aim to price and sell your product. We all realize the plan will change, but we want to hear what your first actions are going to be.
Introduce everyone who’s involved in the idea. Investors are looking for an A-team with strong technical talent.
In the early stages, all financial projections are guesses, and finer details will be revealed when the company actually sells its products. When it comes to seed investments, I will sometimes take the risk and give $100,000 for companies to try out an idea, and if it’s successful, I may invest more. We don’t need 10 pages of financials—just the entrepreneur’s thoughts about what it will take to get off the ground and what early success looks like.
The bottom line is that preparation is key. According to TechCrunch, investors only look at pitch decks for an average of 3 minutes and 44 seconds, so you’ll leave a memorable mark if you can get your idea across in 8-10 crisp and communicative slides. The more passion and enthusiasm that you share, the better, as you’ll just be getting to know each other and making a connection on these initial calls.
The best entrepreneurs to work with are transparent, admit what they don’t know, and are willing to be coached. Keep your pitch deck simple, straightforward, and remember that it’s a living document that will be continually changing, so just do your best. I’m ready to book a Zoomer to hear some good ideas. Let’s Zoom!