They let you know not to choose a ebook by its cowl — however traders will completely be utilizing your pitch deck to consider your organization’s potential, so you will need to make a stellar impression.
To that finish, we requested a collection of profitable entrepreneurs and traders for his or her greatest recommendation on creating a powerful pitch deck:
- Justin McLeod, the founder and CEO of Hinge, a courting app.
- Kim Taylor, the founder and CEO of Cluster, which recruits for superior manufacturing roles.
- Christina Carbonell and Galyn Bernard, the cofounders of Primary, a kids’s clothes model.
- Megan O’Connor, the cofounder and CEO of Clark, a tutoring-software firm.
- Jen Rubio, the cofounder, president, and chief model officer of Away, a journey model; Steph Korey is the CEO.
- Masha Drokova, the founder and normal accomplice of Day One Ventures, an early-stage capital agency.
- Anu Duggal, the founding accomplice at Female Founders Fund, which invests in early-stage expertise corporations run by ladies.
Their fundamental takeaways? Keep it easy, and embody the knowledge that is most related to every investor.
At the underside of this text, you will additionally discover the recording of a webinar wherein Henry Ward, the CEO of billion-dollar startup Carta, walks us by way of his Series A and Series E pitch decks. Carta has up to now raised a whole of $448 million.
Read on for a sensible information to pitch decks and a few spectacular examples.
Customize your deck to the particular investor you are pitching.
You would possibly envision strolling into a room stuffed with traders, requesting $1 million on your firm, and strolling out a couple of minutes later, triumphant.
That’s not sometimes how issues work.
McLeod stated it is extra frequent (and more practical) to type a relationship with the investor earlier than making your pitch. That contains asking the investor what sort of data they need to see in a deck and which numbers are vital to them.
Prepare a number of paperwork that inform your organization’s story.
Taylor beneficial creating completely different variations of your deck. Specifically, you will want a brief intro deck, in addition to one for in-person conferences and one other for follow-up calls.
Verify traders earlier than sending them confidential data.
Taylor warned founders not to embody monetary data of their intro deck and “blindly send it to people without qualifying them.” She beneficial DocSend for this objective.
Make positive to visually signify your model id.
Ideally, by the point you are placing collectively a deck, “you have enough of a vision for the brand that you’re building” which you can visually signify that model, Carbonell stated. Too usually she sees different founders’ decks “either not well designed or generically designed,” and lacking their “brand personality,” she stated.
Taylor reminded founders to design their title slide and never to go away it as an afterthought.
“First impressions matter!” she stated.
Don’t go overboard with the knowledge you current.
Keep your pitch deck concise.
Just a few entrepreneurs talked about that they’d used the venture-capital agency Sequoia Capital’s pitch-deck template, which incorporates 10 slides, every with one key level.
And Taylor stated she makes use of Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule: “A pitch should have 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes, and contain no font smaller than 30 points.”
Remember that your deck ought to inform a story.
Your deck ought to define crucial factors about your enterprise — not every little thing about your enterprise.
As Bernard put it, your deck ought to “tell a story” in order that traders “can understand where you think the business is going to go.”
It goes again to understanding which numbers and metrics matter most to every investor. “If you throw all of your numbers into your deck, it may not tell a story,” Bernard stated, and the traders “may not latch on to the right point.”
Rubio stated founders ought to “paint a particular image of the one (or possibly two!) largest alternatives that you simply’re working to leverage, after which focus your pitch on how you are going to method them.”
“Otherwise, it’s too easy to give the impression that you’re not clear on your purpose and the value you’re uniquely bringing to the table.”
Pretend you are creating a deck on your dad and mom.
Carbonell stated top-of-the-line items of recommendation she’d heard on this subject is to fake you are presenting the deck to your dad and mom.
In different phrases, do not be afraid to “brag a little bit” — your dad and mom need you to succeed — and “give them a little bit of context for some things,” since they won’t be consultants within the area like you’re.
Carbonell stated this mindset had helped her spot any holes within the Primary pitch deck.
Include only one level per slide.
When you are creating a deck to use throughout in-person conferences, keep away from the temptation to cram each slide with data.
“Each slide should have one cohesive, clear point, and it should not take a lot of text to make that point,” O’Connor stated.
Remember you will be speaking through the presentation, she stated, “so you don’t need everything you’re going to say also on the slide.”
Use one slide to clarify who’s on the group.
“In the early stages, a VC is investing in the person (or team), not the company,” O’Connor stated. “They have to believe that you are the one that can accomplish the mission above anyone else.”
That’s why she recommends together with a blurb on your entire group and their skilled backgrounds. During the pitch, you may speak by way of your story because the founder.
Read extra: A founder who bought her first firm for $25 million and landed Mark Cuban as an investor (twice) shares precisely what to say to go a job interview at any startup
Include your bio if it is related.
Taylor stated that “people remember narrative and why you are doing something.” If your private or skilled background is related to the corporate, embody that in your deck.
For instance, Taylor grew up in an advanced-manufacturing hub in Wisconsin, so she contains that time when she’s pitching Cluster.
Don’t overlook to say what your organization is definitely doing.
Yes, it sounds apparent. But the Primary founders stated it is simple to get so deep within the weeds that you simply overlook to inform traders what the aim of your organization is.
“Occasionally, we are so close to what we’re doing, what our actual product is and what we’re offering, that we forget to say it,” Bernard stated.
Read extra: A CEO who launched her firm 14 years in the past says too many founders have all of it backward
Outline each your grand imaginative and prescient and your concrete execution.
Your pitch deck ought to deal with two factors, McLeod stated: “Here’s the grand vision of where this is going to go and why this is a big idea” and “We’re going to really nail this one narrow thing really well.”
When McLeod was pitching Hinge, he emphasised the worldwide imaginative and prescient of fixing courting tradition. But he additionally confirmed that he had gotten folks utilizing the app within the first place.
Address the market panorama and competitors.
Duggal stated one frequent mistake she sees in pitch decks is “not addressing competition or figuring out the market landscape.”
“When we think about investing in a company, we want to understand — that’s great that you have an interesting idea or you spotted something that has the potential to be an exciting business — but we also want to understand what is already in the market,” she stated.
Explain why now’s one of the best time to launch your enterprise.
Don’t simply discuss the issue and your resolution, Carbonell stated. Also reply the query “Why now?”
“It can be very helpful in persuading an investor not only that you have a good idea, but why now is the right time to pursue it and why it hasn’t been done before,” she added.
Drokova stated: “A deck is all about why [the business] should exist today and that you’re ready and capable to execute it. With Day One Ventures, it was about our insights into communications and PR, and seeing how much it helps early-stage companies grow in size and valuation, and how it assists with recruiting top talent.”
Highlight the price of buyer acquisition.
O’Connor stated traders are at all times eager about listening to about your price to purchase a buyer. “At the very least,” she stated, “you need to be able to show that your CAC will decrease over time, and what your plan is for making that possible at scale.”
Include no matter knowledge you may to encourage confidence.
Early on, Korey stated, “you might not have enough data to successfully show anticipated traction.” In that case, “focus on other metrics that you can share,” together with qualitative suggestions out of your preliminary analysis.
“When the hard data doesn’t exist yet, there are other ways to prove that there’s an appetite for what you’re building and a path towards success,” Korey stated.
Specify how you are going to spend the cash you elevate.
Investors need to know what you will be doing with their money.
“You need to be more specific than just letting the investors know you’re going to build the company and should be able to speak to things like headcount, office space, vendor agreements, R&D, and any other big expenditures for your business,” O’Connor stated.
Highlight your plans for progress.
Duggal stated each deck ought to embody a five-year progress plan.
Tell traders how lengthy it would take to get their a refund.
The “payback period” is how lengthy it would take for traders to get better the price of their funding.
“Investors are going to give your company money because they believe they can eventually make a profit off of it,” O’Connor stated. “So in addition to clearly articulating how that will be possible, you’ll also need to share a specific timeline of when it’s going to happen.”
Read extra: A startup founder who was rejected 148 occasions by VCs made these 2 small modifications to her pitch, and she or he’s since raised practically $30 million
Tweak the deck based mostly on the suggestions you get from every investor.
When the Primary founders began pitching traders, they realized they wanted to make their deck even less complicated.
“Not all of the points that we were making were coming across as clearly as we wanted to,” Carbonell stated. So they up to date the slides for the remainder of their investor conferences.
Now watch the video beneath, wherein the CEO of unicorn startup Carta dissects his Series A and Series E pitch decks:
Looking for extra steering on pitch decks? Check out these decks that helped startups elevate tens of millions.
Get more stuff like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.