investor pitch canvas

The ultimate startup pitch structure to present your idea and get funded

What are the consequences to failing your next investor pitch?

What happens if you keep failing to get your startup funded, how many more startup pitch presentations can you still afford to fail?

Persuading investors through a startup pitch presentation it’s not an easy thing.

Raising money is the second hardest part of starting a startup. The hardest part is making something people want.

P. Graham

The startup pitch is a high stake presentation.

You are under time pressure, you just get 5 minutes to convince an audience you are worth their investment.

Do you know what complicates the situation?

You won’t be alone!

There will be many other startups out there looking for the same funding and pitching the same investors.

You need to standout from the crowd and conquer your audience.

How to do that?

Simple, you just need an outstanding startup pitch presentation.

But… What does it make a startup pitch presentation to be a great one?

You need to give investors the information they need to facilitate their decision in a given, short amount of time, and without making them sleep.

There are 3 fundamental pillars to an effective startup pitch presentation:

  1. The contents you include (what you say and what you don’t say)
  2. The order you present the contents (what you say first)
  3. The design that brings the contents to life

So, which information do you include in your 5 minutes startup pitch deck and in which order do you plan to to present them?

When I started pitching, I used to browse the internet to find some effective startup pitch structure to follow.

With the experience, I’ve realized that the web offers you many pitch structures for startup presentations but it is hard to say which one will be the best one.

So I decided to extract the pitch structures of hundreds of the most successful pitches ever and to compare them and published a book, check it out on Amazon.

I discovered that all these pitches had something in common and, by doing some statistics, it wasn’t difficult to extract a best practice communication structure.

An extract of the successful startup pitch structures comparison study from the book – Startup Pitch – Startup pitch structure

This is not one more startup pitch presentation structure, this is the unique pitch structure that includes hundreds of other successful pitch presentation structures and communication strategies.

I order to enable entrepreneurs to easily work on this structure and quickly make the strategy of their pitch presentations I’ve formalized this knowledge into a one stop shop tool named – Investor Pitch Canvas.

Investor Pitch Canvas – Startup pitch structure

The Investor Pitch Canvas is the most reliable guideline you can get to make sure your startup will be presented effectively because it leverages the experience of hundreds of the most successful pitches on earth and because it has been adapted based on my experience.

 

This is the structure to follow to create a startup pitch presentation:

Problem

Everything begins with the description of the problem.

Why is it so, in your opinion?

According to Sequoia capital, one of the most common mistakes people make is believing that, if you are given a one-hour meeting, you will get an hour of attention.

In fact, there is a significant drop of attention in the first five minutes of any meeting.

Attention drops in the first 5 minutes of meeting – Sequoia capital – Startup pitch structure

During a pitch presentation, where you are probably not going to be the first one that day, 5 minutes may represent the whole time you have available.

I believe that the peak will come much sooner, around the one-minute mark. So, we can say that if you won’t start off with the right foot, you risk nullifying the outcome in the very first moments of your presentation (let me invite you to check the 13 most successful presentation hook ideas ever).

Why does the beginning create so much indifference in the audience?

According to P. Coughter, people act egotistically, and are always motivated by their own profits.

Translating his words to the purpose of creating an effective pitch, if you want to catch your investors from the beginning, your only chance is to anchor them with a problem that would pique their interest.

If your listeners are directly or indirectly affected by that problem, they will automatically want to know how to fix it.

If your audience isn’t completely aware of the problem, it will be your responsibility to open your presentation by describing the context, introducing the problem and explaining the seriousness of its impact.

This should lead you to identify an actual economic waste and, therefore, you identify the possibility of doing business, you can be sure that the investors will perk up their ears!

However, if they are not interested in that problem, you are not talking to the right people!

The important thing is that, whomever you are talking to, you can arouse their interest.

The concept of conflict is what generates interest in the most powerful communication structure: telling stories (also read: Storytelling techniques for presentations real case study).

Think about it.

Every story begins with context, where you are introduced to the affair of the character, to events, to the environment, and then, when it seems you have just entered the shoes of the key player, something happens to him and the story begins!

This part of the conflict is called the “call to adventure” and represents the moment of the conflict which throws the player and the audience into the story.

Agrilyst – a platform of intelligent management of indoor farming – at the 2015 Techrunch Disrupt, won the day by this presentation:

Agrylist starutp pitch at TechCrunch Dirsupt – Startup pitch structure

Alison starts the presentation by introducing the concept: agriculture is a difficult thing.

Right from the start, she seeks to hook the audience in saying that all backyard tomato growers in the garden share the same problems as those a professional grower.

Then she arrives at her point and dispels the myth that growing in a greenhouse is simpler.

She introduces a series of critiques and prepares the ground for a solution through a story.

This deals with Tom, the grower that takes great pains to gather data from the greenhouse so as to interpret them quicker.

By starting from agriculture in general, she has succeeded in hooking the audience with problems that all of them are familiar with, or at least that which they have heard spoken.

Only afterwards has she introduced the informational problems of the greenhouse, and she has done it through a story.

Alison is supported by visual and essential slides.

Thanks to a wise use of visuals she succeeded in giving life to the story and have shown the investors what she was talking about.

Do you see how slides play a crucial role in the presentation?

Slides supported Alison to make investors live the story and perceive it as real.

Remember, people act egoistically, for pure personal interest.

So always start your presentation by speaking of the problem that you intend on resolving.

Be credible and present a significant problem to your listener.

Insert the problem within your story that levers on the emotions of the audience.

Remember, emotion determines how people make decisions.

If you catch the audience with an interesting problem, you have opened the way to interest, to present your solution and strike the investors.

Solution

Remember the feeling of being on a roller coaster and the wagons are in the climbing stage?

Usually, you don’t know what your impression will be of the slope from the top before going down, but the adrenaline rush increases while the wagons go on their slow climbing.

The part of this problem shown in the problem paragraph is represented by climbing.

The more you climb, the greater the audience’s expectations, and so the curiosity to know more things grows.

Climbing is carried out with calm, and attention is gained by exploiting storytelling techniques to create the required tension and do your best to counteract the initial drop in attention.

The solution instead comes like a roller coaster’s descent, quick and dazzling! It must be short, concise and remain impressed into the memory.

The sentence that explains your offers in a synthetic and effective manner is called a “unique value proposition” (UVP) and is valuable to anyone seeking fast information on your start-up.

“Your UVP is simply who you are as a company. This is your Inside Reality. It’s your personality, your identity, and your strengths. A UVP tells you and your team what you are all about.”[1]

An UVP, in theory, should explain the point of your business, while answering three questions:

  1. Which clients?
  2. Which need?
  3. At which price?
Unique Value Proposition – Startup pitch structure

I do not believe the price to be essential at this stage, as further into the pitch, we will talk about business models.

However, it is critical to answer the other two questions: for whom, and which need?

So, focus on them.

The descent has been steep and full of adrenaline, and the solution has been shown.

At this point, the storytelling has done its job: a reference context has been introduced, a conflict has been presented, followed by the solution.

This is a nice story with a happy ending.

However, this is not the world of a fairy tale, but the brutal world of fundraising, where reaching this point is necessary, but not sufficient.

What is missing?

What is missing is what in marketing is called the “Reason to Believe“, which consists of all the supporting information to the solution that would allow investors to believe that your team is able to make that solution work, and that there would be a valid and real business opportunity in implementing your project.

The whole structure shown in the Investor Pitch Canvas develops naturally, and it constitutes all the required credentials to make the investment from the investor.

After all, the investor is trying to maximize his profit and reduce his risk, right?

Therefore, the presentation should show the business potentials of the idea (market opportunity, business model, financial projections), contrasted against its feasibility and team’s potential (traction, team, roadmap, competition, go to market).

The investor wants to maximize profit and reduce the risk – Startup pitch structure

Let’s explore the other sections of the Investor Pitch Canvas.

Market Size

Let’s say that you had a great intuition by detecting a relevant problem and that the solution you are proposing had the potential to solve it, now you shall dimension the business potential for marketing your solution.

As a matter of fact, if the solution aims to a market with a poor purchasing power, a market too small or too rich of competitors (we will address this later), the investment’s profitability would be put at a risk and thus would take away all the investors.

Here it is an easy to apply model which will allow you to dimension and effectively present the reference market:

Market sizing – Startup pitch structure

TAM (Total Available Market): the total market which includes the overall expenditure in a particular sector.

If, for instance we think of the computer world, the overall market will include personal computers, laptops, notebooks and so on.

When you hear people speak about the market dimension usually they are referring to TAM.

SAM (Served Available Market): the market served corresponds to that part you aim to reach with your product/service.

In reference to the computer market, for instance, you may want to compete on the laptop market and exclude all the other ones.

SOM (Share of Market): the market share corresponds to the percentage of SAM you are expecting to achieve.

The market size is therefore the size of the total amount spent inside a certain sector by a specific target of consumers.

It is not what is spent for your services/products, but the total amount spent, including that spent on your competitors.

Alfred, start-up winner of the Techrunch Disrupt 2014, ascertains the market size this way:

There are 18 million home owners in the first 10 towns that have this service, and are already paying more than €227 billion for the home services on which Alfred relies.

The on-demand services are spreading all over the world and, where on-demand home services are available, we represent the natural consequence.

Marcela Sapone – Co-Founder at Alfred
Marcela Sapone presenting the market size for Alfred – Startup pitch structure

Business Model

If it is true that the investor will support you financially to create a profit it means that his investment shall be repaid with an interesting capital gain.

Therefore, it is natural to close saying that your solution shall generate an economic value and so must have a solid and preferably scalable business model.

So, in this section you shall answer this brutal and simple question:” how do you want to earn from marketing your idea?”.

In the case of PI Inc, the founder (who won the Techrunch Disrupt SF 2017) explains that PI business model consists of two parts:

first of all it aims the end consumer with a 50% margin and a high customer lifetime value, secondly they are open to distribute it through a corporate that is already operating in the consumer electronics sector.

PIBusiness model – Startup pitch structure

The customer lifetime value is defined like the profit expected by a client in the frame time it will have with your business.

Generally, it is shown that the life time value (LTV) is higher than the cost of acquisition (CAC).

So, you are showing that the cost of the acquisition of a client (considering the marketing & sales expenditures) is less than the value that generates once purchased and before losing it.

Here is introduced the concept of churn rate, which measures the percentage of client that stop paying for your product/service.

In order to make yourself be understood, it is no use having a fantastic acquisition campaign for new clients if soon after the clients will abandon your service and won’t let you retrieve your costs.

Imagine that, after having seen the spot of a gym on television, after having studied it on the social media, you finally receive an offer and go test it.

During the test you get a dedicated trainer that would assist you, show you all the rooms and make you train.

At the end you sign up but after one month you cancel your subscription.

How many months of subscription would you have needed to retrieve the total costs for having acquired you?

Consider that this total amount includes at least all the activities previously shown: advertising, promotions, personal assistance in the gym.

If to retrieve your investment 3 months of would have been needed and you did unsubscribe during the first month you would have nullified the acquisition efforts made by the gym.

So, showing that you excel in the acquisition may not be enough unless you prove to be good at client’s retention.

Keep in mind your churn rate.

In the case of Airbnb, this business model is mixed in a slide together with some market metrics.

The slide goal is to show an estimate of potential revenues projected into 2011.

In this slide, the business model would be, “We are retaining 10% of commission on any transaction”.

Business model Aribnb – Startup pitch structure

The business model sentence explains the company’s model to generate revenue. In addition, it is well summarized and easy to understand.

A simple and brief sentence that speaks clearly to the investors is all you need inside a business model slide.

Traction

I think that any entrepreneur, in his life, has to take one of the most over-used answers from an investor:” Not a bad idea, come back when you have more traction.

Traction is, for sure, one of the most used words by VC. But it is also an abbreviation that people use to talk about the grip of a project on the market. Many investors could ask you for the business model. We believe instead that the traction is the most difficult part to show.

Fred Wilson, Principal, Union Square Ventures

Why do investors seem look for nothing but that?

Traction shows that the customers really want your product, and so it confers credibility and safety to the investment.

This is the negative note for all the newly born startups, I know.

Despite that it is the best way to convince the investors that your solution or your business model are really working.

What am I talking about? I am talking of the metrics that clearly show the operation of your projects.

It could be the sales, the churn rate trends, the income statement data, etc.

Traction is a tangible and unquestionable evidence of the fact that customers want your product.

In Alfred’s pitch at Techcrunch Disrupt, previously mentioned, there is a moment when Marcela commences:

[…] We know that Alfred works. All these pins represent the active Alfreds in Boston, and the red ones have been with us for more than 10 months, with a retention rate of 90%[…].

Alfred traction – Startup pitch structure

As you see, Marcela has not shown a single figure, but with this chart, she has clearly shown that her service was adopted by the market and that customers are paying in order to access it.

If, for instance, you have a product on pre-sale, and the customers are paying a small amount in advance in order to be awarded the product you have just launched, then you can say to have the first signs of traction.

As you see, the product does not exist yet and at the moment, maybe you are only working with a pre-sale page that has nothing to do with the whole process of selling that you will implement later on.

However, this could be enough to convince an investor that people want that product and that they would agree to accept your price.

Unfortunately, especially for early stage startups which means newly born it won’t be possible to show the business metrics because the product/service has not been marketed yet.

Be this the case, I suggest you to thoroughly follow the methodology shown in The Lean Startup written by Eric Ries (Note: the bible for every person that wants to create a business enterprise).

You should work with tests optimizing the use of all the resources, create your Minimum Viable Product, collects then first proofs and use them in order to support the potential of your solution in the stages when you do not have concrete metrics yet.

So, an MVP is a prototype with the required minimal functions to validate the operation of the solution or business model for a segment of potential customers.

You shall study your MVP, make all the tests and retrieve the outcome in order to fill up this important section of your pitch.

Competition

Investor:” who are your competitors?”.

Entrepreneur:” we have no competitor, our solution is unique in the world”

What will be the outcome in your opinion?

The problem is that if you state to have no competitor sit means that:

  1. You have not prepared yourself enough and had assumed that you are really the only one in the world to be able to solve a certain problem
  2. There is no market for your solution and so you are the only one in the world trying to solve a useless problem

In both cases you are representing a type of entrepreneur that is not much appreciated by the investors.

Having competitors and knowing them is critical for any business and is most of all a very healthy thing.

If your solution is special, innovative and unique, it will then have the power to disrupt the market and let you cut off valid market shares to develop a new business.

So, in this section of the pitch you shall focus on showing that there already is a market full of players that are already developing their business trying to solve the problem you identified and you shall show what is typifying them and why you are different from them all.

Taking as an example the competition slide coming from a Facebook pitch you can notice how the competitors are always shown with no fear but in an intelligent manner.

Facebook competition matrix – Startup pitch structure

 

As a matter of fact, two critical variables are identified for which Facebook is different: the Private dimension and entertainment. Facebook is located in the top right corner in the matrix.

Obviously in the pitch it is up to you, as entrepreneur, to motivate the fact that your positioning has the right potential to conquer the market in the most effective/efficient way than your active competitors.

Another interesting consideration concerns the overseas competitors.

You could show that a competitor with a very similar model is having success in a geographical area that is different but comparable for its characteristics, this is a very interesting strategy that will allow to reduce the risk the investor will perceive.

In the end, remember that does not matter being the only one, but being the only one able to do things in a certain manner.

Having competitors is a healthy thing for a company; it means that you are heading the right way.

Being the only product or service on the market is not the point but being the only one able to solve the problem in a certain way is what you need to look for.

You shall be the one to introduce an original solution much better than the existing ones.

This is the reason why you should always show your ranking compared to competitors.

In the introduction and launch of the first iPhone in 2007, Steve Jobs said

Telephones on the market today are not smart, and are absolutely not easy to use. The smartphones are a bit too smart, but are not easy to use because of their plastic keyboard. We have invented a smart telephone, extremely easy to use.

Steve jobs places the iPhone compared to its competitors – Startup pitch structure

The way he introduced the iPhone is direct, and very effective too. Without figures and complex charts, Steve Jobs identified the strongest diversification points of his new product, and placed it in relation to all the others.

In the case of telephones, everyone knew the competitors at the time, and everyone knew the existence of mobile phones, so this matrix was easy to understand.

However, the most interesting thing is that it makes it plain how the market is structured, and why this product is unique compared to the others.

As you can see, Jobs was not scared to show a very populated market. He did not invent the phone, he reinvented it!

Go to Market

The best innovation, the best product or service will fail if people won’t be aware of it and won’t become its user.

Many times I hear people saying:” soon it  will be online and you will see, everyone will get on our website because it is brilliant and there are none like that” and then see pale faced entrepreneurs in front of not visited websites.

Any project shall overcome technological challenges proportioned to the innovation level we intend to develop.

However, any enterprise shall have to clash with the harsh reality of the market.

How shall I bring this product into the hands of my potential customers and how will I be sure that they would buy it?

Take into consideration the fact that, as trivial as it may sound, this is one of the points that is causing the most number of failures among the startups.

The challenge starts from the fact that nobody really knows how to develop a winning go to market until he will try that.

However, trying is expensive and quite often the cost becomes lethal.

However, the part pertaining the aggression to the market has historically be one of the success keys that would make the difference.

Think of Google that when was born was certainly not alone, among its competitors there were some already working to solve the same problem. Then Google came out and maybe we have a distant memory of all the other ones nowadays.

Google competitors who disappeared – Startup pitch structure

How do you intend so to develop your idea’s marketing strategy?

One of the best examples to make the point comes from the Airbnb pitch deck.

Airbnb Go-to-market – Startup pitch structure

In the Go-to-market section, what they call adoption strategy presents three market approach strategies:

  • the first one is connecting to accommodate tourists on the occasion of great events,
  • the second one exploits strategic partnerships, and the third strategy is the Go-to-market technique that has become famous as one of the most brilliant growth hacks in the history of digital start-up.

At the beginning, Airbnb had to overcome the problem of balance between supply and demand.

Concerning the supply, usually this is simple because entering apartments in the system is just a matter of a few clicks.

The real challenge is to bring these apartments to the attention of travelers that were looking for an alternative to hotels.

At the time, in the absence of Aribnb, a portal people used to search for accommodation was a Craigslist portal, where homeowners posted an advertisement related to their apartment, and people looking for an accommodation for the duration of their trip could contact them.

Craigslist was not managing any transactions happening outside the platform, but it had a huge user database to advertise to.

So, the Airbnb team developed an algorithm that allowed the homeowner posting his apartment on Airbnb to share his post automatically on Craigslist.

That post on Craigslist then had a link that interested users could use to land on Airbnb, where they could then manage the transaction.

In practice, they were stealing traffic from Craigslist in order to pass it to Airbnb.

This operation has allowed Airbnb an explosive growth, and when Craigslist stepped in to block this mechanism, it was too late.

Besides the fact that this story is extremely fascinating from my viewpoint, and I am inviting you to look into it further online, the reason I tell you that is to show you that you will rarely find a standard Go-to-market that someone else has realized, and that you can simply replicate for success.

There are too many variables involved that influence any company to make a sure and general plan.

The context of the business, the time it operates, its team, the market, etc.

The only way to find your own route is by testing and measuring the results.

Depending on what is happening, you will learn and react, often in a very creative way.

Airbnb presents, concisely, the key elements of its market access strategy, which will solve the main challenges of their business model: the acquisition of apartments and advertising visibility.

Team

If you have a good idea and a poor team your failure is ensured, if instead you have a poor idea and a brilliant team, your idea will be refined or abandoned and your team will create a better one

Ed Catmull, Founder Pixar & President at Walt Disney

Holy words, thanks Ed!

The importance of people – Startup pitch structure

We often hear said that people make the difference and this is true even more in the entrepreneurial projects with high innovation impact.

A good team consists of professionals that have complementary abilities.

For instance, if you are developing a webapp, you may have someone that is taking care of the business development and someone else that takes care of the technical development.

This way you will have someone that takes care of creating the webapp, programming it, and who takes care of attracting traffic and develop the go-to-market.

Clearly if you are developing a webapp and all the team members have a business profile, no one will be able to develop the solution and so you will have to look for some freelancer help.

So you will keep on burning cash for core activities that shall be developed at home.

I am not saying that you won’t be successful, I believe that your project will be perceived as being riskier and so considered to be less interesting by the investors.

It is important to do business with people you are trusting but it shall also be considered to build up your team around professional people the business needs.

Are you wondering how to show your team when presenting your pitch?

The first thing is to be able to communicate who is doing what and what is the reason because he/she is part of the team.

Let’s take Buffer’s pitch for instance.

Team slide from Buffer – Startup pitch structure

Joel Gascoigne is one of the co-founders and has the ability proven by his expertise, to make the business model work.

My advice is to positively exploits any possible advisors or other investors but maintaining them carefully separated from the operational team.

Finally let me give you the advice to use photos that would offer a face and personality as well as the character of your team members. 

Financial Projections

Planning of the financial resources is crucial for the sustainment of the business in the middle and long run.

All the companies that fail have a common cause of failure: they have exhausted their financial resources

Don Valentine, Sequoia Capital

Entrepreneurs should have the ability to plan their business to manage it in a rational manner with a long period perspective, to not be influenced by everyday events, and to make the company look interesting to the investors’ eyes.

Calculating the financial forecasts requires time, and to maintain them, you will need it time again—especially when following the quick evolution dynamics of a start-up.

If you are thinking of the big table of the profits account, projected in 5 years, you are quite wrong!

5 Years P&L – Startup pitch structure

As a matter of fact, it is true that you shall properly file the numbers and carefully achieve the future economic-financial forecasts, but it won’t absolutely be required to show all the numbers in details in a pitch presentation.

First, you shall consider that the investors are sensitive to the economics generally superior and more accurate than the entrepreneurs and this will cause awkward questions that in some case, may even interrupt your presentation.

Moreover, in those few minutes when you are presenting you may easily feel frantic and maybe not being able to remember all the details of the assumptions made in order to achieve a certain number, so you may end up looking as an entrepreneur that is not prepared on his own numbers.

In general, in this moment of your pitch you shall always be able to convey information to the investor: the extent of your business ambition, it is not the district shop but a new potentially disruptive business model for world level industry.

So, from the financial projections, the very first thing you can retrieve is the business ambition and potential.

As a matter of fact, considering that the outcome will be for sure overstated by the entrepreneur, we can say that the numbers shown will be considered as a maximum limit that will be hardly achieved.

From this view point I am telling you to show yourself ambitious but always a careful to keep your feet on the ground and keep in mind the difference between ambitious estimates and unlikely ones.

An effective way to show this section consists of an EBITDA chart.

Show your ambition – Startup pitch structure

Show ambition and do not hold back.

This is one of the features your financial plan should meet.

In fact, as I continue to say, we are all aware of the low probability of long-range forecasts, which allow you to plant your flag on a result you would like to achieve.

If you are presenting a startup whose goal is to realize 80K€ at its fifth year, with 4 years of negative results before breaking even (reach a point in a business venture when the profits are equal to the costs), it will probably not be an interesting startup for an investor.

Research shows that the human brain reacts much better to the funding dimension than to the risk connected to it.

In short, large numbers, even with the potential and high risk, attract the investors’ attention much easier than small numbers.

Don’t be scared to be ambitious.

If you need an important funding boost, that would imply the intervention of an investment fund, you should present a suitable financial plan.

Finally, don’t forget to mention when the project foresees the break-even to happen.

It’s true that you want to attract investors on ambitious figures, but you are always working to mitigate their risk.

Show the break even point – Startup pitch structure

Finally,  during the pitch, you don’t want interested investors stuck on the financial projections slide with detailed questions on the calculations.

Your goal consists of finishing the presentation as fast as possible.

Avoid projecting all the details with a table, and it will also help you avoid uncomfortable questions.

My advice is to keep the slide with the table either hidden or held as backup (recommended read: the definitive guide to presenting data in PowerPoint).

It could be useful if, having finished the presentation, more detailed questions are asked of you.

Fund Raising Request

Making an excellent presentation means getting to the end really involving the audience and so being ready to advance the request to adopt your idea and, in the event of a pitch for doing financial fund raising.

Consider this moment like the moment when a customer visiting an Amazon page clicks on the buy now button.

Pay attention though!

Very hardly a pitch presentation will ever be sufficient to get funding.

It will for sure critical in order to be known and to continue your financial path (except for tenders).

In any case the goal consists of interesting the investors to continue, if not financing you directly, to deepen the knowledge of your business.

If you have worked well so far, this is the moment of advancing the financing request showing the amount you are looking for, the progress report of the fund raising, and the allocations envisaged by the required funds.

Clarify your funding request – Startup pitch structure

For example, Fittr’s slide clearly shows the application, and then lists how the funding collected will be invested.

Fittr shows how will the funding be allocated – Startup pitch structure

My suggestion is to add another step and show the allocation percentages. This way, you will show the balance with which you will allocate the funding, giving a different importance to the various parts.

Show investment allocations – Startup pitch structure

Always remember to end any presentation with an explicit request.

After all, if you showed it to some people you have done that because you wanted them to do something. So never forget to ask them that.

If you won’t need upcoming funding or if you are simply looking for something else, like for instance a strategic partnership, do not hesitate to request that explicitly.

Remember that all the efforts you have made so far will only have been done to position yourself in the best conditions to advance such request.

Roadmap

One of the investors greatest worries is to follow the trend of his investments portfolio.

That is because, in turn, he shall account for the investors that financed the fund.

This is a difficult job because any startup has different timings, different metrics and different people that operate there.

This is the reason that managing the expectations and being ready to commit yourself on some milestones will certainly reassure the investor and allow you to finish in style your presentation.

In this event, you can use a timeline like chart model but pay attention to only report the time period when you plan to use the funding.

So, avoid presenting a twenty years roadmap when you well know that in a startup even one year can completely overturn your business performance.

Buffer, in a very simple way, has combined products development elements (Launch of the web app, launch of the API) with the users growth and the impact on revenue.

Buffer’s roadmap slide – Startup pitch structure

This slide gives an insight that by launching the API, it will be possible to integrate the product with external applications and therefore we will set our goal in realizing 50 applications by December 2011.

Thanks to this strategy, 100k users and $288k in revenue is expected by 2012.

The growth will then go on in an aggressive way with farsighted out come from January 2013 of the following years.

Pay attention also that some of the dates are marked in grey and others in green.

This difference leads one to think that some represent milestones already achieved, others have yet to be achieved.

I believe it to be quite effective to show the outcome achieved and how they are functional to the achievement of the following ones.

By showing the outcome already achieved, it will look more credible for the start-up to achieve all the following steps.

Conclusion

Then importance of communicating your project with an effective pitch presentation is vital. Do not overlook the pitching activity because it is one of the few activities that you won’t be able to delegate.

In order to create an effective pitch, it won’t be sufficient to be good at PowerPoint.  Behind a pitch presentation of a project as you saw there are many challenges to overcome.

Prepare yourself for improve your public speaking and use this article to fill up your presentation in an orderly way and with the right level of contents.

Sources

Startup pitch deck: the ultimate guide to create a brilliant startup pitch presentation

Unique Value Proposition – Harvard Business School

Startup Pitch – The ultimate guide to creating a brilliant startup pitch presentation and win funding

Airbnb – The growth story unveiled

The neuroscience of investing: fMRI of the reward system

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