Investors look at hundreds, if not thousands, of pitch decks from startup founders hoping to secure their backing. Even within a specific sector such as plant-based food, you’re going to need to stand out from the crowd. Now, that doesn’t mean that you need to come up with something crazy or have your presentation set off fireworks at the end, but it should be memorable.
The best startup pitches are concise, to the point, tell a story, and show the investor why they are the perfect match for your company. Investors support teams, products, and missions that they believe in. Do your homework and show them how you and your product or service align with their values.
In addition, make sure that you get all of the important information that you need to convey into your pitch deck, so that investors are not left with too many unanswered questions. It’s a lot, we know, but our do’s and don’ts will help you to nail it.
- Create multiple startup pitch decks. You’ll need one presentation that you will actually pitch, with minimal text on the slides, and another, longer one with more information in it for investors or interested parties to read later, in their own time.
- Tailor your deck to suit the investor you are sending it to. Research what each investor is looking for, what their values are, and what expertise they have, and then tailor your deck accordingly.
- Structure your deck so it tells a story. Fundraising is about storytelling. Start with your strengths and then tell a connected narrative from there.
- Include details about your team. Many investors are most interested in the founders, the wider team, and if they believe that this group of people can pull off the idea.
- Be crystal clear about your value proposition and USP.
- Make attractive and professional slides. If you’re not good at designing presentations, then find someone who is.
- Include a slide with ‘The Ask’. Why are you pitching to this audience? Are you fundraising? If so, tell them how much you are looking to raise and what you’ll spend it on. If you are pitching to a potential partner, for example a retailer or distributor, then include details about your product positioning and trade-marketing plan.
- Include a financial slide with details from your financial model such as revenue, growth, gross margins, and a break-even timeline.
- Include data about market potential and the market segment that you’re targeting.
- Include a milestones slide to share the successes you’ve achieved so far, as well as details on any traction you’ve already gained.
- Overuse buzzwords. Investors have likely heard people say ‘”delicious” and “innovative” countless times. If your product, technology, or service really is innovative then use the term sparingly and back up your claim.
- Overload your slides with text, tables, and figures. Include key information, and use graphs and images to support your points – but don’t overcomplicate things. You can always create backup slides to refer to during a Q+A if you want to.
- Forget to include information on your competitors and how you compare to them. Competition exists. What investors want to know is how you will differentiate yourself. What is your USP?
- Crowd your presenting deck with a lot of text and information that can take the focus away from what you are saying.
- Forget to include your logo and your company name. And always put your contact details at the end.
One last thing: once you’ve completed your deck, the best piece of advice that we can give you is to practice your pitch over and over again. Practice it more times than you think you need to, and then do it one more time.
The best live pitches are the ones that have been rehearsed almost to death. Eventually, you will know it like the back of your hand. So, now that you’re prepped with a killer deck, check out our list of the different kinds of investors you can approach.