You never have a second chance to make a good first impression, so you should always be prepared to pitch your "cause" to potential investors, partners or clients. You may want to pitch a brand new idea, a project that is already under way or just yourself. Regardless of what you want to pitch you should always keep in mind what is your target. What do you want to achieve? More investments? Strategic partnerships? New markets?
There is a bunch of resources out there for you and many videos to watch on how to present your project and your team. In this post we try to provide some key points and insights to create a successful pitch.
This is especially important for companies that participate in the SME Instrument since they need to be able to demonstrate their business model at any time and it may even become necessary in the future calls (no inside information here).
One of the best resources on how to pitch is Guy Kawasaki's blog and a post that became almost the golden standard in pitching: "The only 10 slides you need". A simple search in Google will provide plenty of other articles which come into the same conclusions:
- No more than 10-12 slides
- Tell a story (create an engaging narrative)
- Only one idea per slide
- Keep it short
- Do your homework (Know your data)
- Be honest
In principle the pitch should communicate the following ideas (remember: only one idea per slide):
- Introduction: Title, Names, Logo, Tag line.
- Problem: What is the problem you are solving.
- Market: Who is your customer. What is the total market size and how do you position your company within the market?
- Solution: How are you solving the problem? Technology, Business idea, new services.
- Business Model: How are you earning money? What are the costs? Explain your revenue model. How are you going to charge?
- Competition: How is the problem addressed today? What is the landscape? Where you fit in?
- Current Status: Where are you today? Do you have a prototype? What is your timeline? Have you secured investments for next steps?
- Market Strategy: How are you going to reach your potential customers?
- Financials: Show some data. Sales forecast, profit and loss statement, and cash flow forecast for at least three years.
- Team: Present your team. Key players, advisors. Highlight their successes and achievements.
You may change the sequence if you feel that it supports your narrative in a better way or maybe split one slide into 2 in case you have a very important message to convene (e.g. like the photo of a prototype). In any case stick to under 12 slides.
Keep in mind that although not all pitches are the same and you should adapt your pitch to the specific need.
Some of the best available resources to get you started are:
- Improve Presentation: An excellent graphic introduction to pitch decks (free) and many templates (paid).
- Best Startup Pitch Decks: Some examples from the best.
- Slidebean: More examples and templates through an online service.
- Konsus: 35 best cases of 2017.
- Attach.io: Yet another site with examples and templates.
- Bplans:11 slides you need to have
- Your Exec: a number of extensive templates for you to choose with plenty of graphic elements.