The 10-Step Formula Startup Founders Use To Pitch Investors

The best tech startups build great products that solve real problems. These startups are also excellent at communicating the value of their products, both to investors and their target market.

Communicating the value to investors, specifically in your pitch deck, is crucial. The problem is making a pitch deck is one of the most frustrating processes on the planet, even if you like doing it. Having a communication formula will save you a lot of time.

One of the most successful startups of all time is Airbnb. Pitchenvy features the Airbnb pitch deck. The formula Airbnb uses to make their case can be applied to a variety of situations where you need to be persuasive. It goes like this:

1. Identify the problem.
This is where you make your audience care. Why should investors in the crowd want to pay attention to the rest of your presentation? This slide is easy if you build a product that solves a real problem. It sounds logical, but you’d be amazed how often it is done in reverse-order i.e. products get built, then the pitch wastes time trying to convince the audience that there is a problem.

What are you doing for me?

When you communicate with customers, that’s what you ought to be answering. No one cares about anything else.

I try to remind myself this. If we send an email to customers, it better tell them what we’re doing for them.

Here’s two good examples I found after going through the first 50 new emails in my inbox.

Trello Working For



Path Talk: Can Path’s New Standalone Messaging App Save The Company?

Path Talk

Path just released a standalone chat messaging app called Path Talk that their branding as a replacement to SMS and Facebook. Typically this kind of news doesn’t do much for me, but there’s a little more to Path Talk that I think is worth talking about.

Path acquired TalkTo a couple days ago, and will be implemented the TalkTo technology into Path Talk later this summer. TalkTo allowed consumers to ask questions to stores and restaurants by text. And Path Talk will do the same when they add ‘Place Messaging’ to Path Talk later this summer:

Place Messaging will enable Talk messaging between you and any local business. Make dinner reservations, book hair appointments, get prices, hours, and check in-store availability all without ever placing a phone call.

For whatever it’s worth, Path is kind of desperate to make something that sticks, especially in the USA. While they used to be a fairly prominent app, they had to lay of 20% of their staff in October 2013. And last month, Pando Daily wrote a pretty tough piece about the status of the company, saying it may be the “beginning of the end”.