1) WHAT IS YOUR VISION?
- What is your big vision?
- What problem are you solving and for whom?
- Where do you want to be in the future?
2) WHAT IS YOUR MARKET OPPORTUNITY AND HOW BIG IS IT?
- How big is the market opportunity you are pursuing and how fast is it growing?
- How established (or nascent) is the market?
- Do you have a credible claim on being one of the top two or three players in the market?
3) DESCRIBE YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE
- What is your product/service?
- How does it solve your customer’s problem?
- What is unique about your product/service?
4) WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER?
- Who are your existing customers?
- Who is your target customer?
- What defines an "ideal" customer prospect?
- Who actually writes you the check?
- Use specific customer examples where possible.
5) WHAT IS YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION?
- What is your value proposition to the customer?
- What kind of ROI can your customer expect by using buying your product/service?
- What pain are you eliminating?
- Are you selling vitamins, aspirin or antibiotics? (I.e. a luxury, a nice-to-have, or a need-to-have)
6) HOW ARE YOU SELLING?
- What does the sales process look like and how long is the sales cycle?
- How will you reach the target customer? What does it cost to "acquire" a customer?
- What is your sales, marketing and distribution strategy?
- What is the current sales pipeline?
7) HOW DO YOU ACQUIRE CUSTOMERS?
- What is your cost to acquire a customer?
- How will this acquisition cost change over time and why?
- What is the lifetime value of a customer?
8) WHO IS YOUR MANAGEMENT TEAM?
- Who is the management team?
- What is their experience?
- What pieces are missing and what is the plan for filling them?
9) WHAT IS YOUR REVENUE MODEL?
- How do you make money?
- What is your revenue model?
- What is required to become profitable?
10) WHAT STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT ARE YOU AT?
- What is your stage of development? Technology/product? Team? Financial metrics/revenue?
- What has been the progress to date (make reality and future clear)?
- What are your future milestones?
11) WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR FUND RAISING?
- What funds have already been raised?
- How much money are you raising and at what valuation?
- How will the money be spent?
- How long will it last and where will the company "be" on its milestones progress at that time?
- How much additional funding do you anticipate raising & when?
12) WHO IS YOUR COMPETITION?
- Who is your existing & likely competition?
- Who is adjacent to you (in the market) that could enter your market (and compete) or could be a co-opted partner?
- What are their strengths/weaknesses?
- Why are you different?
13) WHAT PARTNERSHIPS DO YOU HAVE?
- Who are your key distribution and technology partners (current & future)?
- How dependent are you on these partners?
14) HOW DO YOU FIT WITH THE PROSPECTIVE INVESTOR?
- How does this fit w/ the investor’s portfolio and expertise?
- What synergies, competition exist with the investor’s existing portfolio?
- What assumptions are key to the success of the business?
- What "gotchas" could change the business overnight? New technologies, new market entrants, change in standards or regulations?
- What are your company’s weak links?
NWVenture Voice's 5 golden tips (again reproduced here.... apologies..but would hate to lose it)
First, have an outline. Be organized. The best top level outline I have heard it from one of the super masters of presentations, Jerry Weissman. Before you focus on all the snazzy charts, make sure you do the following:
• Tell them what you are going to tell them: Show them where you are going to take them, on the title slide.
• Tell them how you are going to tell them: Have an agenda slide and stick to it.
• Tell them: make sure the body of your presentation always reinforces your opening point.
• Tell them what you told them: wrap up, recap and go for the close.
2. In a nutshell
One great tool for making this organzation stick is what I call the "in a nutshell" slide. This is using your agenda slide to tell the skeleton of your whole arguement. When presenting to Steve Ballmer it often happened that you never got off the first slide after the title, so make sure it really works for you.
Normally, I like to see In A Nutshell slides that act as a template. On one side they highlight, even number the key elements of your story/pitch/arguement and in parallel on the other side they give the top support points in summary. As you then move through the deck you keep the left hand template to reinforce the whole arguement and help people remember where you are in it.
3. Clear, simple case
Show why your company/investment should exist in the first place. Do the simple case using what we call your ABCs or situation/gap analysis. Where:
• A = Today: the current situation in the market/big growing
• B = Tommorrow: the place the market should be/juicy opportunity
• C = Gap: what's missing to get to B/the special play you are poised to make to fill it and win
4. Simple positioning and proposal
Then tell why your way of filling this gap is better than everyone else's. One simple outline for this is what we call the XYZs - "We are the only X company/product that solves Y customer problem in Z unique way," where
• X = your category: critical for VCs, we need to put you in some box, to make comparisons; never invent a category, improve one.
• Y = the target: the buyer, the person who actually writes the check, great if you actually have some.
• Z = your differentiation: your advantage, or the key positive distinction you have over your competition.
It also helps if you can back all this up with real support, like your team's track record, customer traction, a real competitive analysis (thier ABCs), etc. A demo is not enough. Proof is better than claims.
5. Best foot forward first and strongest
Tune the organization of your story to the stage of your company. And always put the strongest stuff upfront.
• An EIR: It's all about YOU and the market opportunity/competitive gap.
• A seed: It's all about initial market validation (quotes from friends with important job titles in your target customer's industry), then about the product spec, the team and the above.
• A round: It's all about initial customer traction and economics - some demonstrated willingness to try and pay - show the best real numbers you have, then about the product itself relative to others, then the above/
• B round: It's about momentum - show the sales numbers, the trends and the economics, then all the above.
Then of course have a well thought out and agressive enough ask.