8 tips for making investors interested in your research

1. Tell a story – Begin your presentation with a compelling story. This will engage your audience right out of the gate. And if you can relate your story to your audience, even better! Create emotions! Your story should address the problem you’re solving in the marketplace.

2. Solution – Share what’s unique about your product and how it will solve the issue you shared in the previous slide. Keep it short, concise, and easy for the audience to explain to others. Avoid using buzz words unless your audience is very familiar with your industry. Are there existing solutions already? What is the market? Quantification, potential.

3. Market analysis and costumers – This is usually one of the most skipped sections of a presentation. Don’t say that everyone in the world is potentially your market,  even it it could be true one day. Be realistic about who you’re building your product for. How will you reach your customers? How much will it cost? How will you measure success?

4. Competition – Again, a VERY important part of your presentation, and many people omit this section or don’t provide enough detail about why they’re so different from their competitors. The best is to show this slide in a matrix format – where you list your competitors, features/benefits and place check marks in the boxes for which company offers that service. Ideally, you have check marks across the top for every category, and your competitors lack in key areas to show your competitive advantage.

5. Timeline – Impress the investors with what you and your team have accomplished to date (sales, contracts, key hires, product launches, etc.) plus your future plans, when you put the product on the market and when you plan to exit.

6. Financial data – Investors tend to care about this slide the most. How will you make money? Be very specific about your products and pricing ? Show what you’re projecting in revenue (per product) over the next three to five years. You MUST back-up your numbers by sharing your assumptions. You’ll see investors taking out their smartphone calculators to make sure your numbers make sense.

Clearly spell-out how much money has already been invested in your company, by whom, ownership percentages, and how much more you need to go to the next level (and be clear about what level that is). Will you need to raise multiple rounds of financing? This is the level of detail you want to include on this slide: how much you need, why you need the money, what it will be used for, and the intended outcome.

Most investors will want to know what your exit strategy is. Are you planning on getting acquired, going public (very few companies actually do), or something else? Show why it would make sense 3, 5, or 10 years down the road.

7. Team – Investors invest in people first and ideas second, so be sure to share details about your rock star team and why they are the right people to lead this company. Also be sure to share what skill-sets you may be missing on your team. Most start-up teams are missing some key talent – be it marketing, management expertise, programmers, sales, operations, financial management, etc. Let them know that you know what you don’t know!

8. Coclusion – why are you here? What kind of investors you are looking for? What do you want from them? Share your future vision so investors could see that you think about it.

Martin Podařil





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