Thanks to the first part of the guide for building a great investor deck you now have a great introduction slide. If this is not your case, you can check the first part here!
If you did things right with your first Introduction slide, you probably got the investors attention. This is a great start, since a Venture Capital like Swanlaab can review hundreds or even thousands of projects every year.
Now is your time to answer the first big question: Why you?
We’ve created the «Builing the perfect Investor Deck» PDF to help you in this process based on the book «Entrepreneur Pitch Book», from HassoPlatner Ventures. Don’t forget to share it with Swanlaab once it’s finished!
You can download our PDF here:
Part 2: Team
Lets dig a bit deeper into what investors love reading in the Team slide. If you did well with your first introduction slide and got the investor’s attention, you have now a great chance to prove why your team is the one. This part should be either 1 or 2 slides long.
Building sucessful companies is essentially about selling. You will be selling products to customers, part of your shares to investors and, eventually, the whole company to an acquirer. All of these are really important and will define the outcome your company. However, the most important part of your selling process is the very first one: selling your vision to other cofounders and key team members.
What the investor wants to know
You should always put yourself in the shoes of the investor and think: «Why should I bet on this team? Can they build something great?» Well, this is what we, as investors, would like to know:
About the management
When we refer to the management, we are thinking about the key people at the team. It’s less important who the cofounders are, but who is full-time at the project and will dedicate everything at the very first steps of it. Believe us, we’ve seen Rafael Nadal or Iker Casillas in Investor Decks as cofounders. That’s great and would love to have a coffee with them! But their role is likely to be as an advisor or and investor. Don’t focus the investor’s attention on this kind of things at this point.
If a founding team and first employees are great, that means you’ve been able to convince them to share your passion. But, who are they? Why did you chose them? We, as investors, would love to know why do you believe they were the perfect fit from the very beginning.
Tell us about the prior companies or startups they’ve worked at but more importantly, what skills did they learn there that are relevant to your startup.
It may sound great that your other cofounder has +20 experience in JP Morgan (for example), but if your company is a luxury-watch ecommerce, it might not be too obvious for investors how will that amazing experience translate into growth for your startup. Story telling is vital here. Did he sell+€1M in watches in just five months to his ex-fellow banquers? Well, then now everything makes sense now!
Obviously, if the fouding team has founded other startups or event exited in previous occasions, that’s something that you need to highlight. Investors love serial entrepreneurs, no matter how the outcome with the previous ventures have been. All right…we might raise our eyebrows if you tells your previous startup was acquired for +€100M but, believes us, having been a founder previously, even if it failed terribly, might sound even better than hearing the word «MBA».
About the Board of Directors, Advisors and Mentors
Altough not as sacrified as leaving a job and dedicating full time to a project, Advisors and Mentors also play a key role on the very first days of a startup, as they give you part of their free time. It’s important to mention who they are and what can they bring to their table that makes them so special for you.
Fancy names can be something interesting to have on your Investor Deck, but never forget that investors have been around for a very long time and might probably know some of your advisors. Don’t just put names that actually don’t do anything apart from standing out on your Deck.
Be prepared to answer questions here and to prove the value of having those advisors, apart for their cache. A good and involved advisor can be really helpful so, if yours is one of those, make sure you explain how their helping you.
They main goal is to make the investor confident that there is a core group that believes in the company and can execute the next set of milestones.
Tips for the perfect slide
Why you? Ideas are worth nothing without a great execution and the investor will probably have seen something similar to what your company is trying to build. Let him now why you’re the one he or she should be betting on.
What makes your team and advisors so important for the project? Don’t focus too much on what they’ve done previously, but rather show what they can bring to the table that is unique. If they have relevant experience achieving the results you’re seeking, let the investor know. Focusing on relevant accomplishments for each person is a great way to start.
Who’s missing in the team? It’s also really important to let the investors know what are your hiring plans. Very few companies have the perfect team from the start. Since you’re asking for the investor’s money, let him know what’s next and how are you going to build even a better team than the one shown in the picture. The investor should now that you’re just getting started!