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Pitching Your Deal to Venture Capital Investors

Part of the Venture Capital For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Talking with venture capital investors about your company is different than having a discussion with potential clients or customers. Investors want to know how you will make money for your company and subsequently for them. To impress these investors, be prepared with sophisticated materials that communicate your company, product, and plans for the future. In short, you have to get across that you are the founder that investors want to work with for the next three to seven years. Your task is to show that your team is capable of driving your company to success through integrity, hard work, and adaptability. You do that by creating a pitch deck.

The pitch deck is the visual slide presentation that acts as a backdrop to your oral presentation. When you are presenting your deal in person, the pitch deck should be clean and nearly wordless. After all, the images (typically infographics) serve to reinforce your oral presentation. However, you may not present your deal in person. In that case, a pitch deck can also be a PowerPoint file that you e-mail to investors. For this pitch deck, the slides must be self explanatory. (Yes, plan on creating more than one deck!)

All investor pitch decks for early-stage companies should include information about these topics:

  • Company overview and the problem your product or service solves

  • Your business model

  • Your target market and marketing strategy

  • The risks and barriers to entry your company must overcome

  • The size of your industry and your company's growth potential

  • Your team

  • Your exit strategy

  • Your valuation story

  • The ask, when you ask for investment from those in the audience

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