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Perfecting Your Seed Funding Pitch
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Perfecting Your Seed Funding Pitch

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  • 1. Perfecting Your Seed Funding Pitch Brent Sebold Senior Venture Manager
  • 2. Venture Name/Logo Here Presenter: “We sell [X product/service] to [X customers/users] who want [X benefit/value]. Unlike [X specific household name competitors], we do [X secret sauce] differently/better.” This is “the grab,” which should be a concise statement summarizing the key components of your business model.
  • 3. Problem You need to make it clear that there is a big, important problem (current or emerging) that you are going to solve. In this context you are establishing your value proposition—there is enormous pain out there, and you are going to reduce costs, increase speed, expand reach, eliminate inefficiency, increase effectiveness, whatever. Consider telling the real-life story about how your team identified the problem and came up with the solution.
  • 4. Solution What specifically are you offering to whom? Software, hardware, service, combination? Use commonly used terms to state concretely what you have, or what you do, that solves the problem you’ve identified. Again, consider telling the real-life story about how your team identified the problem and came up with the solution.
  • 5. Market Opportunity Discuss the basic market segmentation, size, growth and dynamics. How many total dollars are spent within this market segment to address the problem you’ve identified? How fast is the segment growing? What are the key factors driving the segment? How many people, companies, NGO’s, etc., are out there who might buy from you? How will you reach these potential customers to sell to them? You will be better off targeting a meaningful percentage of a well- defined, growing market, than claiming a microscopic percentage of a huge, mature market.
  • 6. Competitive Analysis No matter what you might think, you have competition. At a minimum, you compete with the current way of doing business. Most likely, there is a near competitor, or a direct competitor that is about to emerge. So, understand what your real, sustainable competitive advantage is, and state it clearly. Do not try to convince the audience that your only competitive asset is your “first mover advantage.” Here is where you can articulate your unique benefits and advantages. Believe it or not, in most cases, you should be able to make this point in one or two sentences. Simply put, you must address how your team plans to sustainably beat the competition. Consider getting these points across with a simple competitive analysis table showing how your 3-4 key product/service features and benefits out-match your 3-4 closest competitors.
  • 7. Team Why is your team uniquely qualified to win? Why is each founder totally committed and passionate about brining this product or service to market? Don’t just regurgitate a shortened form of each founder’s resume; explain why the background of each team member fits with the mission of the startup. Also be sure to display the mentors/advisors you already have and why they are vital to your advancement. Tell us about the mentors/advisors/contacts you may still need too.
  • 8. Business Model How specifically are you going to generate revenues, and from whom? Is your model scalable? In other words, can it be efficiently replicated and expanded to national and global markets? What are the critical metrics on which you will be evaluated (e.g., customers, licenses, units, revenues, margin, etc.)? Consider including a simple flow chart that walks the audience through how you make a typical sale. Name names. Be specific.
  • 9. Roadmap Tell us what you’ve accomplished over the past six months. What milestones have you hit? What types of traction have you generated in the market to date? Where do you currently stand today? Which milestones have you identified for the next six months to a year? Consider including a timeline graphic with the aforementioned points clearly illustrated.
  • 10. Financial Projections Forecast five year financial projections here. Remember that all of your numbers need to be readable (24 point font minimum), so it’s best not to cut and paste an excel table onto this slide.
  • 11. The Ask The ask: Clearly state how much you are seeking from the investment community and provide a quick overview about what big-ticket items you will purchase with the funds and why they are essential to your venture’s advancement within the coming months. Remember, you may also ask for non-monetary contributions, such as industry mentors and contacts. ROI: What do you plan to produce in return for this resource investment? Will your venture create a financial/economic impact by creating revenues/jobs, etc.?
  • 12. This final slide is the bookend of your presentation. You might be tempted to include a “Questions?” prompt for the audience, but we think you are better off to include your logo and a powerful testimonial from one of your current or potential customers. However, remember that the quote should not be more than a short sentence or two in very large font. You might also consider adding a photo of the actual customer and/or his/her organization’s logo. This slide should remain behind you as you field questions from the audience.
  • 13. Final Reminders (this is NOT a slide for your pitch) -24 point minimum font throughout. -Do not turn the suggested prompts within this template into bullet points. Instead, use unique single words or short phrases, combined with impactful images, to keep your pitch on track. -Please feel free to bring some team members with you on stage -Please speak clearly – PRACTICE! -Be respectful of the other pitchers and the audience. Stop talking when you are told to do so. We should not all have to suffer because of your lack of preparation.