12 key questions your startup pitch needs to answer
A pitch is the only bullet. In most cases you will not have a second chance and if you do it will never be like the first one. You have to nail it. There is an extensive amount of papers on how to craft a pitch to perfection but somehow I still see many made poorly. A pitch is a cheat-sheet for your startup. You need to answer all the key questions a potential investor or VC may have before they even open their mouth. If they have followup questions, it usually means you have space for improvement in your pitch deck. I recently came across a great piece (simple, actionable and concise) on how to structure the perfect pitch deck. As Chris Dixon already mentioned, the quality of pitches has improved incredibly thanks to all the information easily available however, I still had to find something as concise as this. Your pitch deck (presentation slides) should be 12 and address 12 key points. Not much room for interpretation: people being pitched are mainly interested in these elements. If you fail to address them, they'll be dubious, if you add on top of them, they'll be bored. These are the slides you need prepare for a successful pitch deck:
- Introduction: tell why you deserve people's attention
- Problem: show the issue you are solving
- Solution: show how you can solve it easily
- Market: show how big and hopefully that it's growing
- Competitive advantage: who are the competitors and how are you different
- Technology: be clear/simple but hopefully show it's not supereasy to recreate
- Market approach: who will you get customers
- Revenue model: where will the money come from
- Forecast: business plan summary (estimated revenue, costs, profits)
- Milestones: show your roadmap
- Team: prove you can execute
- Ask: what and how much do you need
- to test how well you explain your product, it should be understandable by a drunk, an old man and a baby (courtesy of Hampton Catlin)
- avoid irrelevant jargon and terms like "proprietary technology", "sophisticated techniques"... cut to the chase
- competitors are not only other companies offering the same solution, but any potential alternative
- don't get too detailed with technology used, as long as it delivers and scales it doesn't matter
- explore to have multiple revenue sources (for my mobile apps I have paid download, inapp purchase, advertisement and commission on purchase)
- pick a startup methodology and stick to it. Going lean? Be clear about it.
- Keep information relevant.
- Keep ask realistic and justified.
Published: Sat, 20 Apr 2013 17:07:31 +0000