Every startup founder has a Hollywood-style fantasy that they’ll wind up in an elevator with a rockstar investor. As the fantasy goes, over the course of that 30 second elevator ride they successfully pitch themselves millions of dollars of investment and set their startup on the fast path to billion-dollar success.
What drives you as a startup founder? It’s probably that you’ve seen a problem in the market that you believe you can attack more effectively than the incumbents. That means that by its very nature your business is going to be different to your competitors.
Building a startup is going to be the most rewarding, but challenging thing you will ever do. You’ve identified a significant gap in the market and an opportunity to make a difference. There’s a potentially successful business and lucrative exit at the end of it for you. But know that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and to get there, you’re going to have to move through several stages of funding.
When you think about a startup, the words that come to mind are words like “potential,” “growth,” “opportunity,” and “ambition.” Startup founders have latched on to an idea that can change the world… but first they need to get their business accelerating, and to achieve their ambitions, they need to do it quickly.
Having a great idea will only take you so far on your startup journey. At the very earliest stages you’re also going to need to have some way to articulate the vision and galvanize investors and partners behind your idea. This is where the pre-seed pitch deck comes in, as a way of visualizing the idea behind the startup and focus people’s attention on why it is important.
In recent years, entrepreneurs have been able to find funding earlier in the startup process. It was not long ago that pre-seed funding was a rarity indeed. Even when a startup founder was able to secure it, it was usually a “friends and family” arrangement, with a parent or sibling chipping in to help kick things along, as much as a favor as anything else.