Pitch decks are the go-to vehicle for fundraising in the startup world.
There are various ways to use a pitch deck, from pitching an investor to presenting on a stage, and each one should be targeted for its unique use.
When we were fundraising for my last startup, Mintor, we had three versions: the teaser deck, the investor deck, and the competition deck. For this essay, I'll be sharing how to put together your teaser deck.
There are common questions that every investor wants to be answered when reviewing a pitch deck. Remember that you're goal is to provide the investor with the knowledge to be interested, the data to be excited about, and a story that resonates.
"...vision is another word for “building investor emotion,” which should be the main outcome for any first meeting converting into a diligence process."
Here are the 6 slides you need:
Slide 1: Problem
What are you solving for?
This slide sets the tone. Emotion is the goal here, we are wired to gravitate towards problems we can understand, feel, or believe in. It moves the investor to feel the problem and believe it's big enough to solve.
"The most important thing a startup must do is solve a problem that enough people care about to pay for."
Slide 2: Solution
How are you solving said problem?
Articulate how your product will make life easier for the target market. How will your product change the status quo? It should not only be a relief to the user but painless to implement or switch over to. Effortless signup, onboarding, and integration into a user's current life are key.
"...you’ll never sell anything if customers have to pull out their hair to switch to your product from the product they’re already using."
Slide 3: Why Now
Why is now the right time for your product?
The "Why Now" slides drive urgency to the point. Timing must be on your side. Are you solving for something that will be relevant 5 years from now? Covid has brought a lasting change and your model must consider the economic conditions, innovations, and trajectory that it set us on.
"The "Why Now" slide has always been an important part of your pitch deck — but in the current economic environment, it's what will get you the meeting."
Slide 4: Market
How big is this opportunity?
In many ways, markets are pre-defined, but pinpointing where you fit is no easy task. Are you looking to take market share or address an under-served population? Opportunities to create new markets that would be driven by the user behaviors you're building for are exciting propositions for investors.
"The market you serve is arguably the most important factor for an early-stage startup. We've found that many product-oriented founders struggle with framing it."
Slide 5: Distribution
Can you reach your target market?
Your distribution is how you get your product to your target market. It combines the channels you've established to connect your customers to your product and vice versa. Without distribution, you're dead in the water, and investors will recognize that.
"Most businesses actually get zero distribution channels to work. Poor distribution — not product — is the number one cause of failure.”
Slide 6: Team
Are you the right people to solve this problem?
There are serial founders, subject matter expert founders, and visionary founders; if you want to be two of three. This is where you highlight why your team can be successful. But even with all the right credentials, gut feel and intuition can be a strong influence for investors.
“If you think about how do you get to the big idea, we call it an Earned Secret. You did something in your past, you tried to solve some hard problem, and you learned something about the world that not a lot of people in the world know.”
Good luck on your fundraising journey!
Remember that the pitch deck is a live document, it changes over time. With each pitch, you should be refining and updating your deck based on the feedback you receive.
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