Maximizing pre-seed investors' time (and interest)
In this week’s episode of Ventures, I (https://linkedin.com/in/wclittle) discuss early stage startup pitch decks and what VCs/angels really want to hear when founders ask for equity financing. I talk about how the culture around the traditional deck has not been as helpful as it could be to clarify why traction (and forecasts of traction) are - in my opinion - the most important aspect of the initial pitch process that warrants deeper diligence.
Check it out: What pre-seed investors actually care about
I’ve become a huge fan of the 15-min intro meeting with founders seeking early stage funding. Because the process of raising money is painful and disheartening (for most people), the last thing I want to do is waste an hour of someone’s time when we could have figured out it wasn’t a good fit (or - on the flip side - merits bringing in more team members for further meetings) with a 15-min chat.
In that conversation - after getting to know each other a bit - I tend to ask founders to skip straight to the traction slide and talk about current and projected progress (KPIs & revenue).
I can then ask questions from there that lead to other parts of the deck.
I wrote the article “Investor pitch deck and communication strategies: pre-seed and seed” a handful of years ago and still believe it’s generally a good story presentation when a larger amount of time is available.
However, if I were to amend it today, I would suggest that founders laser-beam on getting clear (and creative!) about defining traction and telling a compelling story here. Then, extending this traction into a model for the next 6 months - and talking about why this is believable and attainable - is a solid way to hook an investor in for further conversations.
Have a great rest of your week!