Tl;dr: Understand who you are sending your pitch deck to and what you can expect from them so you don’t look dumb.
Pitch deck thinking course outline
You are now on part seven of the pitch deck thinking course. Keep it up buddy!
- What pitch material do you need?
- What is a good deck?
- The importance of narrative
- What are the key questions investors will want to get from your deck?
- How to approach writing decks
- The flick test
- Who do you trust with the pitch deck? Can I have an NDA?
- How do you know if your deck is good?
- How to send your deck to investors
- Formatting your deck
- 25 tips
If you can’t face them all at once, you can join the course and get these sent straight to your mailbox here:
Who do I send my deck to? Can I have an NDA, please?
We’ve just reached the point where you can start looking pretty dumb…
‘Sure, happy to send the deck over, please sign my NDA.’
We talked about the material you need in session #1, now we are going to deal with who and when.
When to send material
Let’s make this simple and generic.
- Teaser: Anyone and everyone. Post online for all you care
- Main deck: When someone asks for it (that you like) and when you meet an investor
- Full/info deck: After your ~2nd/3rd meeting and investors are digging your vibe 😉
- Business model deck: Before you get a term sheet… they need to be pretty into you
I wouldn’t say there are hard and fast rules here, so the best thing to do is use common sense.
Now, I personally hate teasers. I know what I want to know. A teaser always gets the response ‘Just send me your deck so I can see if this is interesting or not?’ I’m going to spend about 2 mins looking at the deck anyway, so a teaser is a waste of time. I know some people like a well-written teaser, I’m just not one of them.
Should I put confidential information in my deck?
But halt and don’t catch fire. Your definition of confidential and mine are different. I have a tonne of confidential stuff on my computer, for years, and I’m prob never going to read it. Like ever. I just don’t care. Founders suffer from this issue of thinking they are special, when in fact they aren’t. You’re one in a billion.
Furthermore… your idea is worthless. If you think an idea is worth something, try selling it. Do I have 10, 5, 3, 1, a bag of crisps? No? Said the auctioneer. You should be telling everyone your idea! You want feedback.
Investors are in the business of funding ideas, not building them. They are investors as startup sucks, ha! They will not rip off your idea.
Now… what about something you might patent? Dude, no. Don’t put details in the deck. You do not need to share super nerdy, awesomeness. You can show patent applications, you can allude to cool stuff, but assume others (like competition will read it). Even under NDA, you might not need to share certain technical things, but you still need to pass technical due diligence. But I mean for things where a Ph.D. invented them. No one knew how Theranos actually worked…
The key thing is to get off your high horse and not be precious, but also not be naive.
Who to send your deck to?
The nice, simple rule of thumb is to… only send your deck to people you think are reputable. Those you can trust and you actually want to raise money from.
Don’t send your deck to just anyone. Don’t be a muppet.
If you only reach out to reputable investors, you have no issue sharing them any info, so long as they seem committed to you. You escalate your info sharing as they get more committed to you. How do you know that is happening? Simple, they are spending a lot of time on you and emailing you daily to get the deal done.
I’m different, sign my NDA
No VC will ever sign your NDA. There are cases where they will, but they are rare and for specific reasons (like seeing your client pipeline if you are an enterprise company). I know this is true as I’ve done it.
VCs see a lot of deals and keeping on top of NDAs is impossible. They also know they don’t need to since they read in TC that others don’t. I wrote about this in a lot of detail, so I’m not going to labor the point. Click here to read more.
I’m sure I missed some obvious questions founders might have here. If you have a question, sound out in the comments and I’ll add the answers so other founders can benefit too. Cool?
That’s that. The next installment is here: How do you know if your deck is good?
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