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CREATING THE PLAN DECK
Remember the KISS Principle: Simple
The Goal of the Plan Deck is:
To clearly communicate the company story
To generate excitement about the company
To get a second meeting with the investor(s)
Should be around ten minutes
Use large fonts for easy readability
Don’t use slide animations or sound bites unless they add real value
Practice your presentation. You should be comfortable giving the presentation
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This is only the suggested order of the slides. You should present in the order
you believe presents your business and business opportunity in the best light.
Slide 1 – Company Introduction/Company Purpose
Slide 2 – The Problem
Slide 3 – The Solution
Slide 4 – Business Model
Slide 5 – Product
Slide 6 – Market
Slide 7 – Competition
Slide 8 – Competitive Advantage
Slide 9 – Go To Market Strategy
Slide 10 – Team
Slide 11 – Financials
Slide 12 – Use of Funds
Slide 13 - Summary
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This slide will just be a title page with your organization name, your name and title
and your contact info. You will speak to these points in a 60 second elevator pitch.
It is key as everything else flows from it!
ABC CORP, Inc. John Smith
123 Rodeo Dr., Chief Executive Officer
Suite 300 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Beverly Hills, CA 90210 Tel: (310) 555-5555 x555
Fax: (310) 555-5554
The presenter must cover:
Who you are – experience/team’s experience
Define the company and business in a single declarative sentence
What markets you compete in
Significant milestones to date
Size of the investment required
This all needs to be accomplished in one minute without additional slides.
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This slide introduces investors to the customer that you will sell to. The goal is to
get everyone in the room nodding in agreement and buying in.
Describe the Problem in the Marketplace
Describe and what the problem is
Quantify the problem concisely. How much does the problem
Address where the demand came from
Outline how the customer currently addresses the problem
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This slide shows the company’s value proposition, how it makes the customer’s life
better and solves “the problem” showing the company as a must have, not a nice to
Develop a compelling presentation of your solution – use of graphics, illustrations, or
pictures are recommended
Relate to the problem slide – focus on how the problem is solved!
List the key points that will ensure that the audience clearly understands what you sell
and your value proposition
Explain what your solution is, what it does but NOT how it does it – no tech talk!
What happens if it is implemented? How much will it save? What will it allow your
customer to do that couldn’t be done before?
Why is paying for the solution worth it – the benefit to them – i.e. cost savings?
Elimination of a bottleneck? Increased market share or revenues for them, etc.
Make sure you address who your ideal customer is who will pay for the solution.
Present your solution as “the pain killer/must have” rather than “the vitamin/nice to
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This slide allows you to address how you will sustainably deliver value to your customers
Cutting to the chase – How will you make
Who are your ideal customers?
Describe your Sales/Distribution Model - From whom do they buy? (Direct, sell through
channels) What are your channels of distribution?
Describe your Pricing model – how are you going to make money? Discuss gross
margins and cost of goods.
Describe your Revenue Model – how will your business scale? Are customer
acquisition costs scalable? Any economies of scale with higher volumes, more
This is a good time to drop names of organizations that already use your service or
products and bring up customer pipeline (if appropriate)
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The slide describes your product line-up (form, functionality, features, benefits)
Describe your product/technology
Assume audience does not know the technological field you are in (Give a
compelling description without abbreviations or “techy” terms)
Always relate your product to customer derived benefits and the Basis of
Highlight the “underlying magic/secret sauce”
less text, more diagrams, schematics and flow charts
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This Slide demonstrates your strong knowledge of the market and show a significant
How big is the problem?
Identify and profile the customer –
who they are and where they are
Use graphs to show market size and
Calculate Total Available Market (TAM)
and Served Available Market (SAM).
The SAM is the segment of the market
that is reachable for you.
Explain how you reach these
Show how your solution is positioned
in the market and how uniquely it fits
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TAM and SAM Examples:
You are selling a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game focused on
Total amount of video games sold: $20B (Total Available Market – TAM)
Total amount of Massively Multiplayer Online Games sold: $10B
Total amount of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game sold: $7B
Total amount of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game focused on
zombies : $1B (Served Available Market –SAM).
You could say that the $20B TAM is eventually your market but…The SAM is the smallest
segment for credible penetration for you to focus on – investors like to see focus!
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In this slide you discuss the competition. Don’t dismiss your competitors. Discuss why
you are good, not why they are bad. Competition is good – it validates the market!
Competitive Landscape Basis of Competition
List your competitors What is the criteria by which your customer will make
Explain competitors key strengths and their decision when comparing your product with
weaknesses company XYZ?
Address any large companies response to your List all of the criteria in order or importance to the
entry into market
Honestly list your own strengths and weaknesses. customer, not you! Be quantitative if you can.
Discuss how you meet and exceed the customers
COMPANY STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES Basis of Competition. Some examples could be:
Corp Inc. broad line slow to respond
financially strong old technology
Breadth of Line
XYZ Corp large sales force quality issues Accuracy (quantify)
Our company ??? ?????? Price (less than what?)
Tech support (perhaps turnaround time)
Address how you are different, how you stand out
Highlight the Basis of Competition - How you meet Brand name recognition
these requirements Distribution channels
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This slide lists your key sustainable competitive advantages. It may borrow some
from the previous slide re: competition.
List your competitive advantages relating them to
customer’s Basis of Competition.
What are features the differentiate your product from
the competition and attract the consumers?
How long will you have a competitive advantage in the
How are you going to protect your advantage (patents,
copy rights, trade secrets)? Talk about your IP strategy
and the status of your filings.
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This slide highlights any third party validation
The Marketing Plan . Briefly address how and what:
Market segments will be pursued
Marketing strategies will be used?
Customers will be reached
Types of marketing (i.e. PR, Media, SEO, Ads)?
Customers will be acquired?
The Distribution Plan . Briefly address:
What is your channel of distribution (direct vs. indirect channels, partners, etc.)?
How does this compare to industry as a whole?
Why will it be successful?
Customer Acquisition Cost vs. Customer Derived Revenue . Briefly Discuss.
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This slide shows that the company has traction and understands that investors really
invest in people.
ABC CORP, Inc.
Team (this could be your
Briefly discuss each
founding member and
mention their key strengths
John Smith, CEO
Board of Directors and/or
If any members have Jane Doe, VP Steve Stone, VP
recognition in the industry Sales and
Mention important milestones
achieved Meg Fox, Mike Joe Miller, Jill Ryan,
Manager Scott, Manager Manager
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This slide describes the financial forecast. Make sure the audience understands the underlying
assumptions of your forecast. The elements that make up each category are in next slide.
Revenue 2013 2014 2015 2016
Sales (000) $500 $650 $720 $850
Cost of Goods Sold $200 $250 $250 $295
Gross Profit $300 $400 $470 $555
Gross Margin % 60% 62% 65% 65%
Selling $76 $88 $98 $113
General/Administrative $45 $52 $57 $67
Total Operating $121 $140 $155 $180
Net Income Before $179 $260 $315 $375
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Financial Backup Information
What is included in Operating Expenses:
Selling Expenses: Salaries and wages, Commissions, MarCom (i.e advertising),
and any other realistic selling expenses.
General/Administrative (G&A) Expenses: Salaries and wages, Benefits, Payroll
taxes, Insurance, Rent, Utilities, Office supplies, Travel and entertainment,
Furniture and equipment
You can do a 3-5 year forecast as long as you are realistic
Everyone knows that this is an estimate but still need to know how realistic your
You can also include number of customers and conversion rates
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This Slide shows how the investment will be used. Investors prefer to see funds used
for marketing and sales.
Reiterate how much you
Show the use of funds (Pie
graphs work nicely)
How long will the funds
Will you need another
cash infusion or is this
all the financing you will
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This slide should be used to close the presentation. Use this slide to convince investors
that they need to act now and invest.
Describe the current status of the company.
Accomplishments to date
List unique company Strengths
Finish with 3-5 points you want the audience to remember
when they leave the room
Share the details of your positive momentum
If an excited audience member can describe your business and
business opportunity to a colleague in one minute you have
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Always be prepared with back up slides…
You may be asked to describe risks and your assumptions as well as Exit Strategy
Have a back up slide prepared regarding Assumptions and Risks.
List critical Describe negative Describe what you are
assumptions (in impact doing to mitigate or
decreasing order of “de-risk”
Start with ones that
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Always be prepared with back up slides…
Have a back up slide prepared regarding Exit Strategies.
Could be By Supplier
By Strategic Partner
In all cases try to name Names if possible
XYZ acquired Acme in 2013 at X multiple of Sales
At the end of year 3 we will have sales of $Y
Initial Public Offering (IPO)
examples if companies in this sector have recently completed one
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Notes on Communicating the Pitch
Investors respond to your story – not how the product works.
Talk about how well the business is going.
Traction is the thing – tell your story of momentum building
through quantified evidence… See upcoming slide.
De-Risk before it is brought up. Address that you can build it,
people will use it, people will pay for it, and then more
people will use it (growth) … See upcoming slide.
Try to be concrete and quantifiable – don’t use fluff!
Honestly address your weaknesses.
Keep pitching – the more you pitch the more you will get a
sense of what resonates with investors.
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Note: Gaining Traction as a Startup
For a venture capital backed business, “traction” is defined
as evidence of momentum.
The most obvious proof of this would be evidence of sales.
Since most start ups are not yet selling, investors are looking
for you to provide them with defendable evidence that the
business is moving in the right direction
The “Build it and they will come” mentality is typically a deal
breaker so never approach your pitch this way.
Be decisive in your overall marketing strategy and sales
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De-Risking your Business
It is important to keep in mind that investors are looking for
the risky reasons to say no to investing in you, not yes!
De-Risking is the process of removing risk factors
(decreasing your exposure to risk) from your business to
make it more attractive for outside investment
This could be:
Personnel related issues
Product related issues
Market related issues
Go To Market related issues
You need to make your pitch and business opportunity bullet
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