Our most frequent comments on pitch decks

The situation… a founder reaches out cold to ask for pitch deck feedback (maybe you’ve heard the old “if you want money, ask for advice; if you want advice, ask for money” canard). We respond: “We avoid giving much advice without having spent time top understand what you’re building. Investors often treat their pitch deck advice as gospel — only you know what sells your startup.” This is also why we avoid judging pitch competitions or giving lightning-round advice in a public setting — and related to why it’s hard to give feedback on startup ideas — it just lacks much value for founders.

Still, we know that a good pitch memo or deck can be a critical factor in a fundraise. And we do see a lot of pitches (we considered more than 2,000 startups last year). While we only speak for ourselves (and what we’ve seen work on other investors) — and investors have wildly varying opinions on decks (including giving advice that backfires at their own firms! and disagreements on the below within our own team!), we can be transparent and share what we look for in written pitches.

We also talk more about pitch decks on #thisisnotadvice.

Some elements are table stakes for (almost) every investor.

Focus on investors who understand your problem space. Investors who “get it” won’t need much selling. “Search, don’t sell,” as they say. If you have to explain the basics of your market, more often than not, they’re the wrong investor.

Show those investors that (Read more...)