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Jul 2, 201911:24 AMOpen Mic

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How to build a VC pitch deck that smells of money

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As a new entrepreneur, you’ve been building your startup for months, and now you’re ready to start pitching to the venture capital community. You may be ready, but is your pitch deck? Are you sure you have the right elements to attract a VC? It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this checklist with you to make sure your pitch deck has what it takes to get investor’s attention and make you look like a professional.

What’s going on?

If you’re presenting to investors, you don’t have the luxury of time. By the time you fire up that slide deck, you’d better get to the point fast. How fast? You have two slides. 

If you were a stranger, would you know what the heck is going on by the time you presented the first two slides? The first two slides of your deck should compel investors to pay attention. They should quickly reveal: What you’re talking about and what space you’re in. If that hasn’t yet been communicated, you’re wasting time.

Fix that funky name and logo

Did you name your company after the stray kitten your kids brought home? Unless you’re running a pet-centric startup, there’s no reason to choose an eccentric name for your startup. A professional, compelling, or relevant name goes a long way with investors and the public. Many startups have the most mysterious startup names, for no reason other than, “we couldn’t think of anything else.” Nothing makes investors think, “we can take a high percentage of this company,” like an off-putting name and logo ruining the image of a potentially otherwise great startup.

Take the time to create a name, logo, and tagline that is unified and supportive of your brand. This will help you stand out and help investors take your pitch more seriously. It will pay off to do this homework.

The market problem, aka potential

Right now, people and businesses are suffering because they don’t have what your startup offers. Note: If the world is fine without your product, it may be time to rethink your business.

Find creative ways to quantify and visualize the market problem. If this is too broad, focus the market problem to your top three prospective industries. Investors want to see that there is a real-world problem you’re solving. Solving problems is lucrative, and it’s essential to make this a central component of your pitch deck.

Who is your market?

Clearly spell out who your market is. Don’t just get into the demographics, get into the psychographics. Know what affects your market’s decisions. Know what they believe. Know what they value. Know what keeps them up at night. The more you know your market, the better your solution will be.

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