The UTEC Ventures Demo Day last week showcased polished pitches from five startups. Founders of Check, Manzana Verde, MonkeyFit, Smart Menu, and Qimi presented for three to five minutes and stayed around afterwards to discuss their businesses.
The quality of both the presentation and pitch decks showed a lot of preparation. UTEC Ventures had invited René Lomelí of 500 Startups to attend and help the founding teams get ready.
Here are some of the slides that stood out:
The basics: Use a standard pitch sequence that includes these three slides.
Timeline: I find this to be one of the most helpful slides in a deck. It serves to get a snapshot of what the startup has achieved and where it is going. Founders can use it to effectively discuss learnings, pivots, and show they are at an inflection point. The slide below from Manzana Verde somehow achieves all of this without being to too overwhelming. It highlights key metrics and shows important milestones – as well as 5x growth during UV!
Competitive Dynamic and Positioning: This is your chance to show you both understand the market, and have a distinct value proposition. The slide plots competitors on a graph that has primary attributes for users on the x and y-axis. It is a hard slide to get right, and some people recommend avoiding this format, but I think the team from Check did an effective job. The Check team did two key things right. First, they included traditional solutions, books and after school programs, rather than just logos of startups that do similar things (startups compete for users time and money, not only against other startups). Second, they put the Check logo on the upper right, correctly showing that Check addresses the two most important attributes they have identified for users.
Team: This slide lets you talk through the what each team member brings to the table. Alessandra Ricci of Smart Menu did a good job of not repeating what is already on the slide, but adding detail about what each team member does and how they work together. I like how Smart Menu took the time to take great fotos in the same theme. To often this slide can be distracting with too many details. If you take good pictures, less is more for the slide. The Smart Menu team also achieved the perfect balance of understated power-poses!
Innovative additions: Add a slide that is effective at getting across a unique, startup-specific, message.
Value Propostion: The slide below compares Qimi’s offering to that of its competitors. The slide caught my eye immediately. It is clear and doesn’t try to give too much information. Founders with software solutions for small businesses can use a similar looking slide.
Case Studies: Providing real examples is the best way to show you understand the client’s needs, get into the details and are data-driven. Increasingly, B2B startups are using cases studies in order to land clients and attract new investors.
Culture: Most slide decks do not go much more beyond the founding team. Jose Arellano from MonkeyFit used the slide below to talk about his team’s culture and how they workout with users at fitness centers. It says “We have spent over 200 hours training alongside our customers.” The slide gave Jose a chance to spend a key moment at the end of his pitch sharing the pulse of his company.
You can’t tell here, but the MonkeyFit pitch deck also had fotos of its users filling the entire background of each slide. This may be hard to pull off for B2B software startups, but for B2C startups, full-slide fotos definitely can set pitch apart!
Congratulations to these five startups for going through the UTEC Ventures 6th Generation program and sharing their startups with the world. I appreciate them sharing their slides here with me.
For more ideas about pitch deck, see: The pitch deck forwards and backwards.