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The Venture Capitalist Pitch Deck: An Overview of Your Company

Your goal with your pitch deck is to tell a powerful story to your potential investors. With the company overview, you create a context for your message. After you have set the context, you can start getting into the details about your company. Put your company in a conceptual box so your audience knows very basically who you are.

Give venture capitalists the 500,000 foot view of your company by saying, “We are a software company,” “We make medical devices,” or “Our company makes educational toys.”

This tactic may seem as though you are stating the obvious, but this simple, declarative statement lets you make sure that the audience doesn’t mistake you for a different kind of company. If audience members are confused upfront, half your pitch may go by before they get straightened out. Think of all the information they’ll miss!

After putting your company in a conceptual box, you need to tell the listeners what exactly you do. Very clearly. This is much harder than you think.

To be totally sure that your message is clear, talk to people who don’t know your industry or your company. Tell them in two or three sentences what you do. Ask them to use their own words to describe your company. Until they get it right, you haven’t gotten it right.

Some companies describe themselves by saying that they are the X for Y: “We are the Facebook for Airline Pilots” for example, or “We are the Big O Tires for bicycles.” If you use this method be careful that you aren’t diverting attention away from your own company and confusing the audience more.

As part of the company overview, you can also mention a little about your company history if doing so gives you clout. Some companies have an impressive lineage to tout, and doing this upfront can set the tone for the rest of the talk. If your company has spun out of a well-respected company, share this information as part of the company overview.

Similarly, if two founders came from high-level positions in well-known companies and joined up to create your company, you want to flaunt that powerful history. If you can point to a household name (think Microsoft, Nestle, Wal-Mart, or Toyota) and say, “We came from there,” do it early.

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