When pitching to investors, you really only need five slides. If you remember the purpose of the pitch is to generate interest, not investment, then the requirements of your pitch change dramatically. Instead of sharing a bunch of details about your product, your pitch should focus on the things investors care about most:
- The Problem You’re Trying to Solve
- The Size of the Problem
- How You Intend to Solve the Problem
- Why Your Team is the Right One to Solve It
What You Need to Solve the Problem This effectively translates into five slides:
- A Problem Slide
- An Opportunity Slide
- A Solution Slide
- A Team Slide
- An Ask Slide We’ll discuss each of these, in turn.
The Problem Slide
The purpose of the problem slide is to describe the problem you’re trying to solve and the person for whom you’re trying to solve it. If you’ve been doing customer discovery, you may have an anecdote or two to share about a real person and their struggle to get their job done effectively because of the obstacle caused by this problem. Remember, stories sell.
The Opportunity Slide
The opportunity slide paints a picture of the size of the opportunity for the investor. They want to know that the problem you’re working on is big enough to generate a worthwhile return. Questions to ask and answer on this slide include:
- How many people struggle with this problem?
- How much time is lost? What’s that time worth?
- Is anyone mortally affected? Can you save them?
Whichever metrics you use, make sure they paint a compelling picture that highlight why solving this problem will make them more money than solving any other potential problem.
The Solution Slide
The solution slide describes three things:
- How the problem is currently being solved
- How you solve the problem
- Why your solution is better, faster, or cheaper than the alternative.
If you already have traction, this is where you tell the investor how many users you have, how much revenue you’re generating, etc. Remember, because the goal is to generate interest, not investment, you want to omit any details (i.e., specific features) that reduce intrigue. You should make yourself seem like a wizard who has learned or figured something out that no one else has.
The Team Slide
A good team is necessary to execute a good idea. This slide should highlight your team – what makes you special? Your industry or technical expertise? Your degrees? Your experience exiting a company? Investors are people and people invest in people. What makes you investable?
What do you need to get from where you are to where you’d like to be? If it’s a Seed Round, maybe you just need $250,000. If you’re looking to do an A Round, maybe you’re looking for $1M – $3M. The “Ask” slide should highlight what you think you need (and why) to get to the next phase of investment or cash flow.
Adjust as Necessary
While these five slides form a good outline for crafting an interesting pitch, remember: they are guidelines. Your pitch could vary. Do you have a compelling demo? Maybe that should be included. Do you have wild customer adoption? Maybe that merits its own slide. Have you already raised money? How much? How much room is left in the round? Regardless of the size of your pitch deck, remember the goal is to generate interest over investment.
Ask – and answer – the questions investors care about:
- The problem you’re solving,
- Why it’s worth solving,
- How you intend to solve it,
- why your team is the right one to solve it
- What you need to solve it
Answering these questions, while painting an intriguing picture about why you’re special will increase the likelihood you’ll get the meeting you crave.