With early-stage startups, what you already have may not be enough for investors to linger longer to “find out” your potential. So, show your team’s potential in the most impressive way at your PD. The article will give a simple guideline as well as some tips from a VC perspective to help teams have the most effective PD and pitching.
- Introduce the product with a brief, impressive summary
- Contact of CEO, founder
2. MARKET AND PAIN POINT
Key question: Is the market you selected big enough and has enough room for you?
- Market: Briefly describe the market you choose
- Market size: The size of the market with specific figures, demonstrating its potential
- Key metrics: TAM (Total Addressable Market), SAM (Serviceable Available Marke), SOM (Serviceable Obtainable Market)
- What is the size of the customer group that is having this problem?
- What are they doing to deal with not using your product?
- Why is the current solution of the customer group not optimal?
Key question: How does your product solve the pain point of the market?
- Summarize the solution that your product brings in the most understandable way.
- Specify how your product solves the pain point.
- Highlight the optimization of your solution. Is this optimization worth the money customers spend?
4. BUSINESS MODEL
Key question: How does your product make money?
- How will the cashflows in/out of your product?
- Clarify break-even point as well as expected profit growth of the product
Key question: How do you outperform your competitors (directly and indirectly)?
- A panoramic, objective view of your competitors and yourself in the market.
- What is your competitive advantage over your competitors? Does this advantage make customers choose you over your competitors?
- If there is a new player entering the market with a product similar to yours, what is your competitive advantage?
6. TRACTION AND FINANCIAL INDICATORS
Key question: How is your product performing?
- Traction (Product performance): The indicators depend on your product. However, for early-stage startups, the most important metrics revolve around users: number, growth rate, return rate, paid rate:
- Total user, MAU, DAU, PU
- Growth rate:
- Retention rate:
- Financial indicators:
- Profit and Loss in total and per user
- Cost allocation: Operation cost, Acquisition Cost, etc.
- Financial assumptions
7. GROWTH STRATEGY AND KEY MILESTONES
Key question: How do you develop strategies and specific plans to realize them?
Business expansion strategies typically include:
- Product development strategy: develop, improve what features?
- Customer strategy: How do you attract new customers and retain old customers?
- HR strategy: Plan to develop personnel (in terms of skills, capabilities) or recruit more, etc. when the business expands.
- Market expansion strategy: does the team plan to expand into another geographical area, another field?… However, with an early-stage startup, you should seriously consider including this factor. or not to avoid being judged that “standing in this mountain and looking at that mountain”, “distracted”. Mention this strategy when you can really convince the listener/reader.
Put the strategy into an Action plan with specific timelines and actions the team takes to realize it.
Key question: Why should investors believe that you will do what you say?
This is one of the most important factors, because in the early stage, all the numbers are not certain and clear enough. At that time, a quality and enthusiastic team will be an extremely important factor for investors to believe.
- Academic background and Past experience of key members: Presenting the most outstanding, most relevant, and special experiences of the founder, CEO, and CTO.
- Team structure: Should list no more than 5 people in the founding team, should choose the most prominent and relevant experienced members to introduce.
- Briefly share the team’s story (if any). It can be the inspiration, goal, vision that makes your team more cohesive, more determined to win this game.
Key question: How would you recommend investment cooperation?
- Current cap table
- Use of proceeds: How much do you want to call? With what form? Purpose of use of that money