I’ve raised over $150,000,000 as a founder, simply by being a good storyteller. Here’s how to get VC’s to throw money at you:
A big mistake founders make is thinking that the purpose of a deck is to get people to invest. The truth is that whoever is reading your deck is likely distracted/not interested. Your job is to stand out, and make them excited.
Figure out ways to communicate things in very simple ways – it could be through simple language, numbers, clear visualization elements, or being creative in your presentation.
1. Having a good framing of the problem is key. Assume that the investor you’re pitching to knows next to nothing about the industry or problem.
Effective framing helps the investor understand the problem and why your solution is important. It also helps them empathize with the user experience
2. Find ways to present yourself as the expert who can solve the problem. Having a strong resume that sets up your credibility is very important. The ‘team’ slide is often the one that interests me the most in setting up a meeting and finding out more
Good investors will invest in founders, not companies. If you’re creating a creator-focused company, it helps if you are an expert, or content creator yourself. If you are building a deep AI company, maybe you spent years at Google or Nvidia
In the countless decks I’ve seen, too often there are terrible team slides with names next to random logos/affiliations that have little to no relevance. Use specific bullet p oints for each person and why they are important and qualified to work on this idea.
3. What’s your solution? No, really…what is it? As someone who is viewing your deck (and thousands of others), I should not have to work very hard to understand your solution.
Don’t just include random screenshots of the UI without any context – this is a common theme. Instead, walk people through user journeys like value propositions.
If you can’t sum up your killer app in 1 – 3 bullet points, then it probably doesn’t have killer features driving it. Simplicity is your friend.
User stories are also very compelling. If I had to pitch @Uber, the narrative about the difficulties of hailing a taxi in the city versus the ease of the app -> destination is simple and compelling. (not sponsored by Uber [yet])
4. Traction This is important because its the number one signifier that people are interested in your product. Even if they aren’t users, it still means they are at least curious.
Ideal metrics to include are the ones that require the least explanation as possible to the investor, and ones which honestly depict relevant growth data.
5. Vision Pitch the biggest vision that you can for your solution. ‘Here’s why this is going to change the world.’ This gets investors interested, intrigued, and understanding of the direction you’re heading.
I encourage everyone to put something in about what the world looks like in which your idea is successful. However, your vision slide has to be credible. If you want to topple Apple or Google, your team needs to be credible enough to do it.
End your pitch with your vision once you have enough social currency with the potential investor. I need to believe what you’re saying, which is established through understanding the problem, being shown the solution, and convinced that this is going to work.
Extra notes; Design is important. Your deck doesn’t have to be fancy, but it can’t look terrible (trust me, I’ve seen some pretty horrible ones that are an instant turnoff). Appearance inspires confidence – avoid looking sloppy!