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

Pitching traders within the hopes of touchdown funding is a annoying however essential job when scaling your startup. You may make the method much less taxing by guaranteeing your pitch deck is just not overly difficult 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 steered methods to keep away from or restore these essential errors, which may value you tens of millions. 

First, inform traders a charming story 

One of the vital 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 Sequence B, bringing its complete to $31 million. 

When Parker offered 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 perfect method could also be to make use of the titles [of your slides] as the muse to inform the story,” Parker informed Insider. “If the potential investor solely reads the titles will they be excited to take a position?” 

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

Matt Martin Clockwise

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Whereas statistics and information factors are important to any pitch, they will’t be the one elements, mentioned Matt Martin, the co-founder of good calendar assistant Clockwise.

(Courtesy of Clockwise)


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

Whereas statistics and information factors are important to any pitch, they can not be the one elements, mentioned Matt Martin, the co-founder of good calendar assistant Clockwise. Martin’s startup raised $18 million in Sequence B funding final yr, bringing its complete funding to $31.6 million. 

“Too typically I see founders lose the forest for the bushes 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, assist the narrative with information, quotes, and logos.” 

Echoing Parker, Martin suggests entrepreneurs do not get slowed down by the numbers. As an alternative, steadiness 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 change into an enormous firm,” he mentioned by way of e-mail. 

Consider the info, quotes, and logos are supplemental supplies that flatter the narrative you are making an attempt 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 typically personally critiques these pitch decks earlier than deciding whether or not to ship them to enterprise capital contacts. If the displays 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.”

Tackle your competitors 

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

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

“After we take into consideration investing in an organization, we need to perceive — that is nice that you’ve got an fascinating concept otherwise you noticed one thing that has the potential to be an thrilling enterprise — however we additionally need to perceive what’s already available in the market,” she mentioned.

Samir Smajic

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It might appear tempting to incorporate as a lot info as potential, however holding pitch decks easy is one of the best coverage, mentioned Samir Smajic, founding father of gross sales platform GetAccept.

(Courtesy of GetAccept)


Brief and easy is one of the best coverage 

It might appear tempting to incorporate as a lot info as potential, however holding pitch decks easy is one of the best coverage. In spite of everything, “traders are sometimes not specialists, they’re generalists,” Samir Smajic, founding father of gross sales platform GetAccept, informed Insider. GetAccept raised $20 million in Sequence B funding in December, bringing its complete to financing to $30 million. 

Traders need to know if the issue you are presenting is critical, if there is a market on your product, can your staff execute on the plan, and is your resolution the one that may 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 comply with the pink thread,” Smajic mentioned. 

To maintain pitch decks digestible, do not add pointless slides, Smajic steered. Round eight slides is suggested for early-stage firms whereas 14 is best for later-stage startups, he added. 

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

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