The Perfect Pitch

Last week I posted on how you can meet VCs- this week it’s how to get the most out of that meeting.

What format should you use for the first presentation? This is the template that I developed over several years, and recommend whenever an entrepreneur asks what format to use. It’s a time tested format I’ve used for multiple pitch events that I’ve run- it works. The most important part of this pitch is your demo. Make sure that it’s flawless.

The objective of your first meeting is to get to a second meeting. You will start to drill down on one or two points of the company for that meeting. Then you will move on to other points for later meetings. But, for the first meeting, you want to give a fly-over, and leave plenty of time for discussion. Focus on the Product – your demo. It will be the shining point everything else is built on…

So, here’s the Presentation Outline. Stray from this sequence at your own peril.

1. Problem
2. Solution
4. Business Model
5. Underlying magic/ technology
6. Market / Competition
7. Team
8. Milestones/Timeline
9. Financials/Forecasts
10. Summary slide

Good luck!


  1. Fair point- but no, no team slide. You’re sitting there, so no slide is really needed. Team slide is something that always gets included and is boring – unless there’s something really interesting on it (e.g. you were the product manager for Google Maps. That’s interesting and probably relevant), but there’s no need to include one. A good team is self evident based on all the other factors – great product, clear market strategy, smart positioning, etc.

    1. Thanks Jason. I completely agree that the team slide is boring. I also agree that it becomes relevant when you have a top notch team (i.e., the Google Maps manager vs. the Apple maps manager). It’s the first time I hear this from a VC but it is good to hear. The irony in this is that – and you know this better than anybody else – investment decisions are largely based on the VC’s belief in the management team’s ability to execute the business plan.

      1. Absolutely. People are critical – and are one of the pillars of an investment decision. To quote my 3 P’s of investing post: “People. I have to like you. I have to think we can work together. That you’re smart. Opinionated. Informed. That you listen, ask questions, ask for help. That you have a vision and you’re passionate about what you’re doing and that you can execute.” That all gets teased out as you look at a company…

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