August 15, 2012
When you make a presentation for a venture capital firm, you’ll have 30 minutes at the very most, which means that your slideshow needs to be short and to the point. You’ll also need to answer questions – and you need to be prepared for this before, during and after your presentation.
The most important questions that you need to answer are:
- What does your company do? Explain this briefly, yet as thoroughly as possible.
- What is your company’s stage of growth? Are you in seed stage, early stage or later?
- What does your company have which makes it the right company to serve the needs of the market? This is widely thought to be the single most important question – why are you uniquely suited to succeed in your industry? Perhaps it’s proprietary technology, a winning management team, partnerships or contracts with other businesses or something else which gives you an edge.
- What is the unmet need in the marketplace that your business will cater to. Show third party research which demonstrates the need for your products or services in the market you plan to target. What are your potential customers buying now and what would they like to buy if it were available to them?
- What market or markets will you be competing in? Who is your target demographic? Explain this using independent market research.
- How does (or will) your company generate revenue? Is it purchases directly from customers, affiliate marketing, advertising revenue or something else?
- Who is your competition and what are their strengths and weaknesses? What’s your plan to edge them out and create barriers to entry that will secure your market share? Keep in mind that any product or service that meets the same need as your own products and services should be seen as competition.
- Who is your management team and what kind of track record do they have? Potential investors need to see that yours is a management team with a history of success growing companies.
- What are your key milestones? These may be future goals or goals which you’ve already achieved. Provide a timeline of your business, including important points such as when products will be developed or released, when partnerships will be formed or important contracts secured, when you plan to roll out marketing strategies, achieve revenue goals and the like.
- How much money will your business need? Venture capitalists want to see substantial returns in a relatively short time frame. Keep this in mind when you explain how much funding your venture will need – and use realistic financial projections to explain why your business is the right one to back.