It’s not enough to have a great idea for a business — you’ll also need to communicate the value of that idea to an audience of investors clearly and succinctly. Your pitch deck is a key component of this communication strategy, but do you know what angel investors are really looking for in a pitch? Do you know how to craft a slide deck that maximizes your chances of getting funding?
“A key tip as you are building your deck is maybe not to just think about your deck, but keep in mind that what you are doing is creating slides that tell your story,” says Mike Eckert, chairman and founder of NO/LA Angel Network.
Eckert and Scott Whittaker, a partner at the law firm Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, paired up at a recent Tech Park Academy discussion to share wisdom they’ve accumulated from years of working with firms seeking capital from angel investors. Read on for some of the key takeaways from their discussion about what angels will be looking for in your pitch.
Make Your Pitch Compelling from the Start
The early portion of your presentation must walk a tricky line: It has to quickly and clearly explain who you are and what you do, but without becoming too complex. “You’re dead,” Eckert says, if the people you’re presenting to don’t understand what the company does within the first few slides.
He says you’ll want to start with a slide that includes the company name and logo, and follow it with an “elevator description” — an outline of your elevator pitch that briefly tells the audience who the company is intended for, what the product is and what it will provide its users. This can also include a statement that addresses how your company differentiates itself from competitors.
Whittaker says the focus here should be delivering a clear, succinct message that generates enthusiasm for potential investors, rather than getting into the nitty-gritty details of your business.
To prepare for this, you’ll definitely want to develop and practice your elevator speech; this means working with mentors, advisers and anyone who will listen to whittle it down to its essence. Once your elevator pitch is ready, it’ll be easy to make a slide to back it up and help you articulate what your company is all about. Conversely, without a good elevator pitch, you won’t be able to create a slide deck that helps you win over any angel investor.