When engaging potential investors your slide deck should be concise, with the goal of generating enough interest where the investor seeks to find out more about your solution.
You want to convey that you are solving a big problem, you have the team to execute, and the market size is significant enough to generate substantial returns and there are customers wanting to use your solution.
Tell your story in a concise, efficient manner – less than 20 slides, 10 to 15 is a good target range.
The key points to get across:
Team – who are you? what about your background conveys confidence that you will succeed? do you have industry experience? technical expertise? Connections to customers? Leadership ability? Grit? etc. – it is unlikely that you have everything you need to succeed at the outset so be honest about what your team does have and what you expect to add to the team over time.
Investors are looking for a confident and talented team that has experience and grit to overcome the many challenges you will encounter and must overcome to succeed.
Product – What problem are you solving? A concise description of your solution? A clear sense of how it helps the customer, depending on the stage of the business you can explain how it helps customers generate more revenue or save costs and if you can, explain the ROI. Also, be able to explain that your solution is scalable, you can ramp up the customer base easily without significant additional costs.
Investors are looking to gauge how big of a problem this is and will it generate significant customer interest and revenues.
Market – the size of the market, is it a large market? is it a smaller market now but growing quickly? Include stats and sources and how you came up with the size of the market.
Investors are trying to understand how big this market can be and thus how big your company can be, thus how much of a return can this investment generate.
Once you have nailed these slides and captured attention you can provide the following additional information
Competition – this is an opportunity to really show your understanding of the market and what companies you are up against and convey how you will succeed. You can do this by illustrating how you differentiate from your competition.
Traction – depending on the stage of the business how many customers have you acquired and be able to show info on you are acquiring customers and scaling the business. If you are early stage discuss pilot opportunities or customers, you have talked to and generated feedback to enhance the solution.
Financial projections – you want to be confident you can achieve these numbers so take your time building your financial model and be able to explain how you arrived at these numbers. In the deck, you will only show a high-level summary of projections. Make sure the numbers are realistic and achievable and show significant enough growth otherwise it will not be a venture backable business. Understand that over series of meetings, check-ins, and then ultimately due diligence with investors, (which could take 3 months or more) you will have to prove out you can achieve the numbers from your early projections.
Financing – the amount of capital you want to raise should be reflected in your financial projections, but explaining capital required and use of proceeds is important to share with investors. Is the funding purely for sales and marketing? or do you require funds to complete the product by adding crucial features. This slide gives you an opportunity to explain your capital requirements, make sure you are raising enough to allow you time to get to the next meaningful milestone, typically somewhere between 12 to 18 months of operations.
After you have developed your deck share it with colleagues and get feedback and ask for advice, if you know founders that have already raised money ask for their opinion.
After a few iterations take the time to review this deck with an investor lens vs. your founder lens. Think about what story each slide tells, does the information flow, does the deck all tie together telling the story your story.