3. How to sell your team
[Throughout this series of articles to explain how to build an investors deck we are using the example of Pant Station, an imaginary company that sells panties for men, to illustrate the different parts. If you want to read this series of article, I advise you to start with this one.]
If you are an early stage startup your team has probably been working very hard on your figures and vision to show investors to sell your product or service. However you should keep in mind that you should really sell yourself and your team first 💪.
As Mark Suster (2 times entrepreneur turned VC) clearly states: when VCs invest early stage they do it mainly because of the team. Investors need to see the strength of your team as a real asset. In the end you can have the best product but is all comes down to the team to make it work as well as possible ✨.
What does the dream team look like in the mind of an investors?
Investors all have their personal preferences on what the team should be made of.
Ideally here’s what they’re looking for:
a CEO that has already launched a successful company ✔️
a really good tech profile ✔️
someone who comes from the designated sector the company is operating in ✔️
Ideally not too many co-founders so that the equity is not already very complicated ✔️
Ok but wait… Our team doesn’t fit that ideal
Just like Steve Blank says: a startup is not a “real” business but rather “an experiment searching for a business model”.
Ideal teams are not easy to build and they are not bullet-proof either. Whatever team you have build you must have had good reasons to do so. That’s what you have to show VCs.
Show them how your team is what they are looking for⚖️
What is very valuable to VCs is a great range of talents. It’s important to show that you are not a homogeneous team in terms of skills. Your backgrounds and your experience should make every member of the team essential.
Concerning the personality traits, proving how your team is smart, motivated and resilient would be a great start. When investing in your early stage company, VCs need to make sure they take as little risks as possible. That’s why resilience is a key word here, they need to know your team will be there to pick up the pieces and put them back together when something happens.
Here are a few tips to make your team shine bright like a diamond:
On this slide you should choose your words very carefully. What you’re most proud of may not be what investors are looking for.
It should be obvious who is doing what. No need to have a COO, a CTO, a CMO a CFO for an early stage startup, you should be sticking to the most important and basic roles: sales, tech and product.
Try to take pictures of everyone in the same background. It will look more professional an convey the impression of building a vision.