I’m heading to Telluride this week to speak at the new Telluride Venture Accelerator and I was asked to talk about what angels want to see in an investor pitch. After thinking about it, I realized I wasn’t completely sure.
I’ve seen hundreds of entrepreneurs pitch in hundreds of different pitch formats and when I searched online, the results were equally inconclusive. So….. I decided it would be easiest to just create our own suggestions for pitching. The following is the new Impact Angel Group investor pitch format compiled through my own experience as an investor, the best of the existing resources I found (special thanks to George Deriso for sharing the format he teaches to University of Colorado MBA students) and insight from my colleague Sheila Lamont who sees pitches on a daily basis. Feel free to re-purpose and distribute, and if you have any feedback, please comment!
NOTE: This is very similar to our executive summary guide, so we recommend producing these documents in tandem.
NOTE #2: As a first step, read these general tips for pitching your startup to investors.
A Killer Investor Pitch in 13-15 Slides
Slide 1: Intro
Describe who you are and what your company does in as few words as possible. Communicate this in a way that anyone can understand. No matter how technically complicated a business is, it can always be described in simple human terms by answering three simple questions:
- Who is your business serving?
- Does your business provide a product or a service?
- Does your business save your customers time, money, headaches or a combination of the three?
Slide 2: The Problem
What is the pain/problem your customers are experiencing? Your business may be solving larger societal problems, and it’s fine to mention that, but society isn’t going to pay to solve its problems. Keep your primary focus on the pain point of your users and/or paying customers.
Slide 3: The Market/Opportunity
· How big is the problem?
· What is the size of your addressable market?
· Are there any trends that are driving/will drive the growth of your market? Briefly explain.
Slide 4: The Solution
· How is your company solving this problem?
· Business model – How do you plan to make money doing this?
*Note: Make this slide short and sweet, but IMPACTFUL. If your business model is complicated, consider breaking this into two slides: 1) The Solution and 2) The Business Model.
Slide 5: The Competition/Competitive Advantage
· Who is already solving this problem?
· In what areas are they doing a good job?
· In what areas are they failing?
· Make sure to explain:
- Do you have direct competitors? Indirect competitors? Is “business-as-usual” your competition? (i.e.: if you are creating a biofuel, you are not just competing with similar biofuels, you are competing with other alternative fuels as well as business-as-usual (gasoline))
- Why is your product or service better than the competition? Communicate this in a way that explains why your product or service is better suited to solve the pain/problem your customers are experiencing.
*Note: If explaining your competition helps to explain why your solution is so great, you may consider making this slide, slide #4. Also, if the competitive landscape is complicated, consider breaking this into two slides: 1) Competition, 2) Competitive Advantage
Slide 6: Sustainable Competitive Advantage
· Do you have any unique and defendable intellectual property?
· Have patents been filed?
· What prevents your current or future competitors from replicating your product/service?
Slide 7: Go to Market Strategy
· Are you selling direct to consumer or business to business?
· Do you have any channel sales/marketing partners?
· Will your company manufacture/distribute the product or will you work with partners?
Slide 8: Traction
· Is your product complete?
· Have you earned revenue?
· Do you have any contracts or letters of intent from customers/key partners?
Slide 9: The Team
· Give a brief bio of each of your key team members and explain:
i. Their current role in the company
ii. Why they are qualified to fulfill that role
iii. Whether they have past experience launching or exiting a company
· Are there any key personnel missing? What are your plans to fill those positions?
· Do you have an advisory board and who is on it?
Slide 10: Financial Projections
· Include a basic chart that shows your 5-year projections for:
o Gross margin %
o Unit sales
*Note: If these metrics don’t make sense for your business, change accordingly. If you actually have historical financial data, include the last three years in this chart.
Slide 11: Funding and offering
· How much money has been invested to date? How much money are you raising in this round?
· How much money is the founder investing?
· How much capital do you expect to raise in total?
· Have you determined your company’s valuation?
· Do you know whether you are raising debt or equity? Can you briefly explain the terms of the deal?
Slide 12: Exit Strategy
· How do you plan to deliver a return on investment? What are some potential exit scenarios? Do you plan to sell the company? License your technology? Other? What types of companies/entities would likely purchase your business or license your technology? Are there any acquisitions that have occurred in the past three years in your industry? What was the acquisition sale price?
Slide 13: Conclusion
· Briefly recap why the investment opportunity is promising
· Don’t forget to include your contact information!
Investors, entrepreneurs and pitch coaches, what do you think? Have we covered all of the necessary points? Too long? Too short? Leave a comment.
Oh, and here a few other good resources I found: