Once you’ve assembled your basic information on market, team and technology, you can start thinking through how to organize the visuals you will use when presenting to potential investors.
Sometimes it helps to follow an outline to help organize the flow of the presentation and to make sure you’ve included all the pertinent areas. If you don’t already have a presentation flow in mind, you can start with the structure below.
Slide 1 – Title slide that is shown before and during your introduction. It should feature your company name, logo, or perhaps a picture or diagram that is intriguing and somewhat abstract that ties to your overall business start-up theme.
Slide 2 -- You and Your team
Title / Skill set / qualifications / unique characteristics.
Try to keep the team bios to one line with a picture.
Include a brief story on the impetus behind the idea or how it was “hatched”.
Slide 3 – Problem you solve
Your product / service may address more than one need, but focus on the main problem -- the one with the most potential, or one that you plan to address first. Keep out of the weeds, so to speak.
Slide 4 – The Solution
How your idea solves the problem.
Slide 5 – Market size
The total market need for this solution. You may want to show the total market size and the total serviceable market size, as well as the market you can initially address in a one to two year time frame. Remember to account for competitive responses when calculating your market share. Explain how you arrived at your numbers and any assumptions that you made. A scaled diagram is useful to convey this type of information.
Please note: For many ideas, investors may ask for 3 and 5-year projections on your numbers so be prepared with this extrapolation so you can respond if asked. But keep the slide as simple as possible by including only key information.
Slide 6 – How it works … Product/Technology/Scalability
Describe the idea in a way non-technical people will understand. Avoid or explain any acronyms or technical jargon
Slide 7 – Business Model and Financial Plan
This is the “Show me the money” slide – explain how your idea will generate revenue. Investors will be curious to see what your business could look like when it is successful.
Slide 8 -- Your plan – the path that will get to Slide 7
You may want to include:
Timeframes and resources needed
Milestones that may require more funding
How you will measure success – metrics and milestones
Risks and how you will deal with them – Example: For competitive risk, explain any barriers to entry - intellectual property, or other ways you can keep others from taking your market share in the near future.
Slide 9 – The “Ask”
Unless you are pitching in a contest with a defined investment amount, it is helpful for investors to hear exactly what you need. Focus on why you need the capital and how it ties into your plan.
If you are looking for support other than cash - for example, business advisors with a specific experience or pilot opportunities for your product, include these needs at this point.
The key to a successful presentation is to have the right information, tailor it to your specific audience, and get them totally engaged in your idea. If this flow doesn't work for you, go with one that seems logical and test it out!
Thanks for reading,
Note: This post was developed from observation, research and advice from investors. Thanks to all who helped!
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Watch for tips on presenting in our next blog, “Engaging with the audience”.
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