The Thing Most Pitch Decks Are Missing

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.

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About shanishoham

After 14 years of General Management and incubating/scaling new businesses & organizations for enterprises (established a $55M mobile business and a $100M/400 employees global division), I became an investor Today I’m a board member/mentor with 5 incubators & micro-VCs and involved with many other private & public incubators around the world. I also founded a VC firm named 2020 and I'm a member with a number of angel groups so i get to see & work with many startups, innovation centers and other parties across the ecosystem. I’m an alumnus of the Stanford Graduate School of business - Sloan Master in Management program, a 10 months intensive program for 57 carefully selected experienced Executives and leaders from all around the world.

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