Why the team should be always slide no. 1 on fundraising decks
Looking back on the fundraising decks I saw in the past, they're pretty much standardized in a more or less order like this one: cover, problem, solution, competition, business projection, (traction, proof of concept), timings, team & contact. Is this still the way it should be done?
Team slide first
Times are changing, in many parts of the world the demographics and steady growth of AI challenges the existing entrepreneurial business models and team setup. It's difficult to get a functional team together. I believe we should focus the emphasis on the team, their commitment, problem solving skills, ability to pivot, outside the box thinking, intrinsic resilience, paired with curiosity. Ideas, timing and enough funding are great assets, but the team has to solve the problems and challenges, develop the strategy and drive operations. Teams with a complementary set of skills usually do great, especially if they know each other for some time or had time to bond in the past without compromising on their ability to analytical decision making.
Proof of concept, traction
The traction deck should stay up the front as well, especially if it ships a strong proof of concept set of data. If you don’t have that much traction, you need some credible evidence why one can believe that your company will be the best. Failing on traction a combination of team, team's past track records, current distribution and in best case additional unique assets can make the pitch successful by pointing out a unfair advantage against the competition. If you didn't launched yet, this isn't the way it'll work, obviously. But you can build a narrative with the latter.
Short and crisp, the pitch deck by the numbers
- Slide 0: Cover
- Slide 1: Team, past track record
- Slide 2: Company, product, services
- Slide 3: Track record, proof of concept
- Slide 4–5: Market, competition, USP (unfair advantage)
- Slide 6–8: Plans (product, growth, financial metrics) on how to win
- Slide 9: Next steps and timings
- Slide 10: The wish list (funding, network, what else?)
- Slide 11+: Appendix with in depth numbers, analytics down to micro level, etc.