The Deal Presentation

4 things every start-up should have to market their deal

Every start-up should have four things to market their deal:

The Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a capsule comment which summarizes the essence of your deal - what it is, why it's different, why it's big, and why you're sharp. This is your verbal calling card.

It must be concise, solve a problem, review benefits and the pain, include the business model, have a call to action, attract attention and describe the product in less than 25 words.

Your elevator pitch is not, however, strictly about content. You also need to remember your delivery. Demonstrate enthusiasm, place emphasis at appropriate times. Ensure that the messaging is consistent across the organization – use similar phrasing, tell the same story.

Sample one sentence product description:

CarDiagnostics has developed a patented hardware and software solution for your wireless device that plugs into your car lighter and identifies and advises you what, if anything in your car, needs repair.

Another sample one sentence product description:

Cardiagnostic develops a simple hardware and software solution for your wireless device that performs a diagnostic on your automobile then identifies mechanical problems and potential solutions.

Sample thirty seconds:

Consumers feel frustrated not understanding their vehicle – the mechanic seems to have the upper hand. The Cartest product by CarDiagnostic puts you back in the driver’s seat. We’ve developed a patented hardware and software solution for your wireless device that plugs into your car lighter and identifies and advises you what, if anything, needs repair. It takes 60 seconds, and saves you unnecessary mechanic’s bills. We’ve beta tested our solution with a major car manufacturer and we’re in negotiations with Canada’s largest car accessories distributor. We’re ready to go to the next level and would like an opportunity to discuss this exciting product with you.

4 Page Business Summary

The 4-page business summary captures your deal, not your business. It outlines the idea, your edge, the competition, the size of the opportunity, your team, and what's been done to date. It speaks to "why should I invest?", not "what is your plan to grow".

Many entrepreneurs attempt to write their summary prior to their business plan. Unfortunately it doesn’t work this way. You need to have done the research for the complete plan and then synthesize this data for the summary development.


12 - 15 page PowerPoint presentation

The 12 - 15 slide show again captures the essence of your opportunity ("why should I invest") in a presentation format.

The Tech Coast angels recommend the following in the PowerPoint presentation:

Eleven must-have slides

  1. Cover – business positioning statement – framework for listening. One sentence what we do.
  2. Market – the need and what customers have this need – what creates the demand for your solution
  3. Solution – product, core benefit
  4. Competitive position – who they are and your defenses
  5. Marketing/sales/support – channels and skills needed
  6. Business strategy – growing beyond launch
  7. Financial projections
  8. Funding sought
  9. Management
  10. Milestones
  11. Exit strategies

You should also review Rainer Paduch’s pitch outline suggestions from his “Catching the Beast” presentation: (Slide 11 and 12 in Rainer Paduch’s Catching the Beast presentation within the Tools section).

For the Ottawa Venture Capital Fair (create a link), we suggest the participating companies follow this outline. Please keep in mind, however, that these companies only have10 minutes to present.


I. INTRODUCTION OF COMPANY AND PRODUCT(S) – you want to grab their attention from the start

  • company background
  • brief introduction of product(s)
  • introduce management team
  • depth, strengths and functional expertise of key management

3 minutes


  • define the need of the marketplace for the company’s product(s)
  • market size, growth patterns and where the product(s) fit
  • target market (including existing clients – any market validation?)
  • why product(s) will succeed in the market
  • competition (strengths and weaknesses)

2 minutes


  • description of product(s) with focus on market application
  • ability to meet needs of the market
  • specific features and benefits
  • competitive advantages (intellectual property protection, lead time)
  • future product development

2 minutes


  • target market penetration strategies
  • promotional tools
  • existing/planned distribution channels

1 minute


  • Sales revenue and income projections
  • financing being sought and usage of funds

1 minute


  • recap with emphasis on “what’s in it” for the investor
  • exit strategies


The Business Plan

Good plans are usually simple plans. Good ideas do not require 150 pages to tell the story. Most business plans are strong on technology and weak on marketing.

There are many excellent online resources to assist you with the creation of your full business plan: - place for sample business plans.. The site includes 25 complete plans, all of which were entries in the 1999 Moot Corp business plan competition. - Business plan tutorial by the SBA. - The Canadian Science and Technology Growth Fund has an excellent outline

A good outline of a business plan for seed funding can be found (written by Keith Bates of Ventures West).

From BCE Capital:
The right business plan
We see a lot of business plans. The ones that impress us are those that show professionalism, simplicity, dedication and clarity. We want to know:

  • who you are and what you have accomplished
  • what you plan to do
  • why you plan to do it
  • how you plan to do it
  • who your customers are
  • who else is doing it and what other approaches there are
  • why you're special
  • what you hope to achieve in one year and three years
  • what you think the risks are

Source: Ottawa Capital Network

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