The first stages of funding your startup are always the most difficult – but remember the clearer you can explain the potential of your idea to investors, the more likely it is that you will secure funding for your startup.
What should I include in my pitch deck?
Consider your audience when communicating your vision and mission of your company. A lot of startups we meet are tech related, but your audience might be 70-year-old venture capitalists who know very little about technology. Never assume they have the same understanding of your product or service as you do. However, when explaining your idea try not to be patronising, instead be clear and open, and know that the people you are talking to might not have the industry knowledge you have.
Here is a quick rundown of what you should include in your startup fundraising materials for your investor deck:
1. Elevator Pitch
Your elevator pitch should be your starting point for enticing potential investors in and leaving them hungry for more information. Keep it short and sweet, and tell your investors what it is you are doing and how it works. The clue is in the name, as your pitch should last no longer than a quick elevator ride. Simply describe the values of your company and what you stand for. Looking back over the structure of your value proposition is a great way to start your elevator pitch.
What issue is your startup providing a solution for? Talk about the main problem you have found in your industry and why you need to solve it. Explain the main pain point your customer is experiencing. Clearly identify the problem in less than 10 words so your investors can see that you would be solving a real and current need.
With this section of your presentation it is very easy to waffle on and go into too much detail. Explain how your startup provides a good solution to the problem in a way that is concise and to the point, and why it is a good idea to invest. It’s a good idea to practice your solution before presenting it to investors, this way you won’t ramble on too much.
4. Market Analysis
Show investors the size of your target market and outline the market growth for the potential future and from the past. Make sure you have numbers here. Who are you selling to? Is there a realistic market you can address? Show research to back up who you are selling to. It’s also worth talking about competitor market share.
5. Target Market
Define your specific market segment. Who is your startup going to help? The best way to demonstrate this to investors is by creating your ideal customer profile in a few words with a couple of images to help investors better visualise your customer. Unique Selling Proposition – Explain what makes your company different and why your solution is the best choice for target customers.
6. Marketing Plan
How will you communicate your USP to your target market? What will your marketing model look like? And what conversion rates are expected? Talk about the marketing strategy you are going to use in developing and executing your business. It’s important to show investors you have thought about how you will show off your product, and capture market share.
Show investors your start-up is viable and provide proof. There are several ways of demonstrating traction, such as through the number of customers or distribution partners you have, through testimonials, your social media presence or even through MVP experiments [link to MVP post].
8. Competitor Analysis
Everyone has competition, it may not be direct competition but there are always other alternatives. Show the best alternative solutions of the problem, and explain why you have a competitive advantage over them and how your USP is better. Download our free resource…
Introduce your team and any other key people who are involved with your startup. How do they contribute to your companies success? Highlight your teams’ strengths and how they will be valuable to your startups’ growth in the future. If you have a great team a lot of investors will be much more likely to buy into your company
Show key moments of your startups development that will enhance your credibility as well as thoughtful projections that show investors what your expectations are and that you’re ready for the next step.
Investors will probably spend the most time looking at this part of your presentation. Show proof that your startup will make revenue. Provide key indicators such as your cash burn rate, revenue, customer acquisition costs, profit margin etc. Compare your company to other companies that are similar and have found success.
12. The ask
Here you need to explain how much are you asking for and state what you are expecting in return – such as equity, venture debt, convertible note, a reward or gift. It’s also a good idea to explain how you plan on spending the money you receive.
All the points we have covered in this article are all important key aspects to include in your pitch deck, not only for Investors and venture capitalists but also for you as a startup founder. Everything you include in your pitch deck will be incredibly useful in helping you operationalise and eventually launch a successful business.
There’s another important aspect to consider when writing your pitch deck, and that is how you present a document worthy of investment – it needs to look good.
We offer a range of different pitch services at Robot Mascot. We make it our business to get inside the minds of investors to discover how to command their attention and secure their support. Our insight will give you the competitive edge as we develop a pitch that works, and create compelling collateral as part of our range of pitch services. If you are innovating ideas or getting ready to rock the world, we want to hear about it – we may even feature you in our next Startup Spotlight.