Pitching is one of the most important and sometimes the most challenging element of the fund-raising process. It has been seen that most pitches fail not because of the underlying idea but because of the perception created by the prospective investor due the inability of the promoter’s presentation in a particular style and format.
Time constraint to present a pitch deck is a major factor in the failure. When one tries to pack lot of information in the short pitch presentation, he fails to communicate the right message to the prospective investor.
It has been found that if the process of pitching and the pitch deck itself is tailored in a proper method, the success rate of acceptance goes up.
A pitch deck is a culmination of pre-work done through the mentoring process where in the mentor trains the promoter to create the basic necessary and essential documentation to support the pitch.
These documentations include 4 main parts namely
Information Memorandum (IM)
The Information Memorandum is nothing but a 2-page teaser that is sent to the prospective investor. This is a no-name basis document and just focuses on an Executive Summary, Proposition & Business Model, Company Information, Current status, Technology Strategy, Market Strategy, Financial Strategy, Why Invest and a strong Conclusion
This is actually the point where in the prospective investor has shown some interest in the promoter’s project and the promoter is given a time slot (say 5 to 15 minutes) to pitch their product/ service.
The pitch deck normally should be not more than 1 slide per minute. So based on the time given, he needs to configure his presentation. Ideally, a single slide can also make a good pitch deck provided a concise and precise point to point areas can be covered.
The normal pitch deck may consist of Premises, Vision & Mission Statement, Team Structure, Introduction of the Product/ Services, Business Model covering methodology and USP, Technology Stack, Roadmap, Financial Strategy, Financial Projections & Funds required, Go-to-Market Strategy, Partnership & Synergy (for Strategic investment) and definitely a Contact information.
When the prospective investor asks for a deep dive into the project the promoter needs to have a set of two artefacts ready namely
Detailed Project Report (DPR) – Before the deep dive session with the prospective investor, the promoter needs to send him the DPR so that during a presentation the prospective investor is prepared and ready with his questions.
A DPR should consists of an Overview, Essential Requirements, Executive Summary, Business Plan depicting background of the project, the proposal, about the company, products, markets, production, sales & distribution, administration, management team, research and development, project cost, promoter’s capital contribution, funding requirements and modus (including and incentives & subsidies), financial projections, project analysis (SWOT, Sensitivity) and so on.The content of the DPR is very much based on Economic-Industry-Company (EIC) analysis and left to the promoter to configure accordingly.
Business Plan Presentation (BPP) – This presentation needs to be used during the deep dive session wherein the promoter needs to come up with a couple of slides namely and Elevator Pitch, Market & Industry, Value Proposition, Key Products/ Services & Differentiation, Competitive Scenario & Entry Barriers, Market Traction, Management Team & Organization Structure, Financials, Exit Strategy (for investors), Capital Requirement, Risks & Gap with a solid conclusion on why it is worth investing.
Detailed Strategy & Plan
There are two areas where it is essential that the promoter and the prospective investor gets into detailing namely
The Financial Plan & Strategy is the last part of any deep dive discussion. Here the promoter has to show various configurations of the financial plan based on strategy. It can have 3 models; pessimistic, optimistic, Ideal model.
An Excel format is ideal to present such models and should include the assumptions, account statements, financial projections, financial ratios, breakeven point analysis, profitability analysis, ROI analysis, Net Present Analysis, Benefit-Cost Analysis, and Sensitivity Analysis and so on.
The Marketing Plan & Strategy is the second piece in the deep dive. Here the promoter has to now clearly present the current status in terms of clientele and prospective ones. Promoter needs to segment the prospect list based on the relative priority of occurrence as well as time to close the deals. A clear model has to be brought out on how to connect and close deals as well as show the expected cash flow collection month-on-month.
The strategy has to be very clear on clear segment-target-positioning approach and identify the cash cows using the BCG matrix. A strategy from lead generation to follow-up and closing mechanism of deals is expected. A promoter may use the traditional or social media marketing model in the process.