2009 Venture Capital Investor Pitch Deck Outline

please see the updated and combined post HERE.

I shared this outline with the Capital Factory last night; I’ll add both example slides and descriptions / discussion for each slide sometime very soon. Also note this earlier post regarding “what to ask” your potential Venture Capital partner.  Makes sense to read that while you’re creating your investor deck; I probably need to update that post as well.  The posts that follow this one will basically discuss a sample pitch deck that you can use as a prototype for creating your own.

High-level guidelines:

  • Create your own deck!  Create a deck that allows you to tell your story according to your style; name the slides what you want; tell your story with text or pictures (within reason)
  • Don’t leave out critical information!  This outline is my suggestion of a “critical information” list;  no rational investor will fund your company without knowing the information suggested by this outline.
  • Proactively answer big-ticket questions!  If there are obvious, elephant-in-the-room sort of questions regarding your business: address them before they get asked.  This is always a better way to go.
  • Be passionate and informed!  Investors invest in the team – show them your passion and be sure to know data from adjacent or competitive markets, companies, and models.

The Pitch Deck Outline (each slide links to example)

1.  Title Slide

  • The get everyone in the room and sitting down slide;  Don’t roll forward from here until you have everyone in the room and paying attention if you can help it.

2.  Agenda + Company Overview

  • Make sure you’re covering what they want to cover; ask if you’re missing anything before launching into the pitch
  • This is also the slide to give a quick summary of your company.  This summary is important because it will give any other partners at the firm you talking to a “snap shot” of you’re company after you’re gone; it’s helpful for other partners in the firm to have at-a-glace info on what you do, in what market, company details, and so on.

3.     Market + Market Context

  • Why is your market interesting?  Are there any compelling dynamics currently at play?
  • How do you fit in?  This can help set up your unique competitive advantage / “secret sauce” slide.

4.  One-slide company overview: THE SLIDE

  • In many cases, your entire pitch will be an interactive conversation while sitting on a single slide; this should be that slide.
  • Done right, this allows you to describe what you do, who you do it for, why that’s important and your vision for the future.

5.  Business Model; How we make money

  • How, exactly, does your company make money?  Do you have any examples of this working so far?
  • Does any part of your business act as a “loss leader” for another, more valuable part?
  • Do you have two models running simultaneously?  is that good or bad & why?  Make sure you clearly describe and delineate between them…and hopefully describe how they benefit and support each.

6.  Progress, Mile stones, look into the future

  • What you’ve accomplished so far?
  • What you plan to do in the near future?  In what timeframe?

7.  Competition & your company’s “Secret Sauce”

  • You relative to others in your space.
  • The question that you must answer well:  if your company is successful, how will you defend its business from competitors who see your success and want some or all of it for themselves? What can you do differently? What can you do uniquely and realistically for how long?  What CAN’T (or is really really hard to) be duplicated? What is your special tech, model, process, team advantage or unique solution?

8.  Current Partners, Customers & Pipeline

  • Who are you working with today?  Who will be your customer tomorrow?
  • How, exactly, do you acquire customers?  How much does it cost to acquire them?   What is your average deal size?  How could your business increase the average deal size?   What is the average deal size of other companies in this same market?  Does this information align with the Market Size / Market Context data from Slide #3 ? (hint: it should)  Once you have a customer, can you sell them MORE stuff more easily?  Why / why not / how much / when will you have it to sell?  What is the expected life-time value of a customer (be careful to think about this relative to the cost to acquire a customer)?

9.   Financial Details (revenue, expense, HC, projections)

  • What is your current and future headcount (this equates to your burn rate as headcount is almost always the biggest expense)?
  • what is your current monthy/quarterly burn rate and how does that ramp over time?
  • what is your current revenue and how does that ramp over time?
  • How quickly are you approaching a cash-flow breakeven point?
  • What’s your revenue run-rate 12 months from now?  What’s the net loss / gain over the same period?

10.  Funding “ask” + use of proceeds (timing, other firms)

11.  Team Overview (yes; I added a new slide in the outline as of July 28th)

11.  Thank you, questions, contact info (no example slide)

yes; i know there are 11 12 slides. much more detail soon.


3 Responses

  1. […] Deck: The first two slides In THIS post, I outlined the high-level flow for an investor pitch deck that, in my opinion, covered the […]

  2. Thanks 🙂

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