posted at 17:50
Author: Mark Sullivan
Sun, 23 Nov 2014 01:00:37 +0000
The startups customer partners slide: All those logos and no dollars?
Pitches for early-stage companies that have already released a B2B products typically include a slide full of client logos, which they use as proof of "Traction." Whenever I see this my ears perk up, as it's no easy feat signing on so many paying customers at an early stage, and my mind starts calculating the probable revenue run rate. When I ask how much these "Clients" are paying to check if my calculations are correct, it's as if I've caught the entrepreneur off guard. Rather than hoping investors won't ask detailed questions and reactively fumbling through your response, use this slide as an opportunity to build trust and to demonstrate your thought process and plans. Less logos, more explanationBe clear on why you are charging current clients much less than your business model indicates, and why you will be able to charge more in the future. On the slide itself present this in more of a structured, timeline-driven fashion. Upfront, you can indicate with a pipeline image how many users you have, how many are paying, and how much they are paying. The takeawayThe best investor pitches are more like conversations than presentations. Investors will have more confidence in someone who has a firm handle on what needs to be done and how to get there than in someone who is not authentic.

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