• Keep away from disappointing investor pitches not committing some of the frequent errors.
  • Deal with telling a charming story that does not get slowed down in quotes or stats. 
  • Hold 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 hectic however obligatory process when scaling your startup. You may make the method much less taxing by making certain your pitch deck is just not overly difficult or too lengthy, two of the most typical 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 might price you hundreds of thousands. 

First, inform traders a charming story 

One of the crucial essential 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 offered Papa to traders, he began by highlighting the issues his startup would clear up. He used related statistics — for instance, there are 50 million US seniors and social isolation prices the US $7 billion per yr  — to rapidly present the business stakes to traders. 

“One of the best strategy could also be to make use of the titles [of your slides] as the inspiration to inform the story,” Parker advised 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 most important factors he wished to deal with. Particularly, he confirmed traders that elder care is an more and more essential business that Papa can capitalize on. 

Matt Martin Clockwise

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Whereas statistics and knowledge factors are important to any pitch, they’ll’t be the one elements, 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 important to any pitch, they can not be the one elements, 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, assist the narrative with knowledge, 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 grow to be an enormous firm,” he mentioned by way of e-mail. 

Consider the info, quotes, and logos are supplemental supplies that go with 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 further 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 via its platform. He usually 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.”

Deal with your competitors 

Do not draw back from the rivals in your business. As an alternative, present traders that you simply perceive your market panorama, the most important gamers, and your rivals, Anu Duggal, the founding associate at Feminine Founders Fund, previously told Insider

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

“Once we take into consideration investing in an organization, we need 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 need to perceive what’s already available in the market,” she mentioned.

Samir Smajic

i.insider

It might appear tempting to incorporate as a lot info as attainable, however protecting 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 might appear tempting to incorporate as a lot info as attainable, however protecting 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 need to know if the issue you are presenting is critical, if there is a market in your product, can your group execute on the plan, and is your answer 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 straightforward to comply with the pink 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 best for later-stage startups, he added. 

Moreover, if you happen to pitched an investor who would not know your business or market, in 20 minutes or much less, would they be capable of clarify your product and provide you with 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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