Last night and today I have been inundated with capital raising decks for early stage companies. Each one was just terrible and these were not student powerpoints. My students do much better decks than were prepared by mature executives some of whom are "serial entrepreneurs". These weak decks had several characteristics in common:
- They all showed how they were similar to a well known successful company, but they never came out and said what they do in a single, declarative sentence. In several cases it almost appeared they were trying to hide the real mission of the company
- With no documented product/market fit they do not talk about customers or target customers
- They all circled a need but never mentioned value proposition
Below are three recent links to good advice on how to do an investor pitch and the fourth one is my all time favorite from Sequoia Capital.
- Canaan entrepreneur pitch workbook http://www.slideshare.net/canaanpartners/canaan-pitch-workbook?qid=c8d3f5d8-94b6-41b5-b2d6-e64c3eb518ea&v=default&b=&from_search=1
- 8 tips for creating the perfect pitch deck http://venturebeat.com/2014/04/03/8-tips-for-creating-the-perfect-pitch-deck-from-someone-whos-raised-75m/
- The best pitch deck http://www.slideshare.net/Sky7777/the-best-startup-pitch-deck-how-to-present-to-angels-v-cs
- Sequoia Capital business plan https://www.sequoiacap.com/grove/posts/6bzx/writing-a-business-plan
I teach the Sequoia deck in all my entrepreneurship classes. I like the simple but elegant approach. Suggests that someone put real thought into the document.