Suggestions for Making Your Investor Pitch from Eric Mathews

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Here are our suggestions on how you structure your pitch to investors.  Regardless of what stage your business is at, if you can answer these questions clearly, you will convince others that your startup is ready for them to join, whether it is as an investor or as a team member.  Mind you that some of these questions may not be fully answerable at the earliest stages of the start, in which case you should state “I haven’t worked out [fill in the blank]. . . and that’s where I need you and your expertise and support.”

This is a solid outline for your pitch, and a great way to structure your slide deck for investors.  Slide labels are highlighted in orange to help with drafting your presentation (yes… some of them are obvious).

  • What is the company and its core value?
    • This will be your Title slide, where you provide a Company Overview
    • What is the name of the company?   It is not real unless it has a name.
    • State concisely the core value proposition or the unique benefit the company will provide to address the customer need.
  • What’s the problem that you seek to solve?
    • This will be your Problem slide, where you will explain your Market Opportunity
    • State the big, important problem that the company is going to solve
    • State concisely and clearly why this situation exists and persists 
  • How big is the problem?
    • This will be your Problem slide cont’d., where you will describe your Market Size
    • Assert the size of the opportunity you have identified 
    • Define the scope of the opportunity
  • What is your solution?
    • This will be your Solution slide(s)
    • State concretely what you will build that solves the problem.
    • If you have demonstration (video is best) then use it here.
    • Showing is better than telling.
  • What are the benefits or value that your solution provides? 
    • This will be your Benefits slide OR your Solution slide cont’d.
    • State clearly and quantify to the extent possible the 3 to 5 key benefits
  • Who else provides a solution and why is yours better?
    • This will be your Competition slide, where you discuss your Competitive Advantage
    • State clearly and concisely how your solution is better than what everyone does in the industry, including the status quo.
    • Do your homework on the competition and don’t misrepresent their strengths or their weaknesses.
  • How will you get your solution to the market?
    • This will be your Go-To-Market slide, where you explain your Market Strategy
    • Focus on articulating the non-obvious, potentially disruptive elements of your strategy
    • What are the critical hurdles that the company faces and how will the company address them to get the sale?
  • If you can get your solution to the market, how will you make money?
    • This will be your Business slide, where you clearly lay out your Business Model
    • How do you make money?
    • Explain the pricing, the costs, and why this company will be especially profitable.
    • Make sure you know the key assumptions underlying your planned success.  Be prepared to defend them.
    • Be ready to articulate the sensitivity of your business to variations in your assumptions.
  • Assuming you can get it to market and make money, how much will you make?
    • This will be your Financials slide, where you provide Financial Projections
    • What is your financial projection for the company?
    • What are the two to four key metrics that will drive revenues, expenses and growth?
    • Convey that you really understand the economics and evolution of a growing a dynamic company
    • Don’t put a cliché graph on this slide with steady growth.
  • Who is building the startup?
    • This will be your Team slide
    • Founders with key and relevant accomplishments listed
    • Who is advising the team?
    • What gives this team an edge?
  • What achievements or progress has been made to date by the team?
    • This will be your Progress slide
    • What are the meaningful achievements already attained by the team to date?
    • Where is the wow?  That is what has the team knocked out of the park as far as milestones, strategic partners, contracts, traction etc.
  • What will be needed to succeed and how will you and others measure progress?
    •  This will be your Ask slide, where you will explain your Operating Plan for the funds you are raising
    • What are the capital requirements for the company?
    • Map the funding against your key milestones.
    • Tie the milestones to the key metrics in your financial projections
  • Why you?  Why now?
    • This will be your Final Slide, where you give a Summary – usually with contact information
    • Solidify the core value proposition of your company in words that are memorable and unique to your company.
    • If someone were to give a short summary the company, these are the words you want used – the opportunity and the solution
*This article is based on a Toolkit section written by Eric Mathews