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The Venture Capitalist Pitch Deck: The Ask and the Deal

You must ask for investment during your pitch. Doing so can feel uncomfortable the first time, but keep in mind that investors spend most of their time with people who are asking for money. It doesn’t faze them; it’s part of their jobs.

As part of the ask, you should tell investors the following information:

  • How much money you’re raising

  • How much equity you’re offering (for an equity investment)

  • What interest rate and discount percentage you’re offering (for convertible debt)

  • How much of the round has been committed

  • What the money you’re raising will be used to accomplish

  • How long the investment capital will last (your burn rate)

  • How much money you will need overall to get to profitability

Your ask should include an invitation for those in the audience to discuss the deal and the project further after the pitch. You can also invite them to take an executive summary handout or to join your online due diligence materials folder. Here’s what you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t raise your voice an octave and tell venture capitalists about your amazing opportunity. They’ll judge for themselves whether it’s a good opportunity or not.

  • Don’t try to close the deal in your pitch. If you ask for a show of hands for those interested in investing with you, you’ll be met with blank stares and awkward silence. Private equity simply doesn’t work that way.

Act matter-of-factly when talking about your fundraising round. Investors are used to dealing with people who need money. They may invest with you and they may not. If you accept that this is just one of many conversations with investors, then you will embody the appropriate balance of nonchalance and hope.

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