Pitch Deck, Pitch Memo, Business Plan, … PPM?

What should you create?

The old adage “know your audience” works well here, but this detail also infers knowing where your own business “fits” in the scheme of things.

For any early stage technology startup – you’re pitching to Angels, Early Stage / Micro-VCs, and Incubators/Accelerators. Pitching outside that realm is probably a waste of time. The Pitch Deck is the main ask for these groups. Follow the 10/20/30 rule… or better. Having a good executive summary is also a great idea, but not a requirement. Be sure to write direct and thoughtful messages, don’t spam a form letter.  When it comes to financials in this collateral, focus on goals and costs to reach them – no one is going to think much of the revenue side of your projections.

If you’re talking to someone and they ask for a Business Plan or PPM, beware, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be wasting your time talking to the wrong people – these people are looking for a different type of investment.

For mid and late stage, you hopefully aren’t stuck trying to convince anyone your idea can work via a Pitch Deck, it’s already working and the Pitch Deck was dialed in year(s) ago. At this point, it’s much more about the growth plan & financials (spreadsheets!). Unit economics are a great thing to have a handle on at this point.