How Startups Create an Investor Pitch Deck That Makes Sense
You’re not pitching your startup, you’re pitching an investment
Raising money is not an indicator of how successful your startup will be.
In fact, raising money can almost be seen as a necessary evil. It takes all your time, it comes with a lot of strings attached, and it starts you and your company on a treadmill that’s going very fast that you’re not gonna get off of for a while.
But let’s face facts. There are business opportunities that just can not be realized without the fuel of outside funding. I say this as a dedicated customer-and-revenue-first entrepreneur, and also as an entrepreneur who has been through the funding roadshow more than a dozen times. Because it was necessary.
A lot of entrepreneurs look at an investor pitch deck like a homework assignment they need to finish. I used to, then I realized that what I was pitching wasn’t a startup, but an investment.
In this post, I don’t intend to play VC-whisperer, but I will go over the basics of how to put together a pitch deck that makes sense if you’re raising money for the right reasons.
I’ll start with some DON’TS.
Don’t ask randos to review your pitch deck.
Please don’t send me your deck.
First of all, I don’t like to tell people if, when, and how to raise money. It’s for the same reason I don’t like to do fly-bys of an entrepreneur’s business plan or business model.
A pitch deck is personal, in the sense that it needs to be unique to the idea, the business, the company, and the company’s need for funding — it’s different for every single startup.
It’s also private, in that there should be a lot of confidential and sensitive information in a pitch deck. So if you want me to give you any advice worth having, I’d need to know a lot of very sensitive information about your business. No one should be doing that from a 10,000-ft level.
Don’t create the deck to create the deck.
I’ve seen a ton of pitch decks that were just paint-by-numbers affairs with some of the…