The dream pitch an investor would like to see


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When you are pitching an investor for the first time, you want to tell your story about why they should invest in your business instead of the 10’s or 100’s of other entrepreneurs who are pitching them to invest. You are primarily selling yourself (and your team) and creating confidence on how you are going to be able to realize the potential of your business to scale, make great profits and provide liquidity for the investor.

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  • Slide 1: Cover – 10 secondsExplainerThe point on your opening slide to get the investor interested and to agree to let you drive the presentation and hopefully not interrupt you too much if at all.ContentCompany name/logoYour name and email addressOptional: intriguing one-liner about your businessOptional: dateVerbalState in one sentence what your business is about. Be simple, clear, and intriguing.Then say “I’ve going to give you no more than a 20 minute overview and then take questions. Let’s get going.”If you are doing a demo, also mention that.
  • Slide 2: Team – 2 minsExplainerYou want to keep this very high level and focused on 2-3 key achievements you (and other key people) have had in other rolesDon’t do bio walkthroughs; focus on key achievementsFocus attention on full-timers; much less on advisors/consultantsYou want the investor to understand why you have the best –or one of the best– teams around who can achieve your objective.ContentList 2-4 key peopleSpecify title or what areas they coverBullet points for relevant background of each person – list companiesOptional: if experience with known companies, add company logosVerbalFor each person, 2-3 key achievements in other rolesMention when you started the company (backstory later)
  • Slide 3: Tell a customer story – 1 minExplainerYou want to hook the investor early on how your business is delivering value to your customers so that they can “see” the demand.That is, through your story you start to share your value proposition and how customers respond.ContentImage of one of your customers; preferably in context of your product/serviceOptional: name of customerVerbal“Before we get into the business, I’d like to introduce you to one of our customers…” and then explain their need/pain, how they found out about your product/service, what they liked about your product/service, what benefits they received, and what they did post purchase (e.g. shared with friends, repeat purchase).
  • Slide 4: Three key trends driving opportunity – 2 minsExplainerThis answers the question about the market opportunity that you see and why now is the right time to go after itList and briefly explain 3 new trends which are driving this opportunity:Technology trend – e.g. new disruptive technologySocial trend – e.g. change in social behaviorFinancial trend – e.g. change in finances – access to credit/subsidy, more discretionary income, etc.Why three? How about Five?You want your investor to remember these points clearly.People remember 3 or 5 things better than 4. Two is too few. You don’t have time for 5, and 5 is more detail and complexity than you need. So focus on three.ContentGraphic/images with 3 trendsOptional: you could put each trend on a separate slide with bigger images and possibly a 4th slide showing them all coming together – but you have to be even more disciplined with your time then.VerbalBriefly describe each trend, when they emerged and what opportunity they are creatingSummarize that the 3 of these trends are creating this unique window of time to invest to realize this opportunity
  • Slide 5: Backstory – 2 minsExplainerYou want to briefly tell your story on how you came to start the company and why you’re motivated to keep goingContentPreferably a single image which relates to your backstoryVerbalExplain how you stumbled onto this opportunity, how you researched it further and what you learned, how you assembled the best team, and therefore why you are “all in”
  • Slide 6: Big idea – 1 minExplainerOut of your backstory experience and the trends creating a new market opportunity, here’s your big idea – the opportunity that you are presenting to the investor.ContentOne or more images; few if any wordsVerbal“Here’s how we’re currently describing our business…”“For [target customers] who are [dissatisfied with <the current offerings in the market> OR need <solutions to problems>] , my idea/product is a [new idea or product/service category] that provides [key problem/solution features]. Unlike [the competing product], my idea/product is [describe key differentiators – one is best, no more than three]”
  • Slide 7: Another customer OR product demo – 2 minsExplainerYou want to keep personalizing the value of your business in terms of customers and their experienceIf you have a product demo, do that instead – and connect to customerContentIf customer, same format as previous customer highlightIf demo, image (screen shot? product?)VerbalIf customer, see previous customer highlight suggestions. Highlight similarities/differences between this customer and previous customer to demonstrate commonality/breadth of your value propIf demo, tell a story with demo of how a customer uses your product – provide context. Want to keep very focused and short – don’t explain everything
  • Slide 8: Competition and your Secret Sauce – 1 minExplainerThere is ALWAYS competition – direct and indirect. Non-consumption is a competitor also. Demonstrate you know about them and have anticipated how they might attack you when you are successful, or how you will get past non-consumptionThis is your opportunity to highlight your “secret sauce”If you are positioning “do nothing” as your main competitor, it is genuinely much harder to develop inertia, so explain how you have.ContentOption 1: 2×2 matrix with you and competitors shownOption 2: Competitors along a single spectrum focused on different stages of the marketOption 3: Matrix with key values as rows and you/competitors as columns (challenge is to make this simple)VerbalExplain that there are multiple competitors and how you are most differentiatedFocus on 1-2 competitors which you are most relevant – helpful to share some of their advantages over you in additional to your advantages over themUse context of competitors to highlight your sustainable competitive differentiation aka secret sauce or “unfair advantage”.
  • Slide 9: Business Model – 3 minutesExplainerIn simple terms, explain how you make money.Are you a service business, a product business? Do you sell direct or through distribution? Do you have a single stream of revenues or multiple ways to make money?Show that you know your “unit economics” – how much each widget or service delivery point costs, and how much you get paid for it, and how much you make.You should also show the size of the market to which you will apply your model – the “TAM” or “total addressable market”While it’s helpful to show high level numbers to illustrate your model, don’t get hung up describing them at allIf you don’t have numbers you are comfortable with yet, don’t put any on the slide. They just open up places for investors to poke at you.ContentUse visuals and/or diagrams to illustrate the market opportunity (e.g., number of kids who go to kindergarten), who pays you (e.g., parents) and how much, your cost per unit (e.g., rent + teacher salary + supplies divided by average number of kids), and your unit profitability (revenue – cost).VerbalOur business model is <describe at highest level>We’re similar to <name a competitor or other well known company with a similar model>Optional: We have some <no more than three> unique aspects to our business model model <name them>
  • Slide 10: Business Progress Made – 2 minsExplainerInvestors want to know what “traction you have” – think about what would be interesting (and comforting) from their perspective. Even early stage financial investors will not invest if they don’t see tangible traction.What business progress have you made so far? What have you learned? Who has joined?Edit yourself down to information that is most relevantContentVery business specific and no right formatWhat have you done to show that your business model works?Key, relevant learningsThis may need a 2nd slide if you have lots of progress data to showVerbal“So far we have made good progress in a number of areas to validate assumptions and to discover what works well and what doesn’t.”Highlight progress in various areas, explain relevance and what you think is possible to achieve going forward – short-term vs. long-term.Highlight a few things that failed and what you learned.
  • Slide 11: Next Stage Plan – 2 minsExplainerWhat are the next important things for you to achieve for the business and why? Think: what are unproven ideas/assumptions that need to be validated.How much money will this cost? What are spends by big category?How much revenue/margin can be generated?Generally, you want to have a 18-month plan – where 12 months is to make substantial progress and then another 6 months to “sell” that progress to raise additional investor capitalKeep this slide focused on the really important points, things which will cause the company to fail if you don’t do them wellContentOften helpful to show a timeline with phases and key milestonesSummarize spending and offset from revenue/marginHighlight other key validation/learning goalsHighlight any key hiresThis might require a 2nd slideVerbalExplain the next stage plan from a top-down perspectiveHighlight key elements and explain why important
  • Slide 12: Fundraising Status – 1 minuteExplainerInvestors want to know how much capital you’ve put in and been able to raise so far and then how much more you are raising and why this is the right number.ContentKeep this high levelInclude key numbers and names of existing/committed investorsVerbalPreviously we raised $/INR _____ from ______ as [debt/equity]To fund our next stage of the plan, we are raising $/INR _____ which will give us ___ months of runway and allow us to achieve the [x] key milestones: (1) _____, (2) ______, (3) _____, (n) ______.So far, we have investor commitments of $/INR ___ for this round which include [investor names].
  • Slide 13: Summary – 30 secondsExplainerThis is the final slide which will be visible during the follow-up questioning, so you want to have key info summarized hereContentBullet points of key information (likely most text on a slide)Items to consider including: your one-liner business description, 1 or more key trends driving opportunity, 2-3 traction points, secret sauce, how much you are raising and amount still available,VerbalQuickly summarize content“Happy to answer additional questions”
  • The dream pitch an investor would like to see

    1. 1. Template for First Investor Pitch The dream pitch an investor would like to see
    2. 2. [company logo] [optional: company one-liner] [your name] [your email address] [optional: date] Slide 1
    3. 3. Team • Name 1, Title/Role(s) – Background info – Background info • Name 2, Title/Role(s) – Background info – Background info • Name 3, Title/Role(s) – Background info – Background info [team photo?] Slide 2
    4. 4. [customer name/logo] [big photo of your customer] Slide 3
    5. 5. Why now? [image for trend #1] [image for trend #2] [image for trend #3] Slide 4
    6. 6. [optional: catchy title] [image to frame your backstory] Slide 5
    7. 7. [optional: big idea teaser text] [big idea supporting image] Slide 6
    8. 8. [customer name/logo #2] or Product Demo [image: product/service-in-action/screenshot] Slide 7
    9. 9. How we stack up [2x2 matrix or other competitive positioning visual] Slide 8
    10. 10. Our Business Model [visual describing your core business model] Slide 9
    11. 11. Our Progress • [accomplishments and learnings] Slide 10
    12. 12. Our Short-Term Roadmap • Phase I: [overview] – [goals] • Phase II: [overview] – [goals] • Phase II: [overview] – [goals] Phase I Phase II Phase III 6 mos 12 mos 18 mos Revenue $xxxk $xxxk $xxxk Expenses $xxxk $xxxk $xxxk [other] [xx] [xx] [xx] Slide 11
    13. 13. Fundraising Status • Already invested: $___k of debt/equity – By [names/affiliations] • Raising: $___k • Committed Investors in New Round – [name/affiliation] [optional: amount] – [name/affiliation] [optional: amount] Slide 12
    14. 14. Summary: [company name] [one-liner company description] • [key highlights] [company logo] Slide 13