I have enjoyed playing leadership roles on teams that have raised over $150 million of capital through numerous channels including angel, venture capital/VC, public reverse takeover, and private placement.
I have also been an angel investor for 10 years and I am currently part of a VC group that has deployed over $500 million in venture capital.
Common problems with early stage venture pitch decks:
Broadly: They lack clarity; they don’t quickly capture the imagination; they don’t reinforce confidence in the founder’s expertise; and, the flow of the story is too hard to follow.
More specifically: they deliver the wrong story and focus on the wrong metrics for the stage of investment; they lack alignment between the market opportunity, the company/team, and the use of proceeds; the market sizing and total addressable market (TAM) is hard to understand or misinterpreted; they don’t address the objectives that new capital will aim to deliver; they don’t balance short term and long term opportunities; and, the financial presentation is too detailed or too high level. There are many more pitfalls that can quickly ruin the pitch of a great opportunity.
No presentation is perfect day one. They all improve the more they are pitched, and the more they receive useful feedback. However, a common challenge is that every investor you pitch seems to have a slightly different opinion on how to best pitch your business. Whose advice do you follow?
If you are constantly receiving this type of feedback, then the conversation is focused on pitch development style instead of the strategy. When your strategy lacks clarity and has misalignment, the focus turns to trying to help you pitch better as opposed to trying to help your strategy. This is the investor trying to understand. If an investor gives you the opportunity to explain, you can’t lose the opportunity to excite him or her about you, your product, your strategy, and your vision. You can reverse this, I can help.
I look at pitch decks every day, and I’m happy to look at yours. We can review a component of your pitch or the entire approach. What’s your real challenge?