• Keep away from disappointing investor pitches not committing one of the widespread errors.
  • Deal with telling a fascinating story that does not get slowed down in quotes or stats. 
  • Hold it quick 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 obligatory activity when scaling your startup. You can also make the method much less taxing by making certain your pitch deck shouldn’t be overly sophisticated or too lengthy, two of the commonest errors entrepreneurs make of their decks. 

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

First, inform traders a fascinating story 

Some of the necessary features 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 Sequence B, bringing its complete 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 trade 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 key factors he wished 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 important to any pitch, they will’t be the one elements, 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 elements, stated Matt Martin, the co-founder of sensible calendar assistant Clockwise. Martin’s startup raised $18 million in Sequence B funding final yr, bringing its complete funding to $31.6 million. 

“Too usually I see founders lose the forest for the bushes 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, 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 turn out to be an enormous firm,” he stated 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 hundreds 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 stated. “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 shrink back from the opponents in your trade. As an alternative, present traders that you simply perceive your market panorama, the key gamers, and your opponents, 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’ve got achieved 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 got an attention-grabbing concept 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 stated.

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, stated Samir Smajic, founding father of gross sales platform GetAccept.

(Courtesy of GetAccept)


Quick 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, advised Insider. GetAccept raised $20 million in Sequence B funding in December, bringing its complete to financing to $30 million. 

Buyers wish to know if the issue you are presenting is critical, if there is a market to your product, can your workforce execute on the plan, and is your resolution the one that may 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 crimson thread,” Smajic stated. 

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

Moreover, for those who 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 provide you with suggestions after, Smajic stated. Think about that query when weighing what to incorporate or how granular to make the pitch. 

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