• Keep away from disappointing investor pitches not committing some of the frequent errors.
  • Give attention to 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 buyers within the hopes of touchdown funding is a irritating however vital activity when scaling your startup. You can also make the method much less taxing by making certain your pitch deck will not be overly sophisticated or too lengthy, two of the commonest errors entrepreneurs make of their decks. 

Insider spoke with profitable entrepreneurs and buyers to assemble the 5 most typical errors founders make when presenting their pitch decks. They instructed methods to keep away from or restore these important errors, which might price you thousands and thousands. 

First, inform buyers a charming story 

Some of the essential features 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 whole to $31 million. 

When Parker introduced Papa to buyers, 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 12 months  — to rapidly present the business stakes to buyers. 

“The very best strategy 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 main factors he needed to handle. Particularly, he confirmed buyers 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 will’t be the one components, 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 knowledge factors are important to any pitch, they can not be the one components, mentioned Matt Martin, the co-founder of good calendar assistant Clockwise. Martin’s startup raised $18 million in Sequence B funding final 12 months, bringing its whole 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, 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 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 hundreds of pitch decks despatched to buyers by means 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.”

Deal with your competitors 

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

Feminine Founders Fund invests in early-stage know-how corporations run by ladies and, oftentimes, Duggal sees pitch decks that keep away from the subject of competitors. Present buyers you’ve got carried out 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 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 out there,” she mentioned.

Samir Smajic

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

(Courtesy of GetAccept)


Quick and easy is the perfect coverage 

It might appear tempting to incorporate as a lot info as attainable, however maintaining pitch decks easy is the perfect coverage. In spite of everything, “buyers 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 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 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 straightforward to comply with the purple thread,” Smajic mentioned. 

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

Moreover, should you 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. Contemplate that query when weighing what to incorporate or how granular to make the pitch. 

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