Fundraising is fun when you start to get the relationships and the partners to help scale your business. But… walking into your first pitch meeting is both terrifying and exciting. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare so your nerves stay below the surface.
Do mock pitches with advisors. Your advisors should be other entrepreneurs that have received investments from the people you’re interested in. You trust to give constructive feedback and advice.
Collaborate. When Maker’s Row was just an idea, we joined a startup incubator that gave us pitch deck examples and templates. Even if you’re not part of an incubator, a quick Google search will bring up tons of different pitch decks from several prominent companies, so you can review a selection to build a deck format that works for you.
Review. Send your draft to your advisors to review, but be prepared for conflicting responses if you’re talking to multiple people. Here, you’ll need to exercise your best judgement to make the amendments that feel right for your company and your vision.
Be adaptable. While all pitch decks have the same essential tenets, you’ll need to tailor it to each different investor or VC you pitch to. Your deck isn’t static: it’s a living, breathing document that needs continuous editing, based on who you’re approaching.
Stock up. It’s useful to have two different decks for different purposes. One should be a bare-bones version to introduce people to the idea of who you are and what you do. This can be emailed as a response to an expression of interest, and generates curiosity without giving too much away. The second should be meatier, for when you’re actually presenting, which includes crunching numbers and identifying pain points and solutions – to name a few.
Weave a story. Being confident, knowing your concept back-to-front, and being able to demonstrate why someone should invest their time and money in your vision is ultimately key to landing funding. No matter how good your deck looks, it won’t do anything if you don’t have complete conviction in your idea, and you won’t raise the money you are looking for.
Ready to pitch? Here’s a deck template to jumpstart the process.