One of my friends just launched a specialized baking business. She’s been on the lookout for investors to help her get her operation off the ground. Very recently, she got wind of a local contest where startups could pitch their business idea to seasoned investors. The winners would collect investment dollars. (Think Shark Tank, on a smaller, local scale.)
My friend is an experienced baker, but the world of marketing and pitching to investors is completely foreign to her. And somewhat terrifying. When she asked me for advice on how to pitch the investors, I shared three simple tips with her:
- Keep it brief. At a first meeting, investors aren’t looking for the kitchen sink. They want to know if your idea is worth further consideration.
- Answer key questions investors have.
- Present your story in a way that grabs their attention.
At first glance, it’s hard to imagine designing a presentation that meets all three of these objectives. In this post and the accompanying deck, I’ll show you the 11 slides you’ll need in your investor presentation.
1. The Problem
Describe the problem you’re solving. Tell it like a story. Your goal is to draw them in, to make them empathize.
2. The Solution
Outline how you solve the problem. To quote Guy Kawasaki, what is the ‘underlying magic’ of your solution? What is your ‘secret sauce’?
3. Market Validation
How can you convince your audience that there’s demand for your offering? Try to provide clear evidence of the problem you’re solving.
4. The Business Model
How will you make money? Do you have multiple revenue streams? Which? Is there a simple way to explain how you’ll hit your revenue targets?
Recognize your competitors & share your plans to beat them. What are their top-level strengths & weaknesses? Would-be investors will be reassured that you’ve done your homework and that you have a plan of attack.
6. Competitive Edge
What key advantages do you offer? How will you differentiate yourself? Can you draft a positioning grid that places you in its sweet spot?
7. Marketing Plan
What’s your plan for acquiring customers and generating revenue? What can you share about partnerships, key events, distribution channels, etc.?
8. The Team
Highlight the members of your team. How do you complement each other? What makes your team the most qualified to solve the problem at hand?
Share your expectations for future revenue growth. Investors want to see traction.
How much money do you need, and when? More importantly, how will you use the funds? Investors want to see that their funds will be put to good use and offer a good return.
This is your summary. Why should they invest in you, rather than in another business? What are the next steps?
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Over To You
How about you? What’s your experience with pitching to investors? Have I left out any important facets of that first meeting? I’d love to hear about your experience! Please share in the comments below.