Keep it Simple

Tip #101: A final bonus

Tip 101: A final bonus. Credit for this one goes to Peter Adams at Rockies Ventures Club.  Does your last slide have one of these variations?

Why? You can tell us verbally that you are pleased to be here and it’s Q&A time.

The last slide of your pitch will stay on the screen for perhaps 15 minutes. Put some useful content on there! Nothing too distracting, and nothing you haven’t already covered, but something!

One effective approach is simply to put up your “investment thesis” – the key 4-6 bullet points highlighting why we should invest.

One final bonus like this might just get that last vote to move to diligence. But be careful: having a typo on the screen for 15 minutes probably isn't the vote you want.

Philosophy #4: Keep it Simple

There is a lot to learn about a business in a 30 minute pitch session. Hundreds of potential subjects to address, areas to consider, thoughts to encourage (or avoid), questions to answer. How can you hope to cover everything a potential investor “needs” to know?

You can’t. But fortunately you don't need to. All you have to do at each stage in the investment process is get to the next stage of the process. Provide just enough to make that happen.

How? Always keep things as simple as possible.

Generalist investors can’t “learn” your industry and its problems in two minutes, understand all 15 of your innovative product design features in one minute, or digest your five previous management positions in thirty seconds.

The best we can do is learn you have found a big and genuine problem, you have a solution, and you can build a company worth $25 million in five years by providing that solution. That's enough for us to move you into due diligence.

Investors can’t be expected to evaluate these key foundations while we are trying to understand your jargon, read 10,000 words of text on your slides, and ask you questions all at the same time. You have to make what you are doing easy enough for anyone to understand – immediately.

Philosophy #4: in everything you present to investors, keep it simple.