How to Pitch Your Startup to Investors
For a startup or any growing business, pitching for funding is crucial to growth. As such, several factors may influence the outcome. But overall, packaging an excellent pitch deck can go a long way in capturing investors’ attention and getting them to write those much-needed checks.
Assuming you have taken time to prep your business in readiness for external capital, you need to bundle up all those positive aspects in a compelling startup investor presentation that will get the dollars flowing in.
We’re going to use the $10 million Series A pitch deck created by Front in 2016 to illustrate how to simply and effectively tell your startup’s story, slide by slide.
Win over investors with a professionally designed pitch deck.
Below is our ten-step guide to help you hone the process.
Give a Company Overview
Perhaps, this is the most crucial step in the pitch deck. Getting someone who probably has zero knowledge of your company to pump their money to finance your ideas is not a small feat. With that understanding, it’s essential to prepare an impressive company overview that can get investors interested in being part of it.
Outline your mission, detailing why you do what you do, as well as a vision statement, painting a picture of your future goal(s). You can further expound on your mission by explaining the problem your business solves.
Then give a brief of your company structure, leadership, any unique technology, and how it helps attain objectives. You can also use this section to talk about your company’s growth potential. This will get the investor thinking about how their investment stands to fulfill your company’s dream from the get-go.
Package the Problem in a Story
Once you have hooked the investor’s interest in the company overview, it’s now time to throw in your weight. As they already know you’re sourcing for funds to finance an idea, you may be tempted to go all-in and bounce the figures at them.
However, consider using storytelling to your advantage. Stories captivate listeners and provoke their imagination. Undoubtedly, you want to hook the investor and get them thinking about your idea a little deeper.
Hence, package the problem you’re solving in a relatable story. Ensure you make it brief, leaving longer details for later when you get to answer their questions. For instance, you can briefly define the problem, mention its extent, and the demographics having the problem.
Front’s simple and effective design for the Problem slide.
Show Your Solution
After painting the picture of the problem, illustrate the solution you’re offering to solve it. This should be brief but well-articulated. Talk about your product/service, highlighting its key features and how they solve the customers’ problem. Here you can include visuals of the product or service demonstrations to get their emotions invested in your solution. The second example below is the Solution slide for Inktank by Redhat‘s pitch deck designed by Launch Module which led to their $175 million acquisition.
Front’s equally effective Solution slide.
Simple visual design for Inktank by RedHat’s Solution slide by Launch Module Media.
Talk About the Market Opportunity
The investor may already be impressed at this point, but to get them to actually write a check, they have to be convinced there’s enough market for your product/service. Give a brief of your market, highlighting the demographics and an honest estimate of the market size. If you have already made any sales, talk about the product/service reception and how this indicates the market potential.
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Demonstrate Your Revenue Projections
For any startup pitch deck to attract a venture capitalist’s attention, it must have clear revenue projections. Investors want to know how long your startup will take to break-even, and give them a return on their investment. Here you’ll need to include realistic projections of your income, expenditure, and profits.
Front’s Revenue Projections slide.
Highlight Your Successes
Have you rolled out your product/service yet? If you have done so, talk about any successes you have recorded so far. This will intrigue investors and get them to warm up to your idea if they haven’t by this time. For instance, including testimonials and brand mentions of customers already on board can boost your credibility and increase your chances of getting funded.
Front’s Growth slide.
Outline Your Marketing Strategy
You may have mapped your market already, but getting the customers may be another far-off dream without a solid marketing strategy. Ensure you prepare a feasible marketing strategy before setting out to find investors.
Assuming you have the strategy, highlight your planned customer acquisition and nurturing channels, as well as the costs involved. For instance, you may want to give a brief of the different demographics of your market and how you plan to reach each of them without leaving the cost implications. If you have already rolled out some bits of the strategy, give a brief analytics report.
Discuss the Competition
The investor wants to know you’re not going into the market blindly. If you have done a SWOT analysis for your product/service, you may have already identified your competitors.
Talk about the competition and how you plan to position your product/service to gain a competitive edge over them. Here you may want to mention your unique selling proposition and how it will get your brand to stand out above the competition.
Front’s Competitive Landscape slide.
Illustrate Your Financial Projections
Use this section to illustrate how you intend to use the capital raised. You can start by outlining your current financial position and an estimate of the amount of financing you’re seeking, then give a breakdown of areas where you intend to pump their investment. Ensure you have at least a 3-year financial projection detailing how you’ll utilize the funds.
Discuss Your Team
You may not wish to wrap up your pitch deck without giving the investor a nudge. Use this section to convince the investor that they’re committing their funds to a capable team with the skills and competence to safeguard and grow their investment.
Discuss your team’s competencies and how they align with your company’s mission and vision. You can talk about individual team members, highlighting their titles, certifications, expertise, and anything worth mentioning that can add credibility to the company.
Front’s Team slide.
An excellent investor presentation is the climax of a startup’s capital sourcing. With a well-prepared pitch deck, you can easily wow high-value investors to give your company the much-needed cash injection. Follow these ten steps to prepare a compelling presentation and grab potential investors’ interest.
- Give a company overview
- Package the problem in a story
- Show your solution
- Talk about the market opportunity
- Demonstrate your revenue projections
- Highlight your successes
- Outline your marketing strategy
- Discuss the competition
- Illustrate your financial projections
- Discuss your team
For further help in preparing your presentation, contact our team.
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About the author
Leslie Morales is the CEO of Launch Module and a Certified High Performance Coach. Learn more about Leslie and her team on our About Us page.