• Keep away from disappointing investor pitches not committing one of the crucial widespread errors.
  • Deal with telling a charming story that does not get slowed down in quotes or stats. 
  • Preserve 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 obligatory activity 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 assemble the 5 commonest errors founders make when presenting their pitch decks. They instructed methods to keep away from or restore these crucial errors, which may price you hundreds of thousands. 

First, inform buyers a charming story 

One of the vital vital facets 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 introduced 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 trade stakes to buyers. 

“The perfect strategy could also be to make use of the titles [of your slides] as the inspiration to inform the story,” Parker informed Insider. “If the potential investor solely reads the titles will they be excited to speculate?” 

When Parker crafted his pitch deck, he drafted headlines of the main factors he wished to deal with. Particularly, he confirmed buyers that elder care is an more and more vital 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 Collection 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 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 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 through e mail. 

Consider the information, 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 buyers by means of its platform. He usually personally evaluations 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 draw back from the opponents in your trade. As an alternative, present buyers that you simply perceive your market panorama, the main gamers, and your opponents, Anu Duggal, the founding accomplice at Feminine Founders Fund, previously told Insider

Feminine Founders Fund invests in early-stage know-how firms run by ladies and, oftentimes, Duggal sees pitch decks that keep away from the subject of competitors. Present buyers you’ve got accomplished 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 attention-grabbing 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 stated.

Samir Smajic

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It could appear tempting to incorporate as a lot data as potential, however conserving 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 potential, however conserving pitch decks easy is one of the best coverage. In any case, “buyers 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. 

Buyers need to know if the issue you are presenting is important, if there is a market to your product, can your staff execute on the plan, and is your answer 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 purple thread,” Smajic stated. 

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

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

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