Getting into Accelerator Programs
Great! You decided that your business venture needs a little acceleration through cohort programs of an accelerator. Getting into an accelerator program is no easy task. Accelerator programs around the world have very low acceptance rates ~ 3.98%, wherein some accelerator programs go as far as boasting about their low acceptance rates! These low acceptance rates simply mean that your startup pitch has to stand out from the crowd and really appeal to the jury.
The adjudging jury for the startup accelerator programs looks at a pitch deck for no more than 3 minutes 45 seconds on an average. In order to impress within that time frame, there are certain checkpoints you should make sure that you cover efficiently. Let’s discuss some of these pointers for a great pitch deck.
The Model Pitch Deck
First impressions have to be spot on! On average, pitch decks have been found to be 19-20 pages long, however, for a well-crafted pitch, 10-12 pages are more than sufficient. DocSend reveals, 12% of the members of a jury used mobile devices to view the presentation, therefore, try not to make it too extensive.
The most important pages for the pitch deck according to the most time spent by the jury are as follows:
- Financials: Average time spent on page is 23.2 seconds.
- Team: Time spent on page is 22.8 seconds.
- Competition: 16.6 seconds spent on the page.
Even though financials is the most looked at slide in a pitch deck, only 58% included it in their pitch decks. Similarly, even though team composition is the second most looked at page, 100% of all startups included this in their pitch deck. Therefore, you need to be sure what metrics and projections need to be included while catering to your startup’s needs.
Pitch Deck Pointers
10 Pages of your deck need to convey the story in a clear cut and precise fashion and have to impress in one go. Here are 10 pages to impress the jury and accelerate your startup.
ELI5 stands for “Explain Like I’m 5”. This basically means in the introduction there should be no technical jargon and the aim and purpose of the venture must be explained in a fashion as you would to a 5-year old child with simple communication, explaining how your product is unique.
A format many startups like to follow:
A [type of product] to help [target audience] with [biggest problem] by [best benefit] using our [technology/framework/formula].
- The problem
What problems/challenges will your business venture help to solve? Explain it from the point of view of the customer rather than explaining it is as a global issue.
- Your solution
Once you have explained the issues/challenges that your potential clientele will face, it’s time to present your solutions to it. Take this opportunity to introduce your product/service to grab the attention of the jury/ audience.
Here, you explain the nitty-gritties and inner workings of the solution you are providing to solve the problems your potential customer base are facing. This is a good platform for showcasing the unique features/technology your product/service is using. A few screenshots or demos can be impactful.
User or revenue growth can be a good way to catch the eye after a product explanation. Ideally, one growth metric for eg. Monthly Recurring Revenue can be put in the report to make projections. You can also explain the current scenario and showcase dedication for making your vision happen.
- Business Model
Aspiring to solve one of society’s issues and projecting revenue and statistics is great, but what about a practical, sustainable business model? How will you make money? What are their revenue streams? How will these revenue streams help build a better, simpler, and smarter business?
Competition is unavoidable in the business world but it can be mitigated by your strategies. Showcase your plan for tackling the competition by stating what you’re doing different than the competition and how you’re doing it.
Startups who can display huge markets or the potential for huge market opportunities will generate more of an interest from the judges. Perform appropriate market research.
What has your venture been able to achieve till now? What is the status of operations, finances, major achievements? These metrics can help portray that you are self-aware of your situation.
- Team Members
Team members and their individual strengths, along with experiences combined together in this venture, will make for an excellent group of people to run this business. Showcase the same and mention how each member will contribute via their respective roles.
It will not take more than these 10 pointers to categorize and prepare a deck which makes the accelerator jury feel comfortable investing their efforts in. Prepare your deck in an all-inclusive, extensive fashion and help yourself accelerate to new levels of success.