Investors see hundreds of pitch presentations every year from companies addressing similar problems with similar technology. How can yours stand out in a crowded market?
Tech company CEOs must effectively differentiate their solution to raise capital, says David Adams, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner. Otherwise, they face long and protracted venture capital fundraising processes or may fail to attract investors altogether.
The average investor will likely read only 12 slides before making a decision about a company
“Fundraising starts with a great investor pitch deck,” says Adams. “Your presentation must tell a compelling story to capture the investor’s interest. It should communicate everything an investor needs to know to decide whether to investigate the investment opportunity further.”
Currently, 95% of investor pitch decks will fail to propel the startup through the investment process with the first draft. Adams provides five tips for creating a winning pitch presentation.
Make it stand alone
People often think of presentations as something to be presented. But investor pitch decks are meant to be read like a document, with the goal of securing a meeting. You won’t be there to explain each slide and fill in the key messages, so the slides must tell a story on their own.
Use words, not graphics, to state messaging, and don’t reply on speaker notes in the pitch presentation.
Keep it short
Investor pitch decks must provide just enough information to build interest, establish context and relevance, convey emotion and close with a positive outcome. Don’t try to answer every possible question.
Keep your deck to 10-15 slides to avoid communication overload. The average investor will likely read only 12 slides before making a decision about a company.
Define the target market
What an investor wants from the tech CEO is an understanding of the ideal buyer. Many companies try to target as many prospects as they can to not miss any opportunities. While this may seem to increase the size of the opportunity, investors frequently feel there is a lack of focus.
This isn’t a market-sizing exercise — it’s a focus and market penetration strategy. Be specific.
Tech CEOs need to revisit their positioning statement and develop differentiated messaging. Positioning captures and clearly articulates the company’s value proposition to the buyer. Be specific about alternative products or services; every company has competition.
An easy way to determine if the positioning is differentiated is to use the competitor swap test: Replace your company name with a competitor’s name, and if the statement still works, then the positioning isn’t differentiated.
Define the problem
Gartner analysts see many pitch decks that are heavy on technical details, but light on how they help clients solve problems or achieve business outcomes.
Features and benefits are not the same thing. The most powerful pitch decks create an emotional response to a customer pain point and present a unique and differentiated solution. Potential investors want to know why customers will buy the product or service.