Note from Jimmy Hua:
This post is shared through my Google Reader from another source. All credit of the post belongs to them which you can access by going to 10 Things to Include in Your Startup Pitch Presentation
Bill Clark is the CEO of Microventures, a securities broker/dealer that uses crowdfunding to allow investors to invest between $1,000 and $10,000 in startups online. You can follow him on Twitter @austinbillc.
When you pitch to investors or venture capitalists, assume that you are not going to have a lot of time. Investors constantly get pitched, so it’s important to catch their attention quickly and engage them by keeping it simple.
SEE ALSO: Mashable’s Startup Investment Tips Series
Have a presentation (a “pitch deck”) prepared with which you can pitch your entire idea and business plan in less than 20 minutes. You should also be able to provide more details if questions arise. Decks should be about 10 pages long, but what should they include? Here, we’ve listed the 10 components that investors care about the most and how you should approach them.
1. Cover Page
The cover page should have your logo, business name and a tagline. Your tagline should give insight into your company and be easy to remember, for example, “We are the Groupon for X.” Remember to include your contact information — you would be surprised how many people forget it. Especially if your deck was forwarded, it should be easy for a person to track you down.
Summarize all of the information before you present it, and use this opportunity to get your audience interested in your company. Talk up the most interesting facts about your business, as well as any huge milestones you may have hit.
Investors are not only putting money toward your idea, they’re investing in your team. It’s important they know the people who are going to make the concept successful. Make sure to include your background too, and how it relates to your new company. Highlight any of your team’s successful exits. Investors like to see that you can take a company to acquisition.
If applicable, emphasize that your team has worked together in the past or for a long period of time. It shows you can and like to work together. If you have any important advisors, list them, but make sure they know you’re using their name.
You need to be able to explain the problem your concept is going to solve. Further, you need to prove why investors should care about solving it with your product or service.
This is the value proposition you are bringing to the table. It should solve the problem you just mentioned. If you have a demo of your product, this is the time to show it. Include any case studies to show that your product has worked for existing customers.
You’ll want to show the market size for your product. This can include profiles of target customers, but be prepared to answer questions about the cost of acquiring these customers. Not knowing this information is a red flag to investors. If you already have sales, you can discuss your growth and forecast future revenue.
7. Projections or Milestones
It is difficult to create financial projections for a startup. If you don’t have a long financial history, your forecast is really just an educated guess. Instead, you should present the milestones that you’ve already reached. For instance, include that you acquired 1,000 customers by X date, that you have a partnership with company Y, that you signed a major customer or that you will be cash flow positive by Q3.
Every business has competition even if you think you’re offering something new and unique. List your competition and why your product/service is different from their model. If your competitors have been acquired, list acquisition prices and who acquired them.
9. Business Model
Every investor wants to get his money back, so it’s important to tell them how you plan on generating revenue. Show a list of the various revenue streams for your model and the timeline for each of them. How will you price your product and what does your competition charge? You should also discuss the lifetime value of your customer and how you will keep him engaged.
If you have already raised money, you will want to talk about how much, who invested and what you did with it. If you have not raised money yet, talk about what you have accomplished with minimal funding. If you have personally funded your startup, make it known. Investors like to see entrepreneurs who have invested their own money. If you’re pitching to raise capital, list how much you’re looking to raise and how you intend to use the funds.
Preparing the Presentation
The above topics are critical when pitching an investment community, but be ready for questions. Learn a bit about your audience and anticipate their own passion points. Here are three talking points to keep your investor engaged and interested.
- Include any press you’ve received on a backup slide.
- Highlight any large barriers to entry in your field. They indicate that you have limited competition, that your concept has first-to-market exclusivity for a longer period of time.
- Investors are always thinking about the exit, so have a strategy in place and be able to talk about it. It helps to list any companies that may acquire yours, including similar products that have been acquired in the past.
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