• Keep away from disappointing investor pitches not committing one of the crucial widespread errors.
  • Deal with telling a fascinating story that does not get slowed down in quotes or stats. 
  • Maintain it brief and do not draw back from addressing your competitors. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Pitching traders within the hopes of touchdown funding is a aggravating however needed job when scaling your startup. You may make the method much less taxing by making certain your pitch deck is just not overly sophisticated or too lengthy, two of the commonest errors entrepreneurs make of their decks. 

Insider spoke with profitable entrepreneurs and traders to assemble the 5 most typical errors founders make when presenting their pitch decks. They advised methods to keep away from or restore these important errors, which may price you tens of millions. 

First, inform traders a fascinating story 

Some of the necessary elements of a pitch deck is telling a narrative, mentioned Andrew Parker, founding father of senior service startup Papa. Final September, his firm raised $18 million in a Collection B, bringing its whole to $31 million. 

When Parker introduced Papa to traders, he began by highlighting the issues his startup would resolve. He used related statistics — for instance, there are 50 million US seniors and social isolation prices the US $7 billion per yr  — to shortly present the trade stakes to traders. 

“The very best strategy could also be to make use of the titles [of your slides] as the muse to inform the story,” Parker advised Insider. “If the potential investor solely reads the titles will they be excited to speculate?” 

When Parker crafted his pitch deck, he drafted headlines of the key factors he needed to handle. Particularly, he confirmed traders that elder care is an more and more necessary trade that Papa can capitalize on. 

Matt Martin Clockwise

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Whereas statistics and knowledge factors are very important to any pitch, they’ll’t be the one components, mentioned Matt Martin, the co-founder of sensible calendar assistant Clockwise.

(Courtesy of Clockwise)


Do not get misplaced within the stats, quotes, or logos 

Whereas statistics and knowledge factors are very important to any pitch, they can not be the one components, mentioned Matt Martin, the co-founder of sensible calendar assistant Clockwise. Martin’s startup raised $18 million in Collection B funding final yr, bringing its whole funding to $31.6 million. 

“Too usually I see founders lose the forest for the timber of their decks: An excessive amount of element and never sufficient storytelling,” Martin mentioned in an e-mail to Insider. “Inform the story clearly first, then, help the narrative with knowledge, quotes, and logos.” 

Echoing Parker, Martin suggests entrepreneurs do not get slowed down by the numbers. As a substitute, stability storytelling with different particulars that articulate your mission. “Key stats, buyer quotes, and headcount charts all have their place, however on the finish of the day, your job is to inform a compelling story about how that is going to turn out to be an enormous firm,” he mentioned by way of e-mail. 

Consider the information, quotes, and logos are supplemental supplies that flatter the narrative you are attempting to inform, Martin added. 

Do not lean on technical language — it betrays a insecurity

Founders who’re involved about sounding unqualified have a tendency so as to add additional particulars and technical vernacular to their pitch decks, making them illegible, Russ Heddleston, cofounder of safe doc sharing platform DocSend, previously told Insider

Heddleston’s firm has studied 1000’s of pitch decks despatched to traders by way of its platform. He usually personally opinions these pitch decks earlier than deciding whether or not to ship them to enterprise capital contacts. If the shows are laden with jargon or complicated language, he will not ahead them. 

“It is like, I do not know what you do. I am not going to take the assembly,” Heddleston mentioned. “I do not perceive why blockchain is concerned with the canine strolling market. That does not make any sense to me.”

Deal with your competitors 

Do not draw back from the rivals in your trade. As a substitute, present traders that you simply perceive your market panorama, the key gamers, and your rivals, Anu Duggal, the founding companion at Feminine Founders Fund, previously told Insider

Feminine Founders Fund invests in early-stage know-how corporations run by girls and, oftentimes, Duggal sees pitch decks that keep away from the subject of competitors. Present traders you have accomplished your analysis; they’re anticipating your startup to have rivals. 

“Once we take into consideration investing in an organization, we wish to perceive — that is nice that you’ve an attention-grabbing thought otherwise you noticed one thing that has the potential to be an thrilling enterprise — however we additionally wish to perceive what’s already out there,” she mentioned.

Samir Smajic

i.insider

It could appear tempting to incorporate as a lot data as potential, however retaining pitch decks easy is the perfect coverage, mentioned Samir Smajic, founding father of gross sales platform GetAccept.

(Courtesy of GetAccept)


Brief and easy is the perfect coverage 

It could appear tempting to incorporate as a lot data as potential, however retaining pitch decks easy is the perfect coverage. In spite of everything, “traders are sometimes not specialists, they’re generalists,” Samir Smajic, founding father of gross sales platform GetAccept, advised Insider. GetAccept raised $20 million in Collection B funding in December, bringing its whole to financing to $30 million. 

Traders wish to know if the issue you are presenting is important, if there is a market in your product, can your workforce execute on the plan, and is your resolution the one that can change the world, Smajic mentioned. 

“Attempt to construct out a pitch deck round a story the place every dot connects and the place it’s simple to observe the crimson thread,” Smajic mentioned. 

To maintain pitch decks digestible, do not add pointless slides, Smajic advised. Round eight slides is suggested for early-stage corporations whereas 14 is healthier for later-stage startups, she added. 

Moreover, in case you pitched an investor who does not know your trade or market, in 20 minutes or much less, would they be capable to clarify your product and offer you suggestions after, Smajic mentioned. Take into account that query when weighing what to incorporate or how granular to make the pitch. 

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