As an entrepreneur, innovator, or a business owner, your next logical step after getting your idea out of its theoretical development phase is to get funds to get it off the ground. While finding investors is hard enough, impressing them and getting them to support your idea is harder.
So, how do you get an investor on board with your product? What are the important aspects of a pitch deck from the point of view of an investor? What are the must-haves of a presentation? To answer all these questions and more, GUSEC organised a session on the requisites of Pitch Deck and invited Ms. Nidhi Saraf, an Angel Investor, and the Founder & CEO of Key Venture, a startup advisory fund.
Ms. Saraf started off the session by saying how even when you have a great product and a commendable team, you may sometimes struggle to get your first investor. She says that an entrepreneur should have a presentation ready not just for their investors but also for customers, clients, and internal discussions, and make sure that the correct storyline reaches your investors.
Tips for during the Presentation
- A presentation is a tool for conversation, don’t read from it. Instead, put bullet points and elaborate on them while you give the presentation. Keep a consistent PPT, and prepare it in a way that anyone can understand it, even in your absence.
- One thing that most founders lack is the essentials of good storytelling. The onus lies on the startup founders to explain their story to the investors as it helps them understand the product better. Nidhi recommends the viewers to check out International Toastmaster, a platform that teaches people ways of effective storytelling, public speaking, and the essentials of communication.
- Every investor looks for the following parameters in terms of information: sales & marketing, revenue, problem & solution statement, competition, market slides, distribution, etc. You should be able to present this data in the form of a coherent storyline.
- Why a Presentation and not a Document? A presentation helps ventures present things in a smaller and effective way with minimal graphics, charts, etc. which is an easier and more powerful way to convey a story.
ESSENTIALS OF A GOOD PRESENTATION
- Keep it simple
- Avoid transition and animation in slides
- Use good graphics and appropriate charts. Include all information in bullets.
- Do not put more than 24 slides
- Use a consistent color scheme and font. The continuity that is required to capture a concept is lost when you keep changing colours and fonts.
- Present your information metrics in a tabular format. Make them thorough but not too long.
- If your idea is too out of the box, expect more questions for the simple reason that investors want to understand your venture.
CONTENTS OF AN IDEAL PRESENTATION DECK
- Your presentation should have a well-narrated storyline. It should include a description of your team members. Investors don’t invest in a venture, but in its team in terms of their work, diligence, & experience. Mention the key roles they play in the venture, their awards, and recognitions.
- Problem and Solution statements. Show out of the box thinking, but one which is achievable.
- Your target market: offerings, target customers, and demographics. This helps investors define their spending power, and is a good exercise for entrepreneurs which defines how they can achieve their sizable goals.
- Market size, the potential to grow in the future, and the key revenue and cost drivers controlling your venture.
- Competitive Analysis and USP, Sales, Distribution & Marketing strategy, and Revenue Streams. If you have this in place, half your battle is won. You’re clear about your product positioning, which convinces the investors who then ask you more relevant questions instead of just firing questions about your venture.
- Your current traction: MVP/POC. (current stage of business). The number of customers, clients, and revenue. This is where you’ll need to refer to your numbers in the previous point.
- Your future roadmap. This shows how aggressive you are with respect to your thought processes.
- Past financials and future projections. Include at least the last 2-year future projections. Revenue and cost drivers, and gross profit/loss & net profit/loss.
- State your fund requirement, the amount you’ve raised in the past/currently.
- Include a description of risks and mitigations, but only if you are thorough with your research.
- How can I find/analyse a market size? Are there any online websites or tools that can be resourceful?
- What are the things I should avoid showcasing during pitch deck?
- What is that one slide that a startup should focus on from the POV of an investor?
- Does making a loss in the initial days of a new startup affect their pitch deck?
- What is the right way to approach an investor- email/LinkedIn/referral?
For answers to these questions, and the detailed components of an ideal pitch deck, watch the entire session here!