10 steps to create a winning pitch deck
Your company’s vision is the best way to get investors to envision the true potential of your business concept. Differentiate yourself from what others have already done. Dream big and think globally! Convince us that you are our next successful company!
2. The problem and customer needs
Do you solve a sufficiently important problem? What value do you give to your customers? Tell us about the real customer needs. Define how big the problem is that you solve and what benefit your solution creates. Just who are those customers who are crying out and willing to pay for your solution?
Here is your chance to describe how your business concept and scalable product/service will change the world. Explain how customers use your product/service today and how they solve the problem and meet customer needs. If you are at an early stage, state whether you have a prototype/beta/demo version of the product/service so that we as investors can assess how it works. Show screenshots/images/videos if possible. If your product has built-in competitive advantages, or is patent-protected, we want to know about it.
One of the most important critical aspects that we look at is the team behind the business concept. Explain to us just what makes your team the right one to build a successful, scalable company. Is the composition of the team a good mix of skills, personalities and behavioral styles that can handle challenges? Do you complement one another or are you too similar? Sweden has a small market and startups need to expand faster internationally in order to grow. Does the talent that you attracted to your team have an international background?
We put the team through a battery of tests to determine whether its members have sufficiently strong entrepreneurial profiles with drive, represent a good mix, and harbor a strong desire and the stamina to solve the market problems you address. A team is rarely completely right from the start, but it is important that you have insight into what key positions you need in order to grow the company. Bring in a professional board of directors early on to complement the team of founders and to attract advisers for specific needs. Another important factor is that the team of founders and key personnel must have sufficient incentive in the form of ownership. If the company's founders have lost their majority ownership stake in the company already at the seed stage, it is difficult to invest since the incentive for the team is much too weak, given the long entrepreneurial journey that lies ahead.
5. Target market and sales strategy
Describe the size of the market and the target market in which you are positioning yourself. Is there a growing market and how much do companies or individuals spend on it annually? Is the timing right to launch your product/service, and how quickly can you take significant market share? Who are your ideal customers, and how many of them are there? This information determines the scope of the problem you are addressing. Focus is important, so convince your investors that you have at least one specific, attainable market.
We also want to know how you market yourself and reach your customers, as well as what your sales process looks like. What strategies and channels do you use to reach your customers? If your approach is different from that of your competitors, tell us how. How you intend to ensure loyal repeat customers is particularly important.
6. Business model
This is where you should clearly show what your company will do to earn money. Describe your business model and your pricing model. Will you be able to compete on price, or by offering, for example, a premium solution where customers are prepared to pay more? It is important that you show us where you are in the business chain and who makes the purchasing decisions, or whether a service, for example, is financed by advertising and free for the end users. If you have already successfully reached a product-market fit, explain how you did so and what Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you have achieved to demonstrate a functioning business model.
7. Development phase and validation
We want to know if you have sold anything and what your user data looks like. What KPIs do you measure and who have you reached to date? Tell us about the customers you have attracted and whether it is the right group of early adopters. In what way have you reduced business risks to date to be able to justify your current valuation of the company? What milestones have you achieved so far and what is the plan for the next two to three years? Remember to carefully select your metrics and milestones so they are value-enhancing for the company. Describe your team’s structured approach to planning and follow-up. It is also important to have a plan that is supported by the company’s owners so that the team works toward the same goals and vision.
All products/services have some form of competition or alternative on the market. Describe how your solution differentiates itself and is unique in relation to existing solutions in the market. If you are in a highly competitive situation, it is incredibly important to demonstrate that you occupy a unique niche in order to have a chance at competing in the market and capturing our interest.
9. Capital requirement and use
Describe the company’s capital needs and how far the investment will take the company. Describe the long-term financial plan, whether more capital needs to be raised and when you predict that the company will reach the break-even point. Show what the company's burn rate looks like right now. High salaries in a company that does not earn any money makes us suspicious. Did the founders invest their own money in the company? Also, describe your reasoning about the estimated valuation of your company and the basis of your valuation. Be specific: a company valuation cannot be based solely on its future market potential. We want to know how far your business model has proven to be correct so far, and also assess how likely it is that you are the right team to make this company succeed!
Sooner or later it will be time to exit, and a fundamental question for Almi Invest is whether the potential of the investment is large enough in relation to the risk. We look at whether there is a realistic link between the business plan and the expected increase in the company's value growth. List potential exit opportunities and potential buyers for an industrial exit. If you think the future may hold an IPO or financial backer/VC, be clear about how you will build value and at what point in time you expect to make such an exit.
Are you our next successful company? Upload your pitch deck below.