Getting funding is always a top challenge for many tech start-ups.
Business advisors I interview never fail to point out that majority of IT entrepreneurs may be geniuses when it comes to technology but require heavy hand holding when it comes to finding venture capital, marketing and managing their business. Business mentors emphasize how critical it is to do a credible business presentation before potential investors.
Anyone who has watched the popular CBC program Dragons’ Den, is familiar with the fantastic flame outs that start-up founders endure when their presentations crash.
Recently, I read a post on Tech Crunch by Tim Young , founder of Socialcast , who related how he was able to raise VC money totaling $10 million with a just a five-deck slide presentation.
Young says when he goes before a panel of investors he is usually given 30 minutes to an hours at the most. “The worst thing you could do is open up a presentation that says page 1 of 30,” he said.
Here’s an excerpt his 5-slide framework:
He starts with his title slide
Slide 1: Company Snapshot
Containing a quick view of the people currently involved including: Founders, Investors (Angels, Friends and family, etc.), Key Employees & Advisors, Financials (Money raised if any & amount of funding desired), Technology used (Does not need to be specific), and Customers
Slide 2: The Numbers
The numerical story of the company such as revenue if any (also net income, current monthly burn).
Slide 3: The Timeline (aka The Money Slide)
The most difficult slide to prepare but most vital one, says Young. “I have known 5 other startups in the past 6 months who have used this slide type and all have been successful in raising capital,” he says.
This slide sets the trend pattern and powerful narrative that will reveal where believe your company is headed. IN this example Young used the actual slide from his Socialcast deck.
Blank Slide: Product Demo
During presentations, you will often get questions about your current or previous slide. Use this slide to keep the audience focused on you.
Slide 4: Traction / Customer Overview
Slide 5: Where we are going
This lists the top 3 priorities the company is currently focusing> Make sure it includes how you think investors can help. These are all talking points for your pitch.
Of course, Young points out, you should always carry with you a set of supporting slides that explain your business in greater detail. Just in case your audience asks for more info.
For Young’s full story click here.