• Keep away from disappointing investor pitches not committing some of the frequent errors.
  • Concentrate on telling a fascinating story that does not get slowed down in quotes or stats. 
  • Maintain 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 worrying however vital job 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 commonest errors entrepreneurs make of their decks. 

Insider spoke with profitable entrepreneurs and traders to collect the 5 commonest errors founders make when presenting their pitch decks. They steered methods to keep away from or restore these vital errors, which might value you tens of millions. 

First, inform traders a fascinating story 

Probably the most essential points of a pitch deck is telling a narrative, stated 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 remedy. 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 business stakes to traders. 

“The perfect 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 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 will’t be the one components, stated 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 components, stated 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 typically I see founders lose the forest for the timber of their decks: An excessive amount of element and never sufficient storytelling,” Martin stated 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 stated by way of e mail. 

Consider the information, quotes, and logos are supplemental supplies that go with 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 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 typically personally opinions 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 stated. “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 business. As a substitute, present traders that you just perceive your market panorama, the main gamers, and your rivals, Anu Duggal, the founding companion at Feminine Founders Fund, previously told Insider

Feminine Founders Fund invests in early-stage expertise corporations run by girls and, oftentimes, Duggal sees pitch decks that keep away from the subject of competitors. Present traders you have executed 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 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 stated.

Samir Smajic

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It could appear tempting to incorporate as a lot data as doable, however maintaining pitch decks easy is one of the best coverage, stated Samir Smajic, founding father of gross sales platform GetAccept.

(Courtesy of GetAccept)


Quick and easy is one of the best coverage 

It could appear tempting to incorporate as a lot data as doable, however maintaining 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 Collection B funding in December, bringing its whole to financing to $30 million. 

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

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

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

Moreover, in the event you pitched an investor who does not know your business or market, in 20 minutes or much less, would they have the ability to clarify your product and provide you with suggestions after, Smajic stated. Contemplate that query when weighing what to incorporate or how granular to make the pitch. 

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