The pre-seed product is just like the seed round pitch deck. It should be short and sweet. It should give investors a good idea of what you are doing and how you are doing it.
You can use the same template as the seed pitch deck and change the numbers to reflect your current status.
Remember to focus on your traction, not your idea.
The best thing you can do for your pre-seed pitch deck is to make sure that it looks professional.
You want to show investors that you are capable and confident in what you are doing and where you will take it.
The best way to do that is with a professional-looking pitch deck with good graphics, colors, photos, charts, etc.
Remember, if an investor wants more information, they can contact you via email or reach out via social media.
This is just the beginning of your relationship with them, and they will be more than happy to get more details if they need them.
Having a well-put-together document will help them see that you’ve already put much thought into this project before approaching them and shows that you know how much detail matters when pitching your startup idea or product to investors.
Your pre-seed pitch deck should be a high-level, executive summary of your concept. It should be short and informative. You want to focus on your traction, not your idea.
You should present everything in an easy-to-read way with good visuals so the investors can see what you are doing and how you are doing it.
Investors want to know what stage you are at and how far you are in achieving your goals.
They also want to know that they will get their money back with interest if everything goes well (something many early-stage investors aren’t worried about).
Investors want to see that you have a plan for achieving those goals, and that plan is realistic based on the traction you have so far.
You can ignore all of that if you don’t care about investor money, but if the investors come to believe that they’ll lose their investment, then they will stop investing in startups like yours.
It’s all about creating realistic expectations for everyone involved upfront and keeping them updated as things change along the way (which they always do).
You want to show the investors a well-thought-out plan that shows you have a clear vision of where you are going and how you will get there.
When it comes to your pre-seed pitch deck, you want to show that your product has a clear competitive advantage over other similar startups in the market.
You need to prove that your product is unique and that there is a clear demand for it.
This can be done by showing investors customer feedback, testimonials, or case studies of companies using your product.
You can also do a SWOT analysis or show them how much market research you have done on the startup industry as a whole and how your product fits into it.
What is the problem? Who has this problem? How big is the market?
Why haven’t other solutions been able to solve this problem? What makes yours different?
What does this mean for current businesses? How will this affect their business if they continue to run without solving this issue?
Does anyone else provide a solution to this problem? If so, what makes yours better than theirs?
What is your solution for solving the problem at hand, and how will that affect current businesses in the market?
You should always include a team section where you list your team members and what each of them does and any advisors working with you.
For now, you want to focus on showing that you have a strong team that has good chemistry and knows how to work together.
This will help show investors that you have built a strong foundation for your startup and have strong leadership to help drive your product to success.
Investors want to see that you are making progress towards achieving your goals.
How much progress are you making? What is the plan for future growth?
What is the plan for raising more money or expanding? How many customers do you have, and how many more do you need?
When did they start using your product? Are they happy with it?
Is there room for growth in this market, or is it saturated already? What does this mean for current businesses in the market if your startup becomes successful?
If everything goes according to plan, how long until we reach $XX million in sales? How long until we reach $XX million in revenue per year or per quarter (depending on the business type)?
When can we expect our first year of profitability?
What is the startup’s current valuation? How much money do you need to raise, and how long will that take?
What is your burn rate per month, and what are the projected numbers for the first year? How much runway do you have?
When will you need to raise more money, and why?
The Exit Plan
Will funding help this company achieve profitability faster or allow it to grow exponentially in a short amount of time?
Or, if it does not reach profitability, will your company sell or be acquired by another company in the same field or by a competitor in a different field (i.e., LinkedIn purchasing Lynda)?
Do you have any plans of going public, or can you estimate when that might happen if everything goes according to plan?
If not, what other exit options are on the table at this point?
What can investors expect from this investment if they choose to invest in your startup?
What will their ROI be over time, whether it be monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.?
If they invest $XXX now, what can they expect in return, and when can they expect it.
You can also use this section as an opportunity to ask investors for their advice on where your startup can improve, where you need to focus more time and attention on, and any other questions they might have for you.
About the Author
I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces, and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.
You can connect with me on Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexanderlhk) and let me know that you are a reader of my Medium posts in your invitation message.