According to Rampersand Fund’s Vanessa Hutchinson, the process of raising money as a startup founder “sucks”.
“As a founder, any time spent in VC boardrooms giving the same presentation for the umpteenth time is time away from running your business,” the investment associate wrote in a recent Medium post.
“Hopefully you’re gaining valuable advice and connections in those meetings, but in general, the less time spent on fundraising the better.”
That’s why the early stage $50 million Aussie startup fund is sharing some of its best tips for what startup founders should include in their pitch decks, in the hope of helping some founders “cut through the BS” and get some advice from the thousands of pitches the fund has reviewed.
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The team has released what they call a “hassle-free pitch deck” for any company to download and use, breaking down the deck into five key areas that startup founders should cover when courting potential investors.
These five areas include:
1. The problem your startup is solving, including the main pain point it addresses and the size of the problem to give investors some idea around a potential market size;
2. The solution your startup is providing and why it’s unique, along with an overview of current competitors and why you solve the problem better than they do;
3. Who’s on your team and what do they bring to the table? (“Don’t be afraid to highlight the weird and wonderful quirks,” says Hutchinson.);
4. What your startup has achieved so far, especially in terms of juicy growth metrics, financials, and costs; and
5. Finally, the future outlook for your company. The big dreams and milestones and how you’re going to achieve them.
“Your understanding of the problem is deep and your solution is carefully tailored. Your expertise and passion is the engine of your startup, so don’t hold back!,” Hutchinson says.
“Any investors you bring on board your journey should be in this for the long haul so remember that the pitch is only the beginning of the conversation.
Hutchinson says the template should be used as a guide and is in no way prescriptive, and warns startup founders shouldn’t let themselves become too much of a perfectionist.
“Nothing’s ever perfect, don’t let perfection stand in the way of progress,” she says.