Startups often prepare a “pitch deck” to pitch their company to potential angel investors or venture capitalists. A pitch deck usually consists of 15-20 slides in a PowerPoint presentation and is designed to showcase the company’s products, technology and team to investors.
Raising capital from investors is difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, it is crucial for a startup to create a great package for investors by telling a compelling and interesting story.
In this article, I provide important advice for creating a strong, thorough, and engaging investor package along with guidelines for pitching to angel and venture capital investors. I also provide links to sample pitches that you can peruse as you begin to create your own.
Important dos and don’ts for investor presentations
Too many entrepreneurs make a number of avoidable mistakes when creating their investor packages. Here is a list of preliminary dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
What to do:
In the lower-left corner of the front page of the pitch deck, put this wording: “Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright (c) by [Company Name]. All rights reserved.”
Convince the viewer why the market opportunity is big.
Include visually interesting graphics and images.
Send a PDF packet to potential investors before the meeting. Don’t force the investor to get it from Google Docs, Dropbox, or some other online service because that just creates a barrier to the investor actually reading it.
Plan to have a demo of your product as part of your personal presentation.
Tell a compelling, memorable, and interesting story that shows your passion for business.
Show that you have more than just an idea and that you got there in time to develop a product, acquire customers or connect partners.
Make a sound for investors to remember you.
Use consistent font size, color, and title style across all slides.
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Don’t do this:
Don’t take more than 15-20 shots per pitch (investors have a limited attention span). If you feel you need to add more information, please include it as an attachment.
Don’t have too many wordy slides.
Do not include excessive financial details as these may be provided as a follow-up.
Don’t try to cover everything on the field. Your personal presentation will give you the opportunity to add and emphasize key information.
Don’t use a lot of jargon or acronyms that the investor may not immediately understand.
Don’t underestimate or underestimate the competition.
Don’t let your playground look out of date. You don’t want a date on the front page that is several months old (which is why I avoid putting a date on the front page at all). And you don’t want to have information or metrics about your business in your package that look out of date or out of date.
Don’t have a bad layout, bad graphics, or poor quality “look and feel”. Consider hiring a graphic designer to give your desk a more professional look.