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I guess the short answer is: a good investment deck is one which not only results in engagement with investors, and then following due diligence and verification secures funding. It’s the first step on the journey with investors and in that sense, using the old adage, it is important to ‘put your best foot forward’.

If there were various pieces of advice I could give — these would include;

1. Make it easy.

As a first step — and this may be stating the obvious, but make it as easy as possible for an investor to review your deck. That means not requiring them to sign an NDA beforehand.

An initial pitch shouldn’t contain confidential information and there are few ideas out there which are so groundbreaking that they would need protection upfront.

Most, if not all VC investors review multiple opportunities across multiple sectors, and don’t want to have their hands tied because they signed an NDA, there is also the time, costs, legal risks for a VC associated with every NDA signed.

The worst example I have seen was one business (which shall remain anonymous) which initially required potential investors to sign up to a 23 page NDA before sharing their initial pitch deck

2. Keep it short, simple, sweet and eye catching

Here’s an analogy: You are in a book shop, looking for a book, you don’t recognise any of the authors, so what do you go for? The one which has a snazzy cover? Maybe. Then you might pick it up, read the synopsis on the back. If it tickles your fancy, then you may go ahead and buy it.

The initial elevator pitch to garner an investors interest is no different.

3. Let the narrative flow

Okay — so you now have the investor’s attention. Don’t lose them by over-complicating the pitch deck or using jargon.
Keep it simple — problem, solution, market size and validation, your product, business model, how you’re going to go to market, benchmarking vs the competition, financials, and team etc.

It doesn’t need to be war and peace. It is all about building rapport and trust — greater granularity can follow.

4. Be clear on the ask(s)

Be clear in what you are looking for in terms of funding and what it’s for. Just as important as funding, be articulate in what else you are looking for support from investors.

5. Refine

Channel your own inner circular economic principles: take on board any feedback / advice along the way to make sure the pitch is the best it can be.

Good luck!

Article by

Partner

Jeremy Roberts

Jeremy has over 25 years corporate finance, principal investing and PE experience built up in originating, negotiating and executing M&A, restructurings and capital raising transactions primarily in the industrials, transport, leisure, technology and energy sectors globally. Initially with ABN AMRO, then Credit Suisse, he advised global brands, before joining Lansdowne Capital as a Director. In 2013, Jeremy founded his own financial advisory / consultancy advising earlier stage companies, corporates, PE, VC and Family Offices on M&A, capital raisings and listings as well as operational improvement and on finding sustainable solutions.