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Designing your Startup Weekend pitch deck


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Why, what, how and how long. Some thoughts on how to approach the design of your Startup Weekend Pitch. Developed for Startup Weekend HEALTH in Wellington, November 2015.

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Designing your Startup Weekend pitch deck

  1. 1. Designing your Startup Weekend Pitch Deck David Clearwater Adapted from a doc used for Startup Weekend HEALTH, Wellington, New Zealand, November 2015
  2. 2. Start with why • Why are you producing this pitch deck? • For instance, you might be: • Strengthening your Sunday night pitch to the judges to win Startup Weekend • Using the deck to focus your work through rest of the weekend • Creating a narrative with cues that help you present
  3. 3. How do you win Startup Weekend? • Score best on the judging criteria • For Startup Weekend: • Validation • Business Model • Execution & Design • Understand those criteria and know what you need to demonstrate • The next three slides are the criteria we gave the judges* * These were the exact words we provided the judges for SW Health in Wellington, New Zealand, Nov 2015. Your event might be using different words to describe those criteria. Plus, for SW Health we had a fourth criteria – Impact – which I’ve stripped from this deck to make it more applicable to general SWs.
  4. 4. 1. Validation • Interviewed target customers, feedback integrated into product, built a base of fans and would-be customers, solving real problem, identified target market
  5. 5. 2. Business Model • Clear value proposition, differentiation from competition, customer acquisition/rollout strategy, clearly articulated revenue model, can scale into significant business
  6. 6. 3. Execution & Design • Have a (functional) prototype, looks sweet, easy to use, executed well as a team, plan for future, big bonus points for having paying customers on board
  7. 7. Where to start designing the pitch deck? • Attack pitch design in this order • Structure – What gets covered? In what order? • Content – What is the narrative? What messages do you need to communicate? • Delivery – How can you deliver those messages effectively? Both visually, and what gets said
  8. 8. A possible structure with rough timings 1. Purpose 2. Problem 3. Solution 4. Market size 5. Competition 6. Business model 7. Financials 8. Team 9. Summary 1st minute ---- 2nd minute 3rd + 4th minute --- --- --- 5th minute --- IMPORTANT: Your structure and timing should be whatever works best for your story. This is just an example to inspire, adapt or ignore!
  9. 9. First minute • Open with a one sentence elevator pitch summarising your business • Introduce the problem you want to solve, and who specifically you are solving it for • Tell me how ‘painful’ and big that is • Tell me how you know it’s such a big problem – i.e. What validation have you done to find out – Use actual numbers not percentages
  10. 10. Second minute • Show me your solution to this big problem • Do this by walking me through your product using a user/customer as an example • Show me, don’t tell me • What validation do you have that shows this solution works for your customers?
  11. 11. Third and fourth minutes • Tell me how you turn this into a business • How big is the market or problem? What validation do you have to show that? • Tell me how you can do this profitably. What will you charge? What validation do you have for the pricing and sales volume you forecast? • What will this cost? • Show me how you intend this business to grow
  12. 12. Fifth minute • Tell me who the team is and why you are awesome • Summarise what you’re doing again - problem, solution, business model • Remind me the 2-3 big things I should remember about you
  13. 13. How you tell the story • Be personal – Tell stories of how people experience their problems and could benefit from your solution • Be engaging – Some warm and humour will open the ears and hearts of the audience • Be clear – Simplify the story until anyone gets it on first listen • Be authentic – Belief matters
  14. 14. Good Startup Weekend pitches • The slides support what you’re saying, rather than repeat it • Use bold, simple images rather than text • Don’t ask too much of your audience - simplify • Flow through a smooth story
  15. 15. Good luck! • Do your preparation • Bring the passion • Enjoy telling your story LOVE TO HAVE your feedback on this deck Drop me a line: @espressoftw THANKS to @leancto who provided the base timing/structure this is adapted from. Also to @dave_allison and @davemosk who influenced my approach to pitch coaching.
  16. 16. Extras
  17. 17. Delivery of your pitch – Did you want detail? • Keep that mic a fixed distance from your mouth to prevent your audio going up and down in volume – couple techniques: • Fix the arm, shoulders, and head – they all turn together • Rest the mic on your chin • Eye contact • Better to be still and use your free hand to gesture than to move around or fidget • Use short, simple sentences • If you speak 20% slower than feels comfortable, the speed is probably about right • If you speak 20% more enthusiastically than feels comfortable, the enthusiasm is probably about right • Leave pauses between sentences for your message to sink in • Think “Full stop? Pause. Next sentence.” • The more complex the message, the more empty space you need to add around your sentences
  18. 18. Should I memorise my pitch? • Do what works for you – it helps to find the approach that you’re most relaxed with • Speaking naturally will generally come across better • If you need notes, try paper notes, or notes on the phone • You can also put your speaking notes in Powerpoint on a laptop in front of you and have a teammate operate it (like a teleprompter) • The best approach is to know what you need to say (rather than the words you need to say) • The way to know what you need to say is to know what you need to say • Practice makes competent; perfect practice makes perfect
  19. 19. Preparing for questions • After your five minute pitch, the judges have five minutes to ask questions • Bring your whole team on stage to share the glory, and to allow the best person to answer any given question • Questions could cover anything, give some thought to what you might be ready for • You might like to be ready to demo what you built, explain some of your assumptions (particularly financials) • Resist the urge to over explain – go for short, concise, confident answers – the judges will probe if they want • Plus, the more questions you get through, the better they will understand your plan