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The Problem With All the Standard Investor Pitch Advice You've Heard

Louvre Museum by Derek Key on Flickr

What if Entrepreneurs Used the Inverted Pyramid

When we are about to see an entrepreneur pitch at Springboard and we're given a printed copy of the slides, we flip right to the team. I want to know the background of the person leading the company, because if we accept her into Springboard, she will join our community for a lifetime, not just for the lifecycle of this company.

It's fair to say that we're people focused, not numbers focused.

When investors get those same slides, they flip right to the financials. It's the slide that tells them the story they want to hear - the business case - and is a critical tool in answering the three questions investors care about most:

How big of a return will I get?
When will I get it?
How likely am I that I will get it?

So many entrepreneurs fail to make a compelling business case for their company. They talk too much about their product, and by the time they get to the financials there's either no time left or the audience has stopped paying attention. "Here's our financials slide. We can talk about this later," is something I've heard far too often, as the financials barely get any "on air" time.

The standard pitch deck advice is part of the problem. It de-emphasizes the business case.

Just look at an outline of a typical pitch:

  • Cover
  • Team
  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Market
  • Competition
  • Revenue Model
  • Financials
  • Milestones
  • Use of Funds
  • Exit Strategy
  • Contact

The most important slides are buried at the end of the pitch.

When a journalist writes a story, they use the inverted pyramid approach which puts the most important information up front.

What would investor pitches look like if entrepreneurs did the same?