– or – All Hamburgers are Not Created Equal
You’ve spent months, maybe years, brewing your idea for a great startup. And by that I mean, you’ve droned on for months, maybe years, to all of your nearest and dearest…going over every detail, every update, every reason why THIS is the next big thing. Awesome – they love the next big thing. They’re totally behind you.
But do they have the cash…?
Odds are that’s a no. And odds are you’re going to need someone’s cash to make your dream a “holy shit, they actually did it” reality.
Enter: [dun dun DUHHH] The Investor.
Of course, you don’t know any investors personally, so how do [idea-laden, VC-free] you get your idea in front of all the eyeballs that matter? One word—wait, no—three words: Investor Pitch Deck.
And let’s back up a second, because to be honest, even if your super-cool, practically a best friend, brother-in-law is a venture capitalist, he’s still going to need to see a plan to know you’re not just dicking around with vague ideas over happy hour – not at all, you’re serious. Pitch deck serious.
Don’t take it from me – this little business rag they call ‘Forbes’ will tell you, “Raising money from investors for your startup is challenging at any stage and requires a great pitch, even for experienced founders with significant traction in their company.”
See? Everyone’s on the same page.
But why exactly do you need an investor pitch deck?
Well, because unless you’re a trust fund kid – you have to. Your pitch deck and your startup’s other IP are just like Sinatra’s song ‘Love & Marriage’ – you can’t have one without the other. Yes, it’s that important.
The deck details all the who, what, where, why and why-now’s people need to know. But more than that, it announces you’re here, you have a great idear [just roll with it], and everyone will get used to it—as soon as you get the needed cash.
And how do you pitch to investors?
With a deck that is complete, concise…and easy on the eyes.
Be the better burger.
Ok, ok – you get it (and now you’re starving). But what can you do to better create this piece of genius that will catch an investor’s eye, capture his heart, and – most importantly – open his wallet? (Curiouser and curiouser, indeed.)
Again, why not turn to the big boys here. David and Jonathan are two investors we’ve worked with in the past – since they’re the type of folks you’re ultimately looking to impress, let’s let them give it to you straight:
At Genacast, we are pitched dozens of times a week by entrepreneurs seeking funding. The quality of those presentation materials are a significant factor in determining which of those investment opportunities we would like to go the next level of diligence on.
David Horowitz, Partner at Genacast Ventures
That was Take I, here’s Take II:
Your pitch deck is a succinct and powerful visual representation of you, your company and your vision. It’s not easy to condense it down to a handful of slides, but when it’s done right it allows you to better focus the conversation on what’s most important.
Jonathan Hakakian, Managing Director at SoundBoard Angel Fund
Not sure where to even get started? Shhhh, take my hand and I’ll start you off with the 4 reasons investors ultimately invest. Keep these handy as you head down Pitch Deck Lane:
1. They invest in your idea.
2. They believe in the opportunity – and the timing.
3. Your team can make it happen (or better yet, has made it happen before).
4. Your roadmap has a clear path, which leads to seeing their return.
1+2 could possibly score you a meeting. 3+4 are trickier, because you have to prove it – cue the cheerleaders – WITH! YOUR! PITCH! DECK!
You can prove it, and you will. When you’re ready to get that deck built, head thisaway.
Right. So now you know the why, and you’ve got a head-start into the how. One last thought while working towards that perfect pitch; remember these words from Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn:
In a single year, the classic general partner in a venture firm is exposed to around 5,000 pitches; decides to look more closely at 600 to 800 of them; and ends up doing between 0 and 2 deals. The goal of an entrepreneur is to be one of those deals.
Don’t overthink it, just go hard for the goal.