15 minutes is all it takes to win funding

Entrepreneurs often start out with a willing business angel audience but end up with an audience wishing they’d just stop talking….

Why is that?

Well, it is usually a combination of the entrepreneurs going on too long as well as missing out the key and salient points.

This recent report for New England business angels gives a great insight into why one company got funding.

The key points highlighted in this report are;

  • Presentation took 15 minutes or less
  • Refered to a capable management team and explained why their skills are relevant
  • Demonstrated that the management team is able to work together and has been willing to work on sweat equity
  • Understood their market
  • Had customers using their product / data
  • Were able to show the potential for growth
  • All three shareholders were present for the meeting

This pretty much sums up the presentation.

After all, a presentation is like a CV – its purpose is to get to the next stage, which is an agreement to look further – its purpose is not to raise money immediately after the talk.

The only question then is this, why do so few entrepreneurs make a simple, clear and powerful presentation?

I think there are two reasons, firstly, the business angel community does not insist on effective presentations and networks would rather expand the presentations to the time available then keep them succinct – a key mistake.

Secondly, it takes longer – much longer – to make a short presentation, simply because you need to be very clear about your facts and figures, and that requires a business which is better developed, more real and then theoretical.

However, if you follow this path, then 15 minutes should be all it takes to get the business angels onside and the money flowing…

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  • Could not agree more …. most of our investors say that they “know” in the first 3 minutes of the presentation.
    If you have proven your business model, have reasonable communication skills and have a good team behind you … that’s mostly all you need to show.
    Most angels we know (and we have 4800 of them) could not countenance sitting through 20 Powerpoint slides.

    Great article.

  • Neil Lewis
    Thanks Bill

    That’s a real killer blow to 20 slide powerpoint presentations – and I completely agree.

    I’m actually delivering a startup workshop on Thursday and I’ve set myself the objective of not using powerpoint at all…


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