- What problem do you solve? (see related post titled “Vitamin or Aspirin – Which are you Offering“)
- What market are you in? How big is it? How fast is it growing?
- What is your offering? What value does it provide? What does it look like? How does it compare to the competition?
- How do you make money? How do you acquire new customers (customer acquisition model)? What is your average transaction size?
- What evidence do you have that your business model is working?
- Who are the key members of your team? What are their roles? How are they relevant to the opportunity you are pursuing?
Call to Action
- What do you want from the person you are pitching to? Are you raising money? If so, how much and why is that the right amount? (see related post titled “How Much Should You Raise“)
In highly simplified narrative form it might sound something like this: “There is this really hair-pulling problem in a huge market. We developed an ideal and unique solution, figured out an efficient model for making money (business model), and have evidence (traction) to validate that our business plan and long-range vision are sound. We’ve assembled the perfect team and just need $250K (call to action) to continue our pursuit of this dream and make you a lot of money in the process.”
Some investors/VCs like to learn about the Team first. If the experience and credentials of your team is one of your selling points, then I can see the benefit of covering it first. If not, then I prefer to first get the investor super excited about the problem you solve and the way you go about solving it. Then you don’t have to hide behind any team deficiencies and hopefully you’ve already secured some solid advisors to help show how you’re shoring up the team gaps.
Another possible augmentation of the flow is to insert a Recap or Summary slide immediately before the Call to Action. On this slide, list the three most significant or impressive aspects of your pitch. Just don’t include “soft” items like team passion or commitment.
Most sections will only have 1 slide. The solution section is the one that might have 2-3 slides because you might decide to drop in a screen shot or two and might decide to show how the solution compares to competition.
What about financial projections? Some startups like to incorporate 1 slide for this. I usually recommend having a 2-3 slide financial deck as a supplement but if you want to incorporate it into the main pitch deck, put it right before the call to action.
Easy, right? Now you just need to fill in the proper content for each section (help coming in future blog posts). But at least take your existing pitch deck content, arrange it this way, and give it a try to see what you think.