The information age and our growing desire to share our experiences have democratised the investor/entrepreneur interaction.
A simple google search will bring an abundance of advice, insights, and tips from seasoned VCs and founders on when to fundraise, how to find the right investor, how to negotiate mutually agreeable terms, and of course how to pitch.
Despite all this information, what is still not talked about, is the final VC panel presentation — the final moment before a VC firm decides whether or not they will put a term sheet on the table.
While investment panel structure varies between different Venture Capital firms, at Nauta Capital, once our investment teams have done months of meetings with the founder and the team, conducted an industry, market and technology deep dives as well as financial due diligence, the time comes when the company is invited to present in front of the team.
For us, these presentations are not only attended by the firm’s Partners, but also by our whole team. What’s more, it’s a company-wide meeting whereby anyone attending can ask questions.
Needless to say, presenting for 2-hours in front of a panel — let alone an audience that can shape the future direction of your company — can be nerve-wracking for any entrepreneur.
With that in mind, we wanted to share some of the key factors that differentiate an initial pitch from the one needed for the final investment panel and share some common pitfalls founders should avoid for that final ride.
The Pitch Deck
As a founder, once you know you’re about to fundraise you prepare a pitch deck. It’s generally agreed within the investor/founder community that a fundraising deck would include the following sections:
- Executive Summary
- Market Opportunity
- Competitive landscape
- Business Model
- Revenue model
- Traction / Customers
- The ask
Assuming the initial deck caught the attention of the VC, after months of meetings and fleshing out ideas, and perhaps achieving new milestones, your original pitch deck will likely to have also evolved along the way.
And in most cases at Nauta, the founder and the lead VC will work intensely to streamline the deck’s key content whilst introducing crucial new sub-sections for that final investment panel.
While the overall structure of the deck will not change, there are sections within the deck that will go through a significant transformation.
These often are the problem, solution, financials, customers and competitive landscape. The sections, which in the initial deck may have only contained summaries, will now be expected to be more detailed and compelling during the final presentation.
Indeed, these sections will now be expected to answer or cover the following:
Clearly quantifiable and qualifiable nature of the problem and its significance across different markets.
Pitfall tip: Try to link the origin story of your business to grab attention.
Explain the value proposition for customers — not just what the product is — but how it helps them achieve their objectives and answers their pain points.
Pitfall tip: Don’t forget to create a natural link in your presentation between the problem and solution as seen from Mixpanel’s deck below