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PERFECT

PITCH
The Ultimate Startup Guide
Connecting Worldwide Investors
With Outstanding European Startups

All You Need For Successful Fundraising In One Place

Fundraising Has Never Been Easier

Craft professional Get access to Raise funds and


pitch deck leading investors move ideas forward

www.vestbee.com
contents

5 ChApter one
Kinds of Pitches

8 ChApter two
Investor Deck

24 ChApter three
Elevator Pitch

28 ChApter four
Competition Pitch

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© 2019 Vestbee
All rights reserved
INTRODUCTION
Ewa Chronowska

Vestbee Founder, entrepreneur, business angel and startup


mentor with wide experience in consulting and investments,
providing hands-on financial and business support to
early stage companies and building cross-border bridges
between worldwide investors and European startups.

The Internet is full of guidelines on how to prepare a perfect pitch deck.


And yet, being a startup competition judge I’ve been still observing many
examples of potentially great businesses which went unnoticed due to
the poor or very average presentation. The good news is that successful
fundraising is not all about pitching skills and you don’t have to be Brian
Tracy or Tony Robbins to stand out from the crowd and charm investors.
Don’t worry if public presentations are not your strongest side. You can
still tempt investors with a well-prepared written presentation and explain
technicalities of your business during a face-to-face meeting. If you are
confident and know your business in and out, investors are going to believe
in you and your product. In contrary to a common belief, a serious investor
separates the wheat from the chaff and is much more likely to bet on a real
entrepreneur with a well-defined and comprehensive business concept
than just a simple smooth talker. Keep in mind, however, that a good
business idea itself is not enough and you still need to raise some attention
around it to set the stage for the meeting. At least to some degree, the art
of fundraising requires marketing and sales skills and you should do your
homework to make your pitch effective.

In order to make your life just a bit easier our Team alongside our Partners
created a comprehensive guideline on how to prepare outstanding
Investor Deck, Elevator Pitch and Competition Pitch. In this ebook you will
get a valuable insight from experienced investors that judge and screen
thousands of pitches. Using these practical tips you will make a big step
toward successful fundraising.
KINDS OF PITCHES

WHAT KIND OF PITCH DECK DO YOU NEED?


Luckily the era of sending 100 page business plans is over. Therefore, you
will be perfectly fine with a pitch deck that is a brief presentation of your
company, its mission, product and business strategy. Business pitches are
usually presented using PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, video or online tools
like Vestbee that helps you craft professional pitch and manage fundraising
process in one place.

If you plan on fundraising, you will need to prepare different decks -


a short elevator pitch, more complex investor deck and a contest pitch,
which will be useful during startup competition.

ELEVATOR PITCH
Imagine you bump into an investor in an elevator or at a  party and are
asked: “So what do you do?” You have 30-60 seconds to make him
understand basics of your business and catch interest so that he wants to
learn more about you.

COMPETITION PITCH
Competition pitch is probably the most frightening type of pitches for many
business founders. It is usually used at pitching competitions or at demo
days for accelerators and angel networks. You have to stand confidently in
front of a large audience and in 3-5 minutes on ca. 10 slides convince the
jury & investors that it’s you (not the others) who have figured all it out right.

INVESTOR DECK
Investors Pitch is the most common and most important form of your
business presentation. You have 10-20 minutes to present specifics of
your business to potential investors. If you do it properly and include crucial
data, this deck can serve you as a stand alone document and great written
follow up material which you pass down after various presentations.

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KINDS
FOREWORD
OF PITCHES

Take a closer look at the most common kinds of startup pitches and their
differentiators.

Elevator Pitch Competition Pitch Investor Deck

Duration (min) 0.5-1 3-5 10-20

No. of slides 1 10-12 15-25

Situation Day to Day Competition Meetings with Investors


& Demo Day

Quick Introduction Charming Audience Presenting Business


Goal Sparking Interest Winning Contest Fundraising

Data Intensity Low Medium High

Once preparing your pitch deck from scratch we recommend starting from
the Investor Deck. This will enable you to think through all crucial aspects
of your business and cover all necessary information from the beginning.

Keep your deck short. Your goal is not to provide investors with all
necessary information which they need to invest in your business.
Your aim is to tell a compelling story, build excitement and cover the
crucial areas to spark interest and make sure there will be a follow-up.

You will use your pitch deck during face to face meetings or as
a written follow-up. As there is a big difference between a narrated
and written pitch deck, it is better to have two separate decks: one
that speaks for itself and one that needs someone to present.

Keep a stand-alone deck self-explaining and data intensive.

Keep your deck up to date. Make sure it includes the most recent
information, especially your traction and business metrics.

Don’t share open files like ppt or doc. Use pdf or links to your online
fundraising deck.

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Jakob Gajsek
Co-founder, ABC Accelerator, Slovenia

A great pitch has two goals: establishing that the


opportunity is big and showing that you can pull it off.

Kristjan Laanemaa
Partner, Karma Ventures, Estonia

Every investment round should start from a solid plan that


paints a clear picture of goals that founders want to reach
and an action plan how to get there. Your goals should be
related to raising a next round as most startups need the
next round to survive and grow. For example, if you are
a SaaS product company then in order to raise successful
series A round in 12-18 months you should aim to reach
€100k MRR and over 10% month-over-month MRR
growth with the seed investment.

Don’t forget to underline your key differentiators. What


is the advantage that puts you ahead of competition
and keeps you there for some time? Just keep in mind
that feature list based differences do not offer a long-
term competitive advantage as they can be easily copied
and are hard to advertise. So, for investors technology
advantage, network effect and founders’ prior successful
experience are much more meaningful.
INVESTOR DECK

THE MAIN FUNDRAISING TOOL


Investor Deck should serve you as the main fundraising tool, so remember
to keep it up to date. You can use this deck while presenting in front of
investors or send it as a follow up after a demo day, contest or elevator
pitch. As it was highlighted earlier, it might be useful to prepare two
dedicated versions.

Investor Deck:
contains about 15-25 slides
lasts 10-20 minutes if spoken
takes few minutes to read

There is no golden rule for a  perfect pitch structure and it is up to you


how to narrate your story and hook the audience. For example, if you have
a great team with previous successful 10x exit or your clients and partners
are well-known, it will be smart to use such advantages earlier to gain
credibility. The same applies if you can show great metrics proving your
business is growing fast.

Choose the slide order that fits your needs. Be sure, however, to make
the story coherent and include necessary info. Pay attention to your
graphic design. Use visuals like charts, graphics or photos. Don’t
overload your pitch with content and too many details.

Use storytelling to show your business. It is proven to be effective.

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

To help you go through your business and present all important aspects,
we recommend a basic structure of your deck as a frame for your pitch.
Remember you can moderate it whenever you find it suitable.

INTRODUCTION
Your aim is to hook the audience, so begin with a  short but catchy
introduction. Present briefly your vision or interesting facts about your
product or service. In a basic version as a coverage slide you can use your
company logo and your Elevator Pitch or One Sentence Pitch statement,
which we will discuss later.

If you already have achievements worth showing, the next slide is a good
place to present them. It might be a  well-known customer acquisition,
a strategic partnership, a patent or performance metrics or a demo you are
just proud of. Generally, the best option is to polish this slide at the end of
your pitch preparation. This way you have everything you need at place.

Despite many guidelines on a “killer pitch”, there is no golden rule.


If there is anything that makes your business special, don’t hesitate
to put it in your pitch. We present only general guidelines to start
with. Anything worth showing off and helping to differentiate from
the rest is welcome.

PROBLEM
What is the real problem your customer faces? Describe the problem, show
how it affects the end user. The more severe and painful the customers’
problem is, the higher will be the demand for your solution and the bigger
investors’ interest in funding your project.

This part is a  deal-breaker for investors so having a  clear user case is of


key importance here. Use a real customer story or a personal experience to
illustrate the problem and let investors feel the pain. We suggest storytelling
as the most effective way to explain the topic and engage the audience.

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

You can use the following structure:

Person

Introduce a representative of your target group who really needs


your product.

Goal

Show what this person is trying to achieve, what is his or her goal.

Problem

Point out the problem and explain how it is addressed today,


how the goal is accomplished, what is the common solution.
Identify main pain points of current solution.

SOLUTION

Solution

Now that you have identified your customer’s problems, it is time


to introduce the remedy for existing pain points. Demonstrate
your product’s benefits and uniqueness and explain how it solves
your customer’s problem.

What makes the product or service valuable for customers and why it is
better than its alternatives? Clarify the strengths focusing on the most
important ones. Show that with your product or service the problem will
be a thing of the past.

PRODUCT
In this section explain how your product or service works. Describe the
technology and secret sauce behind it. Remember, don’t focus only on
specific features. Show how it can change the customer's life. Use a picture,
a demo or show a prototype (at least mock-ups) to reinforce the benefits of

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

your solution. No doubt there are many user cases and cool functionalities
but highlight only the key features that solve the most painful problems.

If you are working on a game-changing solution in high technology sectors,


you might need a  separate slide to convince investors that no one else
can easily duplicate or surpass your product. You should protect it with
a patent, a trademark or an industrial design. Ensure investors that your
idea will stay unique and that it won’t be copied.

Keep in mind to use simple words and examples so your audience


easily relates to this problem and its remedy.

Simplicity is crucial especially in high technology sectors where you


need to refer to technical details.

The rule of thumb is to avoid overloading investors with information


and draw a general picture without going into too many details.

MARKET
The purpose of this section is to show investors that you have a large group
of prospective clients interested in buying your product. The bigger the
market, the greater the potential payback on investment, so investors want
to make sure that your company pursues a  big market and will become
a scalable business.

Focus on determining the following:

Who is your customer?


Does your market already exist or do you plan to create a new one?
Do you go global or concentrate on some specific region?

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

What is the Total Addressable Market? TAM includes everyone you


think you can reach with your product.
TAM
What part of TAM can you specifically target? What kind of customer
segments? What is your Segmented Addressable
SAM
Market (SAM)?
What part of the market you think you own/ can own? What is your
Share Of the Market (SOM)?

SOM

TAM

SAM TAM - Total Addressable Market


(total market demand)
SAM - Segmented Addressable Market
(size of that market demand you could serve)
SOM SOM - Share Of Market
(how much of the market you’ll realistycally obtain)

TAM - Total Addressable Market


(total market demand)
SAM - Segmented Addressable Market
(size of that market demand you could serve)
SOM - Share Of Market
(how much of the market you’ll realistycally obtain)

Be careful and avoid defining your market too widely.

Show reliable assumptions by breaking down your market into


segments and targeting a very specific and reachable part of the
potential customer group.

Prioritize segments and provide the audience with justification on


which segments you are going to reach first.

Make sure to support your story with relevant data, statistics and
reports from trusted sources as this way you confirm the deep
knowledge of your customers.

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

COMPETITION
The biggest mistake startups make at this level is saying that they don’t
have any competition. If you think so, you need to carry out a more exact
market research. Even if you found a brand new product or service, it is
likely that your potential clients had already solved the problem somehow.
Their solution might be ineffective and complicated but still the consumers
don’t sit and wait until somebody will satisfy all their needs.

Your role here is to show how other companies solve the same problem
and compare the effectiveness of all solutions. Highlight your competitive
advantages and ensure the audience that you are different and better
than your competitors. You can outcompete by having a cutting-edge
technology, a totally new approach to the problem, additional functionalities,
better user experience or considerably lower prices. Anything what makes
you special and can convince investors that the customers will choose
your product over others. Just don't concentrate solely on the features as
in most cases they can be easily copied.

The easiest way to differentiate your business from competitors is to use


tables or graphs. This way you make it clear, comparable and easy to follow.
List your biggest competitors, put together their key features and stress out
in which areas your solution outsmarts the others. Don’t forget to include
your product’s deficiencies (vs. your competitors') and how you plan to
cope with them. Don't hide imperfection, telling the truth you prove your
credibility and a good knowledge of market and rivals. You might find the
attached templates useful.

Competitor 1 Competitor 2 Your


Competitor 3
Startup

Criteria 1 X X X

Criteria 2 X

Criteria 3 X X X X

Criteria 4 X X X

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

Trait 1 (High)

Logo Your Logo


Logo

Logo
Logo Logo

(Low) Trait 2 (High)

Logo Logo
Logo
Logo
Logo

(Low)

MARKET OPPORTUNITY
After portraying the market size and your competitors you need to describe
the market opportunity. In simple words: why now? To do so you just need
to answer such questions:
If the market exists- isn’t it already too mature and crowded to break in?
How do you plan to enter it then?
If you create a new market, why nobody hasn’t done it before?
Why competitors can’t do the same?
What are the main barriers on the market and how are you going to
overcome them?
How fast is the market growing?
What are the trends and how can they change the future?
What are the chances to scale up (reach new regional markets or go
abroad) in the future?

The bottom line is to convince investors that now is the best time for your
solution and that you are the one who is going to succeed.
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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

GO-TO-MARKET STRATEGY
Once you know your market, you have to decide how to attract the customers
and promote your solution. Many startups fail at this point, because they
forget that having a good idea, product or service is simply not enough. Even
if you invented something absolutely fantastic, you still have to reach your
target audience. In addition, you need to take into account the maturity and
specifics of your chosen market. You might need a different approach for
innovators, early adopters or early majority. So make sure you understand
your market specifics before shaping your strategy.

Knowing your customer segment, think about how you can get to your
target market, what communication channels you should use, where and
how you should sell the solution. This should be aligned with lifestyle,
habits and needs of your potential clients.

Present distribution channels you plan to use, eg. direct sales force,
partner network, sales through the internet and promotion activities.
What marketing tools do you use? Advertisement, sales promotion, direct
marketing, PR, personal sales? Outline the steps involved in acquiring
customers. Describe the costs (fixed and variable) you have to bear, deal
value and the needed time, key resources and strategic partnerships.

What are you selling? Who are you selling to?

Key
Resources

How will you reach How will you promote


your target market? your product?

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

BUSINESS MODEL
Business model is about how you are going to make money. It’s not only
about revenue streams and pricing, but your overall business strategy. Here
the maths has to start working. Good news is that investors understand
that it is very hard for a young company to build an accurate model and
they expect basic assumption to know where you are heading. The truth
is that your revenue and pricing model will be a subject to many changes
over time. So what you need at this point is a general strategy on how to
generate money from your customers.

Describe your revenue model, how you are going to generate revenue
from your products/ services and where your income streams will come
from. There are many revenue models you can choose from, like freemium,
ad-based, subscription, commission, recurring, one-time payment or you
can even mix some of them.

When determining the price of your product or service you need to take
into account:
your business model including competitors' model and pricing strategy
value your product or service offers to your customers
your customers' willingness to pay for that value
your costs level in order to generate profit

As all revenue models have their advantages and flaws, there is no golden
rule which one to choose - it is all up to your business needs and sector
specifics.

If you have multiple customer segments you might need more than
one revenue stream and a dedicated pricing tactic for each customer
segment.

Show the most important revenue sources and how you will price your
products.

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

If you have an upper hand and already validated stream, this is a great
place to back your assumptions with real examples

Don’t just blindly copy existing models. Figure out if there is a room to
exploit their shortcomings. Change the game and define the new rules!

TRACTION & MILESTONES


Show investors what milestones you have accomplished so far. Your aim is
to prove that your business is well-balanced, viable and able to monetize
acquired customers.

Pick a wide range of metrics suitable for your industry like:

MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue)


Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Life-time Value of a customer (LTV)
Registered users
Conversion and retention rate

Don’t forget to outline a  press coverage, strategic partnerships and


customer success stories. If you have already overcome some challenges
and obstacles, this is a  good place to mention them and show your
capability of handling things. The same is if you already have clients-
show your sales trajectory.

If your company is at early stage and pre-revenue with product in


development, draw at least a timeline with achieved milestones. It can be
a product development, interviews with clients, letters of intent, number
of beta testers, downloads or newsletter subscription, taking part in
acceleration program or even winning a contest- whatever proves there
is interest in your company or your product.

Explain what you plan to achieve in the nearest future and lay out on
a timeline the next milestones you are aiming. It might include product
development, hiring stuff, securing IP, closing fundraising or strategic
partnerships, generating targeted level of revenue or traction.

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS
Notice, that when you were estimating the market size you went with
a top-down forecast of the market share you can win (SOM). It is less likely
for a startup to generate realistic metrics with top-down projections and
you do it to show investors the market size, specific customers segments
and a scalability potential. For the revenue forecasts however, it is better
to use a  bottom-up approach. Think about how many customers you
could reach through direct sales, online marketing, partnerships or other
resources you have. Then how many of them will be interested in your
offering and how many of them will buy from you. Going this way, you
should receive credible projections.

Even though it is hard to make serious projections for early stage


companies, they are a  good indicator where the business is heading.
A typical forecast covers 3-5 years, but for a startup 3 years projection is
fine as it is hard to predict the longer run. If you have already started your
business, include historical performance as well. You can use a simple
chart, especially if you are at the very early stage.
FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS

€ 10.6 M

€ 8.2 M

€ 4.2 M
€ 3.1 M
$2.4 M
€ 1.8 M € 1.7 M
$1.1 M
$0.1 M
YEAR 1 YEAR 2 YEAR 3 YEAR 1 YEAR 2 YEAR 3 YEAR 1 YEAR 2 YEAR 3

REVENUE EXPENSES PROFIT

For the more detailed projections include:

Revenue
Cost of goods sold
Gross margin
Expenses
EBITDA
Net income

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

Don’t forget to outline your assumptions (story behind your numbers) and
for the first year make it a little bit more detailed (quarters are fine). Below
you can find an example of basic table which might help you.

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Year1 Y2 Y3

REVENUE

STREAM 1 EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

STREAM 2 EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

TOTAL REVENUE EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

COGS*

COST 1 EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

COST 2 EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

TOTAL COGS EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

GROSS PROFIT EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

GROSS MARGIN % % % % % % %

EXPENSES

EXPENSE 1 EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

EXPENSE 2 EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

TOTAL EXPENSES EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

EBITDA EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

OTHER INCOME/LOSS EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

NET INCOME/LOSS EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR EUR

* Cost of goods sold

Keep in mind that for the pitch you need to outline only the main metrics,
however, you can add some key performance metric projections: your run
and burn rate, compound annual growth rate (CAGR). The details should
be included in a file with full financial projections which you should keep
prepared for a potential follow up.

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

Base all the calculations on your history, strategy, market size, business
model and resources.

Make sure the financial part of the pitch is consistent with the project
as a whole.

Additionally to your pitch deck, you should be prepared to provide


extra financial information requested by investors.

You need a detailed financial model containing customer acquisition&


sales plan, employee-related expenses, R&D expenses, manufacturing
costs, marketing expenses as well as cash flow, income statement
and balance sheet.

FUNDRAISING
In this section focus on answering the following questions:

How much money do you need?


What will you accomplish with that money?
Would you prefer equity or convertible note?
How much have you raised so far and from whom?

The investment size you need is not so difficult to calculate. If your business
is at the early stage, what you need to do is just look at milestones and
expenses you have to bear to achieve them. Add a buffer for a particular
period and you are good.

You can use this simple example:


We are raising [ EUR X ] as equity / debt which will give us [ Y months ] of
runway and help us achieve: [ milestone 1 ], [ milestone 2 ], [ milestone 3 ].

Investors would also like to know how you are going to use their funds.
Don’t go in too many details, but distinguish the areas you want to work on.

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

For example:

200 000 EUR


Marke!ng

125 000 EUR


HR

75 000 EUR
R&D

This is also a good place to explain how much capital you’ve already put in
the venture, how much you have raised so far, from whom and for what.

If you wish, you can include additional information about your capitalization
structure, current valuation, future rounds you plan and exit strategy.

The goal is to show investors previous investments of your company in


the way to convince them, that your project is reliable. The fact that other
investors have already put trust in you and your business adds extra value
to it. If you’ve put some money in the business yourself, it is also a very
good sign, because it means that you are determined and truly believe in
the project.

TEAM
There is a common belief that it’s best to start presentation with a team
slide, but we suggest you place it closer to the end. This way, before you
introduce the team, investors will have understanding of your company,
market and what you are trying to accomplish. Therefore, they will pay
better attention to your expertise in this field while estimating probability
of your potential success. However, if you are a well-known entrepreneur
with a great track record of building and exiting successful startups feel
free to position this section right after introduction. You might use this
slide earlier during a face-to-face presentation as you have to introduce
yourself anyway.

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INVESTOR
FOREWORD
DECK

Although team slide may not seem very challenging, many founders fail
here. Despite the cutting-edge idea you still need to prove that you are the
right guys to bet on. This is no accident that most investors claim the team
to be the key component of the successful business. So if you are not the
right people on board, the odds on a successful venture are low.

Describe the key members of your management team, highlight mentors,


advisors, board members and investors, their experience, knowledge
and previous successes they bring to the table. Even if you don’t have
a  complete team yet, point out the strategic positions you still need to
fill. It is ok to have holes in your team. You just have to convince investors
you recognize them and have a plan to fill the gaps with the right talents
and funds.

Attach main team members' photos to make this part more personal
and engaging.

Show knowledge, expertise and passion to convince investors that


you and your team’s skill set is exactly what will make you winners.

SUMMARY
Use this slide to summarize your business. Highlight the most important
parts of your pitch and areas in which your business outperforms
competition. Prove that your business provides a  great investment
opportunity.

CONTACT
Leave details about your company, its legal form, location and website
as well as team members' contact info. This way investors can find more
about your project and reach you easily. You can leave your contact in the
introduction section as well.

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Sergiu Negut
Business Angel, Romania

Questions all angel investors face during pitch


presentation
Does the team have the business acumen and
maturity to manage a company?
Does the team have the right experience for their
business in their market? Any ‘unfair advantage’ to
bet on?
Are the team members coachable? Will it be easy to
communicate with them?
Can I contribute in any way to the success of the
business (other than money)?
Is there (or will be in the near future) a sizeable
market for the business? Many ‘Blue Oceans’ prove
to be mere ponds!
Is the amount of investment enough to take them to
the next round?
Do I see the route to exit? Who might invest in the
next round?
Is there a possibility to syndicate with others? Or am I
the only fool to believe this to be an opportunity?
ELEVATOR PITCH

Once you have finalized your Investor Deck, you have most of the material
required to prepare an Elevator Pitch and Competition Pitch.

WHY DO YOU NEED AN ELEVATOR PITCH?


Elevator Pitch is a very short presentation (usually 30-60 seconds) you
can use to introduce your business or product to investors, potential
clients or partners in a few sentences. Standard situations for this pitch
are networking events and speed dates with investors. But you can use
it as well each time somebody asks you: ‘So what do you do? Tell me
something about your business’. A well-crafted elevator pitch can serve
you also as introduction slide on your presentation or executive summary,
speech opening, sales pitch and website content. Depending on your goal
and target audience you might need a few different elevator pitches.

In the investors case, the aim is to explain your business and spark interest
so the investor you are talking with wants to learn more about you and
your business. Avoid explaining in details how great your product or
technology is- leave this for a  sales pitch. Rather focus on selling your
business as investment opportunity because investors buy businesses
not products. Don’t give more details at this pitch. If an investor finds your
business attractive, surely you will get a chance to discuss it further.

Always be ready for an elevator pitch. You never know when and
where will you meet a potential partner or investor!

Understand your audience and craft your elevator pitch to meet its
purpose. Remember that your pitch’s main goal is to get to the next
meeting so all you need to do is spark interest.

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ELEVATOR
FOREWORD
PITCH

CRAFTING ELEVATOR PITCH

1 Introduction

Briefly introduce yourself – present your


name, position and company

My name is [your name] and I am [your 2 Problem & Solution


position] at [your company name] that
[what service/product you provide]. What is the unsolved problem your
customers are facing and your solution
to that problem? Highlight benefits and
competitive advantages, concentrate
on what makes your solution unique.
Make investors believe you have a bet-
ter solution for a real problem your cus-
tomers are facing.
3 Market Opportunity
We help [define your customers] to
Quantify the market- use basic data to solve [define the problem they experi-
show the market size. Explain briefly ence] by providing a  better [present
why it is worth pursuing now. This way your solution] that offers [outline your
you prove that there is a big market op- solution key benefits] to accomplish
portunity you are going to chase. [define your customer’s goal]. Unlike
[name main competitors], we [outline
This is a [quantify market size ] EURO/ key differentiators].
USD opportunity in [region or country]
alone and now is the best time for the
[your goal] because [explain why now
is the best time]. 4 Business Model

Show how you are making money.

We make money by [revenue streams].


5 Achievements

Highlight the most important mile-


stones you have achieved so far. You
can use key growth metrics, product 6 Your Ask
development, market validation, strate-
gic clients and partnerships etc. Outline, what resources you need to suc-
ceed. Present upcoming goals to give
We have already achieved [milestone 1], a clearer idea of where you are heading.
[milestone 2], [milestone 3].
We currently need [resource 1],
[resource 2], [resource 3] to achieve
[milestone 4], [milestone 5].

www.vestbee.com 25
ELEVATOR
FOREWORD
PITCH

ELEVATOR PITCH TEMPLATE

Below you find a basic elevator pitch template we prepared for you. Feel
free to adjust it for your individual needs.

My name is [tell your name] and I  am a  [show your position] at [your


company name] that [what service/product you provide].

We help [define your customers] to solve [define the problem they


experience] by providing a  better [present your solution] that offers
[outline your solution key benefits] to accomplish [define your customer’s
goal].

Unlike [name main competitors], we [outline key differentiators].

This is a  [quantify market size] euro/dollar opportunity in [region or


country] and now is the best time for the [your goal] because [explain
why now is the best time].

We make money by [revenue streams].

We have already achieved [milestone 1], [milestone 2], [milestone 3].

We currently need [resource 1], [resource 2], [resource 3] to achieve


[milestone 4], [milestone 5].

ONE SENTENCE PITCH

You might need a One Sentence Pitch as well. It will serve you as a very
short description of your startup at the pitch headlines, social media
accounts description, your website or printed materials.

You can successfully craft One Sentence Pitch based on your Elevator Pitch:

We help [define your customers] to solve [define the problem they


experience] by providing a  better [present your solution] that offers
[outline your solution key benefits ] to accomplish [define your
customer’s goal].

www.vestbee.com 26
Marvin Liao
Partner, 500 Startups, USA

Know your story inside & out and have a clear vision
of what you are building.
The importance of storytelling is critical. Make sure
you have practiced this at least 100X.
Be prepared to present with or without slides.
Make sure you can do the Grandma pitch:
ie. a presentation in plain non technical language
and simple concepts that even your grandma can
understand.
Know your metrics & KPIs, these are the basics of
your business.

Kristjan Laanemaa
Partner, Karma Ventures, Estonia

Be honest and genuine. There is an understanding


among startups and pitching coaches that a  pitch
should get investor’s attention (no matter what) in
order to get them to follow-up. But if you use tricks to
make the company look better than it actually is, the
follow-up will be short-lived. It is important to polish
your message so the value is clear. However, trying to
put things in a  better perspective in a  pitch does not
help to secure an investment. It may help you to win
a pitch competition but not an investment.
COMPETITION PITCH

You might use a dedicated pitch at competition and demo day for
accelerators, angel networks and funds. You will have 3-5 minutes and
about 10 slides to convince the jury and investors to believe in your
business. Don’t worry. You have already prepared the most important
deck, your Investor Deck. Now it is time to adapt it to your last pitch. Just
make it shorter, even more compelling, more visual and less data intensive.

Keep in mind though, that sometimes jury and investors get decks ahead.
Therefore, your presentation should be self-sufficient and impressing even
without your narration. So make sure it includes all necessary information
you want investors to have. As underlined earlier, you will be probably
better off with two versions or using Investor Deck as a written material.

CRAFTING COMPETITION PITCH


You will run out of time very quickly during your pitch so think in advance and
craft your pitch focusing on the most important aspects of your business.
Include only crucial information and present them in a compelling way. Make
sure you cover all criteria the judges have on their scoresheet. Otherwise,
you risk losing some points.

Slides you have to include:

Introduction

Give a short but catchy introduction. If you don’t have inspiration, include
your logo and One Sentence or Elevator Pitch you prepared earlier.

Team

After a quick preface you have a good moment to introduce yourself and
your team. Depending on your story you might want to show your team
at the end.

www.vestbee.com 28
COMPETITION
FOREWORD PITCH

Problem

Describe briefly the problem your customers are facing. Focus on main pain
points that make them miserable and show their story.

Solution

Show remedy for your customers' pain points. Highlight benefits and
competitive advantages.

Product

Present demo or prototype. Highlight the key features and explain


technology and secret sauce behind it.

Market Opportunity

Show the market potential and trends. Point out your customer segments.
Blend it with ‘why now is the best time and why for your product?’

Competition

Show your competitive landscape. Use charts, graphs or table. Underline


your competitive advantages.

Business Model

Show how you are going to make money. Point out your revenue streams,
pricing strategy etc.

Go-to-Market

Explain how you are going to reach your customer and promote your
product. Highlight key resources you will use.

www.vestbee.com 29
COMPETITION
FOREWORD PITCH

Traction & Milestones

Show what you have accomplished so far- key metrics, strategic


partnerships, customer acquisition. Lay out your next big steps.

Financial Forecast (optional)

Prepare a graph or a chart with your estimated financial forecast. Use basic
metrics like revenue, expenses and profit. Show basic growth metrics as well.

Fundraising

Explain how much money you need and what for. If you already have
investors, point them out and share some details about the previous round.

Summary slide

The last slide is likely to be displayed during the entire Q&A time so make
sure that it includes crucial information about your business. If you haven’t
put your contact details earlier, this is also right place to do it.

There is no magic template so tell a compelling story using most


interesting facts about your business.

Be passionate about your business. This way you make audience feel
the same.

Avoid technical jargon and details. Your pitch should be easy to follow
for everybody.

www.vestbee.com 30
COMPETITION
FOREWORD PITCH

Be ready to skip the slide if time is short.

Be ready for Q&A. Prepare clear answers for the most common
questions investors ask. Don’t worry. Most of them you should have
already covered in your Investor Deck.

Know your numbers and ‘numbers behind the numbers’. This means
be ready to be asked about your strategies and assumptions in details.

Practice your presentation until you are comfortable with it.

Dress up professional. No need to wear a suit, but it’s hard to take you
seriously when you look like someone who just rolled out of bed.

Don’t read the slides. Otherwise you lose contact with the audience
and show lack of confidence.

Be as natural as possible, use your own words instead of citing.

Remember about posture and hand gestures. Keep an eye contact


with your audience.

Don’t go too fast and slow your speech down. Keep in mind that the
audience is not familiar with the topic and need to follow you easily.

Listen and accept negative feedback. Treat rejection as a good lesson


for improvement. Then keep trying. Many successful companies
struggled with pitching before they found the right investor.

www.vestbee.com 31
Kinga Stanisławska
Partner, Experior Venture Fund, Poland

Founders play the most important role in VC project


selection. Investors want to get to know them, learn
about their experience in business, motivation and
skills to make sure that they think strategically and are
capable to deliver the desired result.
Investors also pay attention to growth drivers and unit
economics of the company. It is desirable if the startup
has already traction that can be expressed in any data/
tabular format that can be analysed. Well-thought
business model and go-to-market strategy are also
highly valued as they show logic behind new customer
acquisition and sales.
As VC funds operate in a high risky sector it’s common
to co-invest with angel investors or another VC funds.
Therefore, it is better to be on the same page with
founders and have a clear understanding whether they
accept different investment sources.

Michael Sonenshine
Founding Partner, Symfonie Capital, Czech Republic

Investors need to understand why the investment will


succeed. We don't really care if the success story is
about selling cookies or selling apples. We care that
there is a success story in the making.
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