Pitch decks are a subject of everlasting debate, irrespective of how a lot has been written about them. As such, this text will deal with 10 pointers we advocate for entrepreneurs. Hopefully they are often good reminders, with emphasis on the phrase “pointers” i.e., they’re good however not assured.
1) Dimension – Given at present’s norms and elementary limits on human consideration, we imagine strongly in 12-15 slides, with anything within the Appendix. Additionally at most three factors per slide. Usually for information graphs / photos > tables > sentences. Are you able to do one thing completely different than this? Completely, simply be sure to gauge who you’re sending to and why you select a unique format.
2) Core Slides – Ought to cowl Workforce, Market, Traction, Expertise, Aggressive Positioning, Fundraising and probably Go To Market and Financials (extra on that later). Not essentially in that order however oftentimes you need Workforce first particularly if the deck is reaching primarily individuals who don’t know you. The truth is, we’re believers in Workforce being all the time crucial, particularly on the earliest levels.
3) Competitors – Or Aggressive Positioning, is commonly about comparable startups, incumbents, and likewise potential future threats, say firms in adjoining areas that would turn into quick followers. Many startups construction this as a quadrant or as a desk.
4) Fundraising – You wish to cowl Previous Historical past, Present Ask, Use Of Funds and probably Subsequent Rounds. One great way is to place these as a timeline. When you don’t wish to disclose all the knowledge right here upfront that’s advantageous, however have cause for it and ensure to handle your on-line footprint round fundraising.
5) Go To Market – In case you are pre seed and seed then you definately undoubtedly wish to focus particularly on Go To Market. LOIs from prospects, pipeline with share likelihood, annual contract worth, complete contract worth – every thing to point out early indications of product-market match.
6) Financials – In case you are sequence B and past then you definately undoubtedly wish to deal with Financials, since that’s when the enterprise mannequin actually begins taking off. For consumer-oriented firms it’s usually about engagement (month-to-month energetic, every day energetic, time per session and many others). For enterprise-oriented firms it’s usually about CAC (buyer acquisition value), LTV (lifetime worth) and churn. Cohort evaluation is a plus.
7) Viewers – Modify the slides whether or not you can be primarily presenting dwell or anticipating it to be learn. When you have very completely different audiences for the deck then contemplate having completely different variations, corresponding to an intro and full deck. One other approach is to maintain a single deck however copy / paste in emails essentially the most related slide for a selected investor.
8) Key Dangers / Challenges – Wish to transcend a standard pitch deck? Then address head on in a slide what you see are the top risks / challenges and how you are / will be mitigating them. Most likely you want to keep to at most three items. Entrepreneurs who do so have a better chance on setting the narrative and at Tau we believe the upside of addressing these upfront is much higher than the downside. Let Exit Strategy be a point of debate rather than spelled out in slides, unless you are a more mature company, typically post series B. After all, raising venture is about the next few years rather than a quick flip.
9) Tracking – Put your deck on a platform like DocSend / Google Drive / Dropbox / Box. That way you can share a link, update the deck behind the scenes, and for those who prefer having a local copy you can just allow for a download. Many platforms also have analytics i.e., track who opened, when and for how long so you can judge how real is the investor interest.
10) Mindset – Think of your pitch deck as your business card. It will rarely guarantee you an investment outright, but a bad one will cost you not getting a meeting. Also, VCs get flooded with decks and follow up with a fraction (for us the ratio is 10%). So there are very good chances you won’t get meetings everywhere – what matters is getting enough of them. At Tau we advise entrepreneurs that if they have been (p)itching for a month and not getting close to a term sheet, check whether you need to change substance or style.
Originally published on “Data Driven Investor,” am happy to syndicate on other platforms. I am the Managing Partner and Cofounder of Tau Ventures with 20 years in Silicon Valley across corporates, own startup, and VC funds. These are purposely short articles focused on practical insights (I call it gl;dr — good length; did read). Many of my writings are at https://www.linkedin.com/in/amgarg/detail/recent-activity/posts and I would be stoked if they get people interested enough in a topic to explore in further depth. If this article had useful insights for you comment away and/or give a like on the article and on the Tau Ventures’ LinkedIn page, with due thanks for supporting our work. All opinions expressed here are my own.