10: Pitch Deck Ask Slide – 10 Slides to VC Funding Success

10: Pitch Deck Ask Slide – 10 Slides to VC Funding Success

10: Pitch Deck Ask Slide
10 Slides to VC Funding Success

Sales ARE OPEN for My New Book!

“Angel Investors to Venture Capital – 10 Slides to Startup Funding Success – Entrepreneurs Guide to Startup Fundraising”

❏ Today in Part 10 of my series on 10 Slides to VC Funding Success, I’ll speak on 10: Pitch Deck Ask Slide – 10 Slides to VC Funding Success (Link).

The tenth page of every successful VC Pitch Deck is the Ask Slide. After having discussed the Team slide, now it’s time to close your presentation with a discussion on the Funding needs, which is the job of the Ask Slide.

What is the Ask Slide? You will learn in this article the answer to this question and what is essential to show on your Pitch Deck Ask Slide

My History:

One of my responsibilities as an Executive Coach is helping company founders with the creation of their Investor Pitch Deck. Throughout my career, I have created and reviewed many Investor Pitch Decks. Some of our team’s Investor Pitch decks, especially early in my startup career, upon reflection, were “horrible.”

Sometimes our teams were successful in raising monies from investors. Many times they were not.

I never thought that the content and presentation style of the investor pitch deck might be hurting us. Boy, was I ever wrong! By working with many investors, I’ve learned what they want in an Investor Pitch Deck. In my last company, we raised $87M over rounds A, B, and C.

So in this series and an upcoming book, I look to share my hard-learned lessons from 20+ years of being an Entrepreneur.

The Investor Pitch Deck Series:

In this series you will learn the order and the importance of each of the following Pitch Deck Slides:

  1. Cover Slide  (Link)
  2. Problem Slide  (Link)
  3. Market Slide  (Link)
  4. Solution  (Link)
  5. Traction  (Link)
  6. Competition  (Link)
  7. Monetization  (Link)
  8. Financials  (Link)
  9. Team  (Link)
  10. Ask  (Link)

This 10-part series covers the ideal content, order, and flow of the ten Investor Pitch Deck Slides. You’ll have learned how to craft your story into a successful ten-page Investor Pitch Deck that can get you funded!

When an Entrepreneur is putting together their Investor Pitch Deck, they usually assemble a hoard of information. Sadly, often what they construct is a “book” that is 20, 30, even as much as 80 pages in length! Most of us humans have a very short attention span. Even ad networks know that most ads longer than 30 seconds in length don’t work with consumers. For Investors, the successful length of an Investor Pitch Deck is about ten pages and 7-15 minutes in presentation length.

Pitch Deck Ask Slide – Why Important?

Last week in 9: Pitch Deck Team Slide – 10 Slides to VC Funding Success (Link), I spoke about the Team slide and its importance. This week I’m talking to the Pitch Deck Ask Slide, the tenth and final page of the investor presentation and its significance. After having discussed the Team slide, now it’s time to close with your Funding needs.

Why? If the audience has been “sold” on your idea, now they want to know “what’s it going to cost me?”.

If you’ve followed this series, and your investor’s in your Market space, they’ll be on the edge of their seats!

Pitch Deck Ask Slide – Content

Most Ask Slides I see from entrepreneurs are slim on details! They usually state “I need $100K”. The rational response from investors is “That’s nice. What do I get?”. Others I’ve seen say “I need $100K and I’m valuing the company at $5M”. The response from Investors is “OK; you have no sales, no customers, a marginal Minimum Viable Product (MVP). No accomplishments and you’re only offering me 2% of the company? You’re either delusional or on drugs!”.

Your Pitch Deck Ask Slide should convey a few key pieces of information. One, how much money are you raising. Two, how much has been committed by other investors. Three, are you looking for the money to be secured by a Convertible Note or Company Stock? Four, who owns the existing shares in the Company (% per entity). Five, are there other outstanding Notes and for how much? Six, how many months of “runway” does this investment give the Company? Seven, what are the three “hard” commitments you will accomplish with this round of funding?

The seventh item, three “hard” commitments, are the most critical to many investors. These three “hard” commitments you and the team commit to complete with this funding are critical. As an investor myself, these three “hard” commitments will decide if I write you a check or not.

What is a “hard” commitment? A “hard” commitment is an action that is clear and measurable. “Have 300 monthly recurring revenue clients by October 2018” is a “hard” commitment. “Increase our Sales” is NOT a “hard” commitment. “Hire a VP of Sales by May 2018” is a “hard” commitment. “Engage a search-firm to recruit a VP of Sales” is NOT a “hard” commitment. Reach $100K in MRR (Monthly-Recurring-Revenue) by July 2018″ is a “hard” commitment.

Pitch Deck Ask Slide – What’s Your Story?

So, what do you say while your Ask Slide is visible? You are going to verbalize the seven key points I’ve outlined in the content paragraph above. I recommend speaking to each one in the order I’ve listed.

Allow me to give one pitch example.

“We currently have raised $50K in the form of a Convertible Note from Friends and Family. The Interest Rate is 5% with a 20% discount. This round we are raising a $150K as a Convertible Note under the same terms. All the Company stock is currently held by the three Founders equally with 10% set aside for new hires. This round will give us nine months of runway. We commit to accomplishing three key goals. One, reach $25K MRR. Two, add our services in Atlanta GA and Miami FL with $10K+ MRR each. Three, release the iOS and Android versions of our service”. You’ve covered all seven key points. Now the intelligent Q&A is ready to begin.

Presentation: We Can Read or Listen – Not Both!

Most of us humans can either Read or Listen, but cannot do both at the same time. Your Pitch Deck slide presentation exists to support “the story” you are going to be telling your audience. Does your Investor Pitch Deck has a lot of words, charts with numbers, or distracting images? Then your audience is going to switch their brain into reading mode and out of listening mode. As soon as that happens, you’ve lost your audience and will struggle to get them back to listening to YOU! To avoid this, use mostly images and as few words as possible, usually in bullet form. So absolutely, positively NO SENTENCES!

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So, I suspect many of you were surprised concerning the importance of the Ask Slide. If you’re starting you create your first investor presentation, congratulations! You’re going to be starting on the right foot if you follow my recommendations above. Go back and look at your Ask slide and apply what you’ve learned above. If possible, you should wait to read the remainder of the series before you present again. I can almost promise you a better reaction from your audience.

Sales ARE OPEN for My New Book!

“Angel Investors to Venture Capital – 10 Slides to Startup Funding Success – Entrepreneurs Guide to Startup Fundraising”

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My FREE Startup Coaching Newsletter (Link) covers startup problems that I’ve helped my clients solve that you are likely to experience. Topics include choosing the best entity for your startup, finding co-founders, raising venture capital, creating venture capital pitch deck, finding the right accountant and lawyer, creating your startup website, and so much more. I predict you’ll use these newsletters as your go-to-guide when issues arise.

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