Start Out with GREAT Pitch Materials

Getting your company noticed and considered for funding is a daunting task.  Venture firms and angel investors receive hundreds of submissions and standing out among the crowd isn’t easy.  However, by presenting great pitch materials that are organized, well thought out and customized for your company, your chances of succeeding increase dramatically.

There are many templates, examples, theories and opinions on how to prepare an effective presentation but there really is no “perfect formula” that fits all businesses.  Your materials have to be customized for the specific business you have and for the type of potential investors you want to reach.  There are some standards that should be included in all Pitch Presentations and we will take a little bit about each one of these here.

  1. Company Overview – This is your first impression to potential investors and should be a short (no more than 1 page) summary that describes your company and what the investment opportunity is.  It should include a brief overview of the problem your business wants to solve, why your company can solve this problem, how much funding you are looking for and how you will use the funding.  Think of it as your “elevator speech”, a quick, to the point description that you would be able to get across to a potential investor while riding the elevator to your destination.  It needs to be well-written, well-organized and brief.
  2. Executive Summary – This is basically a 3-page summary of your Business Plan.  Think of it as an outline for your business plan and should have a short summary of the topic being outlined.  This summary should give potential investors the basic info they need to determine whether your company is solving a problem that exists and if they agree that your company is the best company to solve it.  They also want to see what your estimated market size is, who your competitors are, an overview of the management of the company and the amount of funding being requested and what milestones you are expecting to hit with that funding.  Most investors don’t have the time to read a full business plan (check out our Blog “Do I really need a business plan to raise capital?” for more information) so this, along with a PowerPoint Deck, gives the investors the info they need in condensed format.
  3. Financial Model – Your Financial Model is easily one of the most important documents you can include in your Pitch Materials and a well-designed financial model gives investors insights into how you think when it comes to your business.  Many times the Financial Model serves as the final tipping point for investor decisions.  They offer an insight into how your company runs, the projected growth, customer acquisition costs and more.  A cohesive, well-organized Financial Model that contains the type of information that investors are looking for can be arduous task for many business owners, after all you started your business to provide the product or service that you know about, financials may not be your best area.  Hiring a professional help you create the best Financial Model for your business is probably one of the smartest decisions you can make in creating your pitch materials.
  4. PowerPoint Deck – A PowerPoint deck is essentially a marketing document and so it should have all the same attributes that good marketing pieces have, including the ability to rise above all the other noise that’s out there.  This is an essential graphical overview of your business plan.  It is not really something that is intended to be read line by line but it is more like a “backdrop” for your presentation.  It should be easy to read and capture the viewer’s attention with relevant graphs, images, metaphors, words and well-thought out designs. The general rule of thumb is that a PowerPoint Presentation should follow the 10/20/30 rule.  For more information on this rule, check out our Blog “Do I really need a business plan to raise capital?”. 

In order to create the best Pitch Materials for your business, don’t be afraid to ask for help from professionals who specialize in these items.  After all, having a well-designed, well-thought out presentation can be the difference between getting funded and getting passed over.

If you like this information, you’ll really like “Top 10 Mistakes That Cause Investors to Shoot Down Deals”.

About the author:  David Brode is the Principal of the Brode Group. An economist by training, Brode has over two decades of experience helping ventures develop and communicate business strategies through financial models so they can launch, grow, and sell businesses.  Brode’s financial forecasting models have been through due diligence dozens of times and have been successful in securing over $11 billion in financing for projects worldwide.  Brode has a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Michigan.