Entrepreneur Office Hours - Issue #92
Entrepreneurship lessons from The Bachelorette
I had some unexpected visitors to my class last week: three former contestants from ABC’s The Bachelorette.
To be fair, I’ve never actually seen an episode of The Bachelorette. Nor would I have any reason to know or recognize the former reality TV stars. Heck… I didn’t even know their names. I want to say one might have been a “Mikey,” but maybe that’s just because “Mikey” seems like the most likely name for a hunky, male, reality TV star. But I digress.
You’re probably wondering why I’m mentioning these visitors in a newsletter about entrepreneurship, so I’m going to tell you… in the article I wrote about the experience, which you can find linked below.
When you’re done with that, I’ve got a story about how the fear of flying has a lot in common with why it’s hard to get people buying your startup’s product. And, in this issue’s Q&A, I answer (or don’t answer, depending on your perspective) a question about creating the perfect fundraising pitch deck.
Lucky for me, people don’t need chiseled abs and a jawline that can cut glass in order to succeed in startups.
Is the thing that makes people afraid of getting on planes also scaring away your startup's potential customers?
Office Hours Q&A
You write lots of articles about fundraising and fundraising pitches. Could you share what slides and information should definitely be included in every fundraising deck? I’d love to get your thoughts on the “ideal” slide deck.
Over the years, I’ve seen lots of videos, articles, presentations, and examples outlining the “perfect pitch deck.” If you’ve been reading my newsletters for a while, you can probably guess I’m skeptical. And you can probably guess why.
Every startup is different, which means every deck has to be different. Anyone claiming there exists some mythical, “perfect structure” capable of applying to every pitch deck is just trying to get clicks/views/etc.
However, in appreciation of the spirit of your question, let me see if I can give you a better answer than “it depends.”
Even though every slide deck is going to be different, the fundamental purpose of a pitch is the same. When pitching an investor, you’re trying to show two basic things:
You’ve identified (and, to some extent, proven) a viable business opportunity; and,
Additional capital will allow you to access that business opportunity in a way capable of creating a significant return on the investment.
Once we acknowledge those two things, the deck kind of builds itself. You want to include slides that help you explain the business and investment opportunities. That includes being able to explain and provide compelling evidence for things like:
Who has the problem
How big of a problem it is
How you access the people with the problem
How to solve the problem
The cost of solving the problem
The potential value of solving the problem
Your ability to be the one(s) solving the problem
Do those eight bullet points mean you need an eight slide deck? Absolutely not! You need a deck that presents the opportunity in a clear and compelling way. It might take eight slides. It might take 80 slides. That’s for you to figure out. No, it’s not easy, but nobody said fundraising was easy. It’s certainly not something you’ll be able to succeed at simply by following a template some random dude on the Internet gave you, so don’t trust anyone who tries to give you one.
Got startup questions of your own? Reply to this email with whatever you want to know, and I’ll do my best to answer!