Posted by: Leura Craig
Posted on 04/21/2021
A pitch deck is a critical communications tool for all startups—it is how you tell the story of your venture, make your introductions to investors, and more. However, it doesn’t take much Googling to see that everybody’s got their own opinion of the right and wrong ways to put together a deck or how to present yourself to investors. In my experience as an investor and former founder, the most successful pitches all boil down to one major imperative: a compelling narrative arc.
When you’re speaking to a person you want to partner or work with, it’s always in your best interest to figure out the most impactful way to sell yourself, your idea, or your business to that particular person or group of people. Effective communication is all about presenting a compelling narrative, and when you’ve only got a few slides and a handful of minutes to share your startup’s story, you have to make every word count.
As with all persuasive writing, who you’re pitching to should inform your tone and diction in each iteration of your verbal pitch and every share of your deck. So, first and foremost, do some digging online to see if you can find any clues about what the investor is looking for in a pitch. It’s entirely possible that they have provided a quote for an article about what they think makes a great deck or that they’ve listed their expectations on their website. Use whatever information you can find to tailor your presentation to their most desired style of delivery without sacrificing your authenticity or personal style. It can be a tall order, but it’s worth the effort.
As more startups have learned about our upcoming pitch event, OutPitch 2021, we’ve received many questions about what we look for in a pitch deck. We really appreciate these questions because it shows that the founders not only want to understand us as investors but also recognize the importance of tailoring their message—a skill that is a boon to the long-term success of any entrepreneur and their company.
If you’ve read this far and you’re a founder interested in pitching to the Outlander team, I’ve got some good news! We’ve distilled the core features of a winning pitch, and we’re more than happy to share that information with you. Ideally, your pitch hits the ten critical highlights below in ten slides or less, leaving your audience with a well-rounded view of you, the founder, as well as the problem you’re trying to solve.
The narrative arc of a winning pitch is as follows: Start with the big picture. Then delve into the specifics and how your founding team fits in. Next, bring us up to speed on your progress thus far, then sell us on your venture’s vision for the future. In your vision for the future, be sure to demonstrate your area expertise by identifying any potential competitors or obstacles, followed by your plans to navigate around them. Conclude with your ask. And don’t forget to tailor the details to your audience!
Now you’ve got a pitch with a compelling narrative tailored to Outlander VC, and we want to see it!
Outlander is inviting the most innovative early-stage tech startups in the Southeastern United States to out-vision, outsmart, and outpitch the competition at OutPitch 2021! The live pitch competition winner will receive a $100,000 investment from Outlander VC on a $1M capped convertible promissory note! Read all of the Outpitch 2021 terms and conditions here.
If you’re the founder of an innovative early-stage tech startup headquartered in the Southeast, you are strongly encouraged to apply! The application deadline is 11:59 pm EDT on May 2nd, 2021.
The application request form is simple. Just send us your name, contact information, and the name of your startup.
Then, look out for an e-mail from email@example.com with the link to the full OutPitch 2021 application.
The full application consists of 14 questions, covering your contact information, co-founders, company description, location, product category, website, and pitch deck, and previous funding information.
Yay! We can’t wait to review your OutPitch application. Next, our partners will select the top six startups to pitch live to our top-tier venture capital investors and judges on May 18, 2021.
Best of luck!
Leura is a former founder and experienced investor who previously bootstrapped two startups as the founding CEO.
As we explore the unknown of each new investment, our Field Guides are where we document all that we learn along the way.
So, whether you’re actively raising, trying to break into VC, or interested in our game-changing portfolio, our Field Guide's got you covered.
Sign up now for exclusive access to funding opportunities, events/resources from our network of experts, updates from our portfolio, and more!