No matter which stage you’re at, raising funds can be daunting for startups. While it does get easier the more stages they pass through, getting funded in the seed round is probably the biggest relief for anyone starting out.
Now, some startups already have mentors to help them prepare for an investor pitch, but not everyone has that privilege.
Not too long ago, an investor pitch training platform called Base Templates was shared in the Entrepreneurs & Startups in Malaysia Facebook group, which I thought would be helpful for startups needing pitch guidance.
I’ll be listing out what is free for everyone on the website, and what you may have to pay for on the platform.
Free Practice Questions From Real VCs And Angel Investors
For those who have never pitched to an investor before, these 200+ practice questions are almost like exam flashcards you can practice with before an exam.
Every question comes with an explanation of why it’s being asked so that startups can understand the rationale behind them and know what’s going on if they were asked the same questions in an actual pitch.
From 10 minutes of going through these questions, most of them mainly touch on the financial technicalities of your company, how well you know your market and industry, and how you’d handle some hiccups on the way.
These are some examples of the question cards:
Though preparing for these questions are a given for those who are about to pitch, there are some questions here that touch on the more personal aspects of a founder.
Although, one thing I did notice was that some questions are quite similar to one another but worded differently like these:
From all these questions, it’s safe to say that when it comes to preparing for a pitching event, founders should keep in mind to thoroughly understand their market and industry as much as their startups, be very honest, and prepare to get personal.
A Free 75-Page Pitch Deck Guide
The more extensive accessible part of this platform is their free pitch deck guide PDF which you can download here.
The contents of this guide are how to build a concise and holistic deck that’s less than 20 slides, as well as the design, delivery, pitch speech, and some startup fundraising vocabulary.
For the pitching deck, they’ll break down how you should present each different slide, which includes the problem, solution, business model, market (why now), customer acquisition, and the ask (how much you need), to name some.
While these are the most important things you should be including in your pitch deck, they also expanded on optional slides you can include in your pitch deck like your product, traction, milestones, exit strategies, partnerships, etc.
For all these slides, they also include a few options of design layouts that you can pick from, depending on how you want to present your data.
Another helpful thing I found in this guide was their tips on how to curate the most fitting designs for your deck. They get into how you should look out for your page margins, colour scheme, font size, visual assets, and slide transitions or animations.
At the end of chapter, they also included resources where you can create or find a colour palette, find new fonts, find free or paid images (according to your industry), how to replace words with icons, and how to create product screenshots. They’re almost all free.
The rest of the guide then talks about how you can practice your pitch, how to approach what kind of investors for your startup, and an A to Z dictionary on all things investor-pitch related.
Examples Of Real-Life Pitch Decks From Airbnb, Tinder, LinkedIn, And More
While you can learn from the free pitch guide on how to create a pitch deck, there are also real-life examples from over 150 startups like Airbnb, Tinder, LinkedIn, Shopify, Buzzfeed, and more.
You can also filter out these references by selecting the industry you want to refer to as well as which stage (pre-seed, seed, series A, series B, or later stages).
From what I found, the industries with more extensive references are Tech, Fintech, E-commerce, Media, Healthcare, and SaaS.
For each of these companies, they’ll also include a short overview of how much they raised and which funding round this pitch deck is from (if they know).
I looked through the big names in the real-life example pitches, and so far, I though Airbnb was the one that represented their guide’s content best among the others.
Many of these slides were also taken from early-stage startups in the early 2000s, so do note that their designs aren’t as up-to-date as you’d expect them to be.
You could probably guess by now from the free content I elaborated on and the site’s name that their main paid feature is pitch deck templates.
So far, they have 4 templates you can purchase which are:
|Pitch deck template (compatible with Slides, Powerpoint, and Keynote)||Variety of templates for you to build your pitch deck from||RM198 to RM401|
|Notion fundraising template||A place for you to consolidate all your investor-related documents, negotiations, conversations, etc.||RM117 to RM239|
|Presentation template||To help with beautifying your slides and creating a uniform theme||RM117|
|Figma Pitch Deck Template||Pitch deck templates like the first option but you’ll have to create it on Figma||Free of charge for a 12-slide version, RM158 for the full version|
Other paid features on their platform include a custom pitch deck design and a pitch deck feedback which you can receive within 3 days for RM603.
From what I’ve seen, if you plan to create a pitch deck through this platform, looking through your industry’s real-life pitch decks is equally as important as reading through their free pitch guide.
Their pitch deck guide only provides the generic tips that are applicable to all industries, so it’s important to check out how this important information was conveyed in real-life pitch decks related to your industry.
- You can learn more about Base Templates here.
- You can read about other investor-related articles we’ve written here.
Featured Image Credit: Bank Negara Malaysia
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