Idea Builder - Investor Pitch - 3 - Idea Plan

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Investor Pitch - Idea Plan


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The Idea Plan is where your investment pitch can be refined through feedback. The idea plan breaks the segments of the pitch into individual modules that are filled out separately. To help you improve your pitch, each section can receive feedback through comments and votes.

You can edit each section and can invite others to do the same as you see fit.

Sections can be reordered by dragging and dropping using the grid icon image

Sections can be edited by clicking the edit icon image

You can expand the edit window while editing by clicking and dragging the triangle icon image in the lower right corner of the edit window.

We’ll be using some template sections and some custom sections for an investment pitch.

You need to present an attractive opportunity to a potential investor here and you need to do it in the shortest amount of time possible. Assume investors will not have the time to read long descriptions. If you can make your points faster with visual aids like graphics or charts, do it. Keep in mind this is not a commercial for your product/service, this is a pitch for an investment. Skip the hype and don’t use terminology that might be too complex for non-experts.

Set your goal to have one concise paragraph or 1-2 slides/infographics of content that summarize each section. You can go into more detail after the summaries, but make sure someone can get all the important information if the initial slides/infographics are all they see.

If you’re looking for some examples from successful companies to get you started, search for startup pitch decks or consider some of the examples listed in this article.


Problem – What problem(s) are you solving for your customers? Prove to advisors and potential investors that you understand clearly.

  • Why are you sure you’re solving the right problem?
  • What makes you sure the problem needs solving?
  • What hidden factors/motivators/subconscious drivers are behind the problem?

If you’re solving more than one problem, try to limit it to the top 3.

“A problem well stated is a problem half-solved." - Charles Kettering

Example slide -


Solution – What is your solution to the stated problem? This is your product/service. Provide a summary. You can add more detail below it.

Example slide -


User or Customer Base – Define your user or customer base in as much detail as possible but try to overview it in 1-2 paragraphs/slides/infographics. Illustrate how well you understand their needs and motivations and describe the ways you validated it. Why is this your target market? How is it segmented? How big is it?

For Pre-Revenue companies -

  • highlight how you acquired your customer insights (trials, surveys, studies, pilots, personal experience etc).

Example Slides -


Competition – How are your potential users/customers solving the problem now? Prove you’ve done your homework on the competition and the threat they pose. What are their weaknesses and their strengths? Even if you’re in a completely new industry, never believe there is no competition. How are people solving their problems or meeting the same underlying needs in the absence of your new product/service?

Example Slides -


Unique Value Proposition – What gives you your edge? If close competitors exist, you may need to provide a solution that’s an order of magnitude better to compete. You need an edge that cannot be copied or bought. Investors will pay close attention to this. If you have multiple parties involved in your business model – for example, a marketplace with buyers and sellers, what is the unique value proposition on each side of the transaction.

Example Slides -


Channels – What are your sales and marketing strategies? Are there any key partnerships you have or are working on? If your business faces a chicken/egg problem, how do you solve it?

Example Slides -


Cost Structure –What is your current cost structure (fixed and variable) and how will it change as you scale? Describe how the current funding round will effect it if applicable. What is your current monthly burn rate?


Revenue – How do you make money? What is your monthly revenue run rate? Illustrate your historical growth if applicable. If you don’t have revenue, how many customers do you have and illustrate the historical growth if applicable.

Describe any assumptions here that might be useful for investors, such as gross profit margins, lifetime value per customer, etc.

Give investors an understanding in 1-2 paragraphs/slides/infographics. You can add supporting information below it.

Show a financial model and projections if appropriate.

If you’re not a seed stage business that’s looking for a first round of funding, investors will eventually need to see your financials before they invest. Any offering of securities will require this. If you aren’t already working with Umergence for due diligence efforts on your business, have your balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows, and statement of changes in stockholders’ equity ready for Umergence and investor review.

Example Slides -


Success Metrics – How do you measure what’s working and what isn’t? What metrics are you focusing on?

  • If Early stage/still proving product/market fit – Describe your value metrics. Value metrics are what drives your pricing model. Value metrics connect what you offer to the need(s) of your customers. For example, if you’re a SaaS company offering many features, which features are most important to the customer and how do you quantify those to track usage

  • Already established product/market fit – Describe what’s driving your growth: what’s growing revenue from each customer, what’s increasing the number of customers, and what’s retaining existing customers


Team - We’re going to need a custom section for this. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the idea plan builder page until you see the custom section creator.

Label the custom section Team , then click save and open its editor.

Team – You want to convey here why investors should want to invest in your team as people. What makes you the right team for the business? Highlight the key members of your team here and their unique and special backgrounds that qualify them. Running a startup or any other business is hard, so anything that sets you apart from others as being exceptional is an asset in the eyes of a potential investor. What makes you all special? What hard or interesting things has each of you achieved in the past? This is just as much about highlighting character, resilience and adaptability as it is about your ability.

Attributes to address in a team section:

  • Ability
  • Technical capabilities
  • Business capabilities
  • Other partnerships and resources
  • Proof/examples of being able to deliver/execute

If you can, link an video introducing the founders. Seeing the people involved and hearing about them and their perspective directly will help connect you to your potential investors and build trust.

Example Slides -


The Ask - We’re going to need a custom section for this. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the idea plan builder page until you see the custom section creator.

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Label the custom section The Ask , then click save and open its editor.

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The Ask – How much do you need from investors and exactly what for? Think first about what the absolute bare minimum amount is that you need to accomplish your plans, and then also what would be ideal. Go into as much detail as you can. Show a breakdown of the use of funds and a timeline describing key milestones of how you’ll execute for both the minimum and maximum targets.

Investors will pay close attention to how realistic the goals and capital needs are. Is there any way you can accomplish your goals with less? Are you sure you need to raise capital at all right now? Have you explored other funding sources?

How much funding have you previously raised or invested in the business?

If you already have capital committed for the current funding round, describe it and the terms.

If you’re looking at giving up equity in exchange for funding, include the valuation or valuation range you’re considering depending on terms. Describe the justification for the valuation (metrics, comparables etc. used). This will be an important factor for investors and the earlier you can begin an open and direct dialogue together, the more it will help the process.

If you have users/customers and/or revenue, valuations become more of a science as you scale, however for pre-revenue startups that have never raised a round of funding, valuation is more of an art that falls within a general range.

Contact the Umergence team at support@umergence.com if you’re looking for feedback related to your investment pitch or securities offerings in general.

For more information about 9 common methods of startup valuation, this is a great article.

For more guidance on approaching your Ask more analytically, this is another great article.


Return of Capital - We’re going to need a custom section for this. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the idea plan builder page until you see the custom section creator.

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Label the custom section Return of Capital , then click save and open its editor.

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Return of Capital – Whenever you pitch to investors, you want to be sure everyone’s goals are aligned. Your vision for the future of the business may be different than someone else’s. This is especially true with equity financing. It can take a long time for investors to see a return and the ways those returns might happen are limited. Provide detail here that explains how you’re thinking about the future of the business and what that might mean for potential investors.

Are you looking to be acquired someday by another company?

If you’re comparing yourself to similar companies that have been acquired, how big were they when they were bought?

Which companies do you think might consider acquiring your business?

Are you planning on becoming a publicly traded company? If so, what is your strategy and timeline?

Example Slides -


When you’ve completed your investment pitch sections, you can drag them into any order you choose. Sections can be reordered by dragging them with the grid icon image

Only sections you’ve added content to will be displayed on the idea page when others view it. Everything else will be hidden.

An example section ordering might look like:

  • Team
  • Problem
  • Solution
  • User or Customer Base
  • Revenue
  • Cost Structure
  • Channels
  • Competitions
  • Unique Value Proposition
  • Success Metrics
  • The Ask
  • Return of Capital

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When you’re ready, click “Continue” to move on to the next step of the builder.

This tutorial continues here.