• Keep away from disappointing investor pitches not committing probably the most widespread 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 traumatic however vital job when scaling your startup. You can also make the method much less taxing by guaranteeing 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 buyers to collect the 5 most typical errors founders make when presenting their pitch decks. They urged methods to keep away from or restore these crucial errors, which might price you hundreds of thousands. 

First, inform buyers 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 Sequence B, bringing its whole to $31 million. 

When Parker offered Papa to buyers, 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 business stakes to buyers. 

“One of the best method could also be to make use of the titles [of your slides] as the muse to inform the story,” Parker instructed 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 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 information factors are very important to any pitch, they will’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 information factors are very 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 Sequence B funding final yr, bringing its whole 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 mentioned in an e mail to Insider. “Inform the story clearly first, then, help the narrative with information, 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 develop into 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 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 hundreds of pitch decks despatched to buyers 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 opponents in your business. As a substitute, present buyers that you just perceive your market panorama, the key gamers, and your opponents, Anu Duggal, the founding accomplice 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 buyers you have finished your analysis; they’re anticipating your startup to have rivals. 

“After we take into consideration investing in an organization, we wish 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 wish to perceive what’s already out there,” she mentioned.

Samir Smajic

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

(Courtesy of GetAccept)


Quick and easy is the most effective coverage 

It could appear tempting to incorporate as a lot info as attainable, however preserving pitch decks easy is the most effective coverage. In spite of everything, “buyers are sometimes not specialists, they’re generalists,” Samir Smajic, founding father of gross sales platform GetAccept, instructed Insider. GetAccept raised $20 million in Sequence B funding in December, bringing its whole to financing to $30 million. 

Traders wish to know if the issue you are presenting is critical, if there is a market in your product, can your crew execute on the plan, and is your answer 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 observe the pink thread,” Smajic mentioned. 

To maintain pitch decks digestible, do not add pointless slides, Smajic urged. Round eight slides is suggested for early-stage corporations whereas 14 is healthier 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 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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