The New New Pitch

In 2005, Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint may have been the The New New Thing in Silicon Valley, but at an angel investor pitch practice session in Blacksburg, Virginia in 2010, it was a sinew-wrapped stone hammer for a jackhammer job.

Based on the pitches I saw and gave and my own synthesis of feedback the pitchers received, at the next VT KnowledgeWorks Pitch Day, I will sign up for a 10-minute pitch session and deliver it in 3.

Here will be my PowerPoint slides.

1. Company

I'll have my company's logo displaying before I begin my pitch. This will be communicating that I have enough thought into the creation of my company to know it needs a corporate message, I have one, and it's working its magic already.

2. Presenter

To begin my pitch, I'll click to this slide and leave it up which I introduce myself and give my 1-minute elevator pitch comprised of 3-5 below. 

3. Problem

To expand, succinctly, my elevator pitch, I will begin with a graphic, perhaps with no other words than the graphic's title, that follows what veteran writers have been teaching novice writers for eons:  "Show, don't tell."  It's a presentation!  What was I thinking having so many words on a slide during a "show"?!

4. Solution

This will be a graphic of the problem uniquely cured by its remedy – my company's products and services.  This is the value proposition for my company's clients and partners.

5. Market and Money

In a graphic or with a bulleted list of no more than 3 items, no more than 3 words in each item, I'll explain who will buy my product, how many of them will buy it, and how much my company will make as a result of that many doing the buying.  Obvious will be that the revenue generated will be more than adequate to pay the angel investor's expected 500% return in year 5.  That is the value proposition of my company to investors.

6. The Ask

Front and center, top of the slide, in bold numbers, I'll put the dollar amount my company seeks from investors.  Below that, in smaller font, I'll list the 1 to 3 things we'll do with the money to generate the investor's ROI.

7. The Team

A seeming placeholder, this slide was discussed only if it were missing, had too few members, too many members, or their roles were unclear.  As a VT KnowledgeWorks member company, I have a team.  On the most recent Pitch Day, my slide avoided trashing, so I'll keep it as is. 

The unspoken questions I sensed were answered in the Team slide:

  • Are you for real, i.e. are you the president of a corporation, or is this just one more entrepreneur's "new new thing"?
  • Do you have an attorney? Is your IP protected, is your company set up well, or will we have to mop up later?
  • Do you have an accountant? We know you can't use QuickBooks but do you know it? Have you hired an accountant to keep track of the numbers, i.e. our 500% ROI in year 5?!
  • Do you have a tech guy?  No tech guy? Next pitch, please.

8. Company and Contact

This will be a repeat of my magical company logo slide, this time including my name and my contact information.  As soon as I click, I'll ask, "Questions?"

Here's the slide presentation I gave at the last VT KnowledgeWorks Pitch Day. How interesting.  It's about 500% longer than my New New Pitch will be.  That's an auspicious number.


Registration is open for attendees, advertisers and vendors! The deadline for registration is March 31, 2010.

VT KnowledgeWorks, a regional business acceleration center that helps companies bring ideas to market, will present the Second Annual Entrepreneurship Summit on April 7-8, 2010 at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center in Blacksburg, Virginia. This two-day comprehensive workshop is for prospective company founders, entrepreneurs launching or re-vamping a business, growing companies seeking expansion capital, and individuals interested in investing in early-stage companies.


VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA)


  1. Thanks Bob Summers for the this link to "The 7Ps of Investor Presentations…on the Back of a Napkin" from the Angel Capital Education Foundation.

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