While reflecting on the lessons he’s learned over the last decade on the NextView Blog, Rob Go of NextView Venture Partners (and Double client) quoted fellow partner, Lee Hower. “Fundraising isn’t about convincing skeptics, it’s a search for true believers.” As you seek funding, consider how you can take interested investors and guide them through a journey that turns them into true believers. One powerful way to do this is by creating a pitch deck that captivates and inspires, while also providing the hard numbers that matter. Two venture capital firms, that also happen to be Double clients, have shared how to do this effectively.
With a portfolio of companies such as Drift, ThredUp, and Whoop, NextView Ventures prides itself on investing in “companies that use technology to drive a brighter collective future for everyday people.” The Partners of the firm place emphasis on being very hands-on investors. This begins even before the funding process is complete. When we saw that NextView created a pitch deck template specifically for companies that are in the seed stage of fundraising, we had to share.
Pitch deck tips curated from NextView Ventures resources 1. Make sure your pitch deck has a storytelling component that is also visually appealing. 2. During initial investment conversations, you may not need a full pitch deck. Instead, have a few slides and an appendix of resources you can reference if you need to. 3. Whenever you can, try to make your meeting with an investor more of a conversation rather than a one-sided pitch that just walks through the slides of your deck. 4. Make your deck short and flexible so it works for different types of investors. 5. Go says, “Your job is to show that your positive momentum will lead to sustained market leadership.”
Another Double client, Forum Ventures (formerly Acceleprise), has a goal to make building a company easier. Front and center on their website you’ll find this stated loud and clear. “We join founders early on their journey—usually the first check in—and we stay by your side as you build, navigate the ups and downs, and go on to do great things.” The Forum Ventures team is true to their word, offering a Fundraising Playbook to help companies go through the fundraising process the right way from the start.
Pitch deck tips curated from Forum Ventures resources 1. Be sure to have two pitch decks: a “send deck” that is short and to the point that can get an investor interested and an “investor deck” that’s the longer, detailed version. 2. Create an FAQ document that answers the questions that keep coming up in meetings. Take those answers and add them to the deck in a clear way. - Mariel Reed, CEO of CoProcure (backed by Forum Ventures) 3. Meet with a few investors to practice and share your pitch deck before meeting with your ideal investor. This allows you to update your deck based on feedback. 4. Have the pitch deck prepared before reaching out to schedule meetings with investors. If you’re able to get a meeting the same week you don’t want to be scrambling to finish your decks. 5. Knowing the following will make building your pitch deck (and having conversations) easier: a. The Market Vision - know how the market is going to evolve and what the path looks like to several billion dollars in revenue opportunity b. Your Moats - understand how you will protect your share in the market c. Data Points - show how the risk to investors is mitigated
Your pitch deck can be your one shot at making a great first impression. Use the tips above to elevate your company before an investor really gets the opportunity to know you. By storytelling, using clear and concise language, and proving yourself with data, you’ll pique interest quickly and be on your way to the funding your company deserves.