Okay, so you’ve had a great idea for a long time now, and you have finally acted on it. You’ve set the business up legally, you’ve finished your business plan, and you have taken the first steps towards building an operational company. Now, you need capital—you need to raise money from investors, and quickly, or you won’t be able to remain afloat, because you are bootstrapping this thing, and your savings is not sufficient.
This scenario is all too common and is the reason so many startups, whether or not the ideas behind them are innovative, game changing, brilliant, etc., don’t make it passed their first year of operations.
Raising funding from angels, VCs, and family and friends is extremely difficult, but startups can greatly increase their odds at securing capital if they approach the task in the right way. The right way begins with a great pitch deck.
So what’s a pitch deck? A pitch deck is a brief presentation (usually based on slides) that provides the audience with an overview of your business. It is often created using PowerPoint or Keynote.
For the purpose of funding, it gives potential investors a brief but thorough idea of what your business is all about, who your target audience is, who your team is and why they should invest in it, and other relevant information that will help convince them to write you that check.
A pitch deck is the essential fundraising tool, whether you’re looking to raise $50,000, $500,000 or $50 million.
Creating a pitch deck is not an easy task, and if you’ve never done it before and you’re a first-time entrepreneur, it can be nerve-wracking.
Your emotions will be filled with a mix of excitement and nervousness about raising your first round of financing for your startup. Where do you begin? What do you include and leave out? This is your baby we’re talking about; surely you need to show everything, right?
The best decks combine storytelling, innovation, facts and design in ways that convey the intelligence, capability and drive of those inside your businesses.
Luckily, there are a ton of resources out there for helping you create the perfect pitch deck. Decks of the most successful startups in history are easily available online (e.g., here and here).
A number of the biggest names in venture capital also freely offer their advice and resources. This TED Talk on VC pitching by serial investor is just one example:
A great pitch deck can launch unprecedented business growth – so what sets you apart? Focus on the end game and present your idea in a way that nobody wants to miss the boat. For help or advice with your startup or startup laws, contact on of our business attorneys here.
Check out this list of 8 “must-have” slides to include in your pitch deck.
Dallas P. Verhagen is a business attorney and a partner at Verhagen | Bennett LLP. To learn more about Dallas, please click here.
For questions or comments about this post, please email Dallas directly at: Dallas@VerhagenBennett.com
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© 2018 Dallas P. Verhagen — This checklist is for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.