The best pitch decks don’t feel like they were created for the benefit of venture capitalists. They feel like an outgrowth of the work the startup is already doing.The best pitch decks portray:
- This is what we are doing.
- This is how we are going to do it.
- We can do it better if we get some money in.
- This thing is going to happen with or without you.
- Are you in or are you out?
They have a feeling of inevitability about them. This team knows their shit. They are going to do this. Someone will fund them. If we don’t fund them, we’ll lose the deal.
This means that the majority of the content of the pitch deck should be content that the startup already has. Not content they created to impress investors.I help a lot of people with their pitch decks. Many of them, once they get an investor meeting on the calendar, scramble to put together a story:
- What is our business model?
- Who is our competition?
- What is our go-to-market?
They anticipate these questions coming from the VCs, so they scramble to put together compelling answers.You don’t need answers to these question to impress VCs. You need the answers because you need the answers.
If you are throwing together answers to these questions purely to placate an investor, that means you don’t know the answers. It also means that you think the kind of annoying questions VCs ask, like “what is your sales model?” and “what is your lead generation strategy?” are just annoying investor speak and are not 90% of how you should be spending your time anyway.
A VC will not ask you a single question that you shouldn’t have come up with on your own, and if you don’t already have solid answers to them, you aren’t ready to raise money.
VCs can sniff out the difference between entrepreneurs who are asking permission to start their business vs. ones who know their shit and will do it with or without them.
Treat VC as a means to an end, not as the people you need to ask permission to before you can start your business. Investors respond to that and are likely to jump on board.