Knowing how to prepare a compelling business pitch is an essential part of one’s startup journey. Before breaking down components of an effective pitch, let us first discuss the chief purpose that it aims to solve. It is to find the right angel investor and convince them to infuse seed or early-stage capital in your venture. The first thing then that you need to understand is that angel investors have short attention spans. So, it is critical to make a presentation that captures their imagination in a heartbeat.

Today, PowerPoint presentations – also called pitch decks – comprise the most popular mode of pitching your business idea to your potential angel. While there is no consensus on how many slides make for an ideal pitch deck, most put the range between 10 and 20. One of Airbnb’s early pitch decks from 2008 – which is one of the most referenced as an example of a succinct and effective presentation – had only 13 slides in it.

Here’s listing some tips on how you can structure and sharpen your pitch deck so that you hit the mark while minimizing misses.

  1. Start by introducing yourself

It is important to remember that investors do not invest in a company but in the leadership team. Hence, start by sharing details of your background, the wealth of experience and expertise you carry under your belt, and your role in the enterprise.

  1. Explain the problem

Investors are interested in what pain points you are addressing and how you are doing it. Make sure the need-gap you are bridging or aiming to bridge comes across with utmost clarity. It’s also preferable to buttress your assertions with data, facts, and figures.

  1. Elucidate your solution

Solutions that leverage technology and, above all, are based on a globally defensible IP rank higher in the good books of investors. Convey confidence in the effectiveness and relevance of your product and relay points in favour of its market-readiness.

  1. Talk about the market prospects

When all is said and done, angel investors are interested in multiplying their capital surplus. Naturally, they want to know whether you are addressing a white market space. If not, then what is market share you aim to capture? What is your market strategy? Do you understand your market? What are the risks and how are you minimizing them? This section is where you address such questions.

  1. Shed light on the business model and the team

This is where you explain how you manage the development and delivery of your service/product offerings. Tell them about your intellectual property rights, workforce strength, current funding arrangements (if any), your marketing and advertising strategies, etc. Also elaborate on the skills and competencies of your team. Further, explain the current organizational structure and how it stands to transform with the association of the prospective investor.

  1. Discuss the unit economics of your venture

Tell the investors about the current valuation of your enterprise and how you reached there. Also share details about your plans to turn profits in the coming years under the guidance of the investor. This is the space you need to leverage to lay down your expectations from the investor. How much capital do you need to achieve your objectives? How do you plan to accommodate their exit strategy?

At this point, investors may also ask you relevant questions. Prepare potential answers beforehand to any question that may arise.

Do make sure that your pitch deck is immersive to keep the investor engaged throughout the presentation. It is advised to send a PDF version of the deck to the potential investor well in advance to make the experience more seamless and effective. Finally, make sure to go through pitch decks available online to maximise the goodness of your own. All that will be left to do then is to reach the meeting and grab the deal!

Digvijay Singh (COO, Indian Angel Network)