I get pitched once a week mainly by early stage startups raising their seed round. At this point I’ve heard hundreds of pitches so I’d say I have a pretty decent sample. Most unfortunately miss one key slide – traction. Instead of repeating the same feedback again and again, I thought I’d write this post.
I get that: your product is still under development and maybe you don’t even have your first paying customer so you can’t yet preset that hockey stick graph. Having said that you’ve been working on your startup for a while now: you analyzed the market, spoke to clients and have insight into their need or deeply understand the structure and interplay between the different parties. Maybe you recruited 2-3 design partners or convinced a well-respected CEO of a flagship account to join the board. If your startup is ready for a seed investment, that means you have been doing something over the last few months/years other than developing your product. It is no longer just an idea. Showcase that. Talk about what you’ve learned so far. Discuss your journey: What mistakes you’ve made and what you learned from these mistakes. That information tells me more about whether you can actually pull this off and how you think, then any other slides on your pitch deck.
Many smart people have ideas. Entrepreneurs are the ones who execute on them.