Startup investment memo template. How one VC looks at deals

Startup investment memo template. How one VC looks at deals

Tl;dr: Steve Schlafman who worked as a VC shared a template investment memo to structure his thoughts in investing in startups. Read it to help your thinking too.

Steve Schlafman worked as a VC at firms such as RRE and Primary Venture Partners. He is now a startup coach. He shared an investment memo template on Twitter and I thought it would be useful for:

  1. New investors looking to learn, or have a template to use for themselves.
  2. Founders trying to understand what the heck investors are looking for when you’re writing your pitch

He wrote: “I rebuilt my investment memo template in @notion to help me create more structure and discipline around my decision-making process.”

I’m not going to turn this into a huge essay, I’m going to let you just read it and think for yourself. Hopefully, I can get Steve to do a video with me to walk through this line by line.

In case he updates it, you can see the working template here.

If you want to learn more about investment memos, you can read this collection of VC investment thesis’.

Investment Memo

Company Overview

[What is the company one-liner?]

Mission / Vision

[What guides the organization and team?]


  • Bullet 1
  • Bullet 2

Key Risks

  • Bullet 1
  • Bullet 2

Customer & Product

Target Market / Customer

[Who specifically is the initial customer]

Problem / Need

[What’s the problem or void? How does the team know?]

Product & Wedge

[What is the product? Does it solve the pain point / need? Any dependencies?]


[What is defensible today or in the future?]


[What’s the go-to-market? Is it feasible?]


[How does the company plan to make money in the short and/or long term?]


Why Now / Macro Trends

[What trends make this company and product possible?]

Market Size

[Is the market large, growing rapidly or emerging?]


[Who is the indirect / direct competition?]


[Why do we like this company relative to the field?]



[What has been built and shipped?]


[What quantitative progress has been made so far?]

Unique Insights

[What unique insights has the team learned?]


Core Team

[Who is on the team?]

Super Powers

[What’s truly unique about the team?]

Core Traits

  • [ ] Can they ship and build product? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Are they leaders? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Do they understand the customer? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Do they love to experiment / learn? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Do they have tenacity, grit, hustle? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Do they have self-awareness? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Do they have unwavering conviction? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Are they on a mission? Notes: _________________________


Round Dynamics

[How much is the company raising, what are the terms, who else is involved?]

Roadmap & Milestones

[What are key business and product milestones over the 12-24 months?]

Decision Sanity Check

  • [ ] Do I have unwavering conviction? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Will I be proud to be an investor? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Can this be a category creator or leader? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Is this already great/awesome? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Can this be 100x? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Do I deeply believe in the founders? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Is this wedge / GTM feasible? Notes: _________________________
  • [ ] Can I add value? Notes: _________________________

Pitch Notes

[Enter call notes]


[Enter call notes]


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