Intro - I’ve seen 1,000s of early stage decks over last 2 yrs - Most mistakes are relatively common - And most mistakes are easily addressed - This is a guide to creating your pitch deck - Warning: it’s just one investor’s advice :) Two parts to this walkthrough: 1. Five overarching guidelines 2. An example structure & flow
Five Themes / Guidelines
1. A Great One-Liner Think of it as your elevator pitch… in one sentence. It’s a hybrid of: - Your product / vision - Your company purpose - A starting point for the pitch Common framework: “We are X for Y”* *assuming X is attractive and Y is a big enough opportunity!
2. Know Your Audience Before crafting a pitch deck, understand: - Who you are meeting with? - What is the investor’s and the firm’s focus? - Are there related investments? - How much time do you have? These influence your deck, the discussion and likely questions you’ll be asked.
3. 10-15 Slides The deck is important... But the conversation is more important. Budget your time accordingly. Allow for discussion alongside each slide. 10-15 slides. Max. Wil provide suggested structure later in deck
4. Beware the Demo For early stage companies, it’s all about product. And the best mark of product is market validation. Demos are great… but remember these four rules: 1. Be careful of time. 2. Don’t get lost in product. 3. Have backup if (when!) something goes wrong. 4. Give even weight to product & traction / data.
5. Expect the Deck to be Shared Whether you like it or not (!), your deck will be shared (i.e. among partnership). Goal: be equally compelling with/without voiceover. How? - deck should tell its own story. - do *not* rely on builds, intricate slides. - make the file size manageable for email. - PDF or secure URL are great alternatives to PPT.
Suggested Structure. (remember: 10-15 slides)
The Flow The Big Idea Why you? The current problem Your solution. Why now? Traction & validation What’s the future? The ask
Remember: 10-15 Slides The Big Idea 1-2 slides Why you? 1 slide The current problem 2-4 slide Your solution. Why now? 3-5 slides Traction & validation 2-4 slides What’s the future? 1-2 slide The ask 1 slide
2. The Team Why are you the right team for the problem? - Include management team and advisors, investors - Include bios with key, relevant experience - Outline division of responsibilities Think an expanded AngelList team profile http://angel.co/visually
3. The Market… 4. The Opportunity The current problem - Customer / consumer pains? - How are they solving today? Your solution - How will they solve with you? - How is it different than market? Why now? - Why is solution possible today? - Why is it right for today, tomorrow? - How big is the market? - How big can you be? - What value are you creating? - Be realistic!
Mint: Market size, Landscape, Product / Market Fit
5. Your Product…. 6. Your Traction You’ve set the stage… now show off the product and traction / validation: I want to know: - is the product resonating? - is it trending in the right direction? - engagement, engagement, engagement engagement data > user acquisition! - What are your KPIs? Goals?
ReadyForZero: Product Traction Traction can be shown through acquisition, usage, retention, etc. ReadyForZero showed user activity as measure of product efficacy: Users pay-off debt 2x faster than non-users
7. The Future: 12mo & Out So far, you’ve spent the deck outlining team, product and success to-date. Now talk about what’s next… And how it ties into the big vision and the fundraise. What are the next 12-24 months of: - Product - People - Performance - Finances
8. The Ask A pitch deck cannot crescendo without a clear ask (aka what you are looking for): - What size investment are you looking for? - How long does it get you? - How will you spend it? - What are goals before raising the next round? - How else can the investor(s) help? This is commonly overlooked… but easy to create!