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Wyoming Business Tips for Nov. 26-Dec. 2

November 17, 2017

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Cindy Unger, WSBDC business adviser

“I have developed a great invention and have compiled a list of angel investors who might possibly be interested in financing my company. How do I construct a pitch deck?” Nate, Casper

I have to answer your question with a question. Have you completed a full business plan yet?

There has been plenty of press about successful companies that have started with financing from angel or venture capital. That has resulted in many aspiring entrepreneurs thinking that creating a pitch deck and obtaining angel funding is easy.

Angel investors are betting their own hard-earned money on you and your company, in return for an equity share in your business. The hope is that, in return for a huge risk, the investor(s) will ultimately earn a huge reward.

According to a study quoted by the Angel Capital Association, “Angels lose some or all of their money in 52 percent of their investment deals. Typically, they make at least 10 investments in order to realize any return on investment.”

Thus, angels are very particular about the businesses they fund. If interested, they are likely to have plenty of questions about your future business plans. The pitch deck is essentially a distillation of your full business plan. You need to understand all the details of your business in order to answer any detailed questions that may result from your pitch deck presentation.

Beyond sketching out the details of a business, your presentation deck needs to create a compelling story within a short time span. However, you need to get in the door with that slide presentation. Ten slides to convey your message in 20-30 minutes is the ideal. Below is a brief description of what each of the 10 slides should entail:

-- Purpose. Define your company purpose in a single concise and precise sentence.

-- Problem. Describe the customer problem that your product/service will solve. What are the current solutions, and what are their shortcomings?

-- Solution. What is your unique and compelling value proposition?

-- Timing. Why hasn’t someone already come up with your solution?

-- Market opportunity. Who are your customers, and how large is your potential market? What have you accomplished to date?

-- Competition. Who are your direct and indirect competitors? How and why will you be able to attract their established customers? What are your potential vulnerabilities?

-- Business model. How will your company operate? What is your sales and distribution model?

-- Team. Who are your founders and key team members? What are their qualifications to lead this company? If funded, who will you hire?

-- Financial projections. Current and future.

-- Investment ask. What do you need the money for? What milestones do you plan to achieve with this round of funding?

For additional assistance with a business plan or slide deck, call Unger at (307) 234-6683 or email cindyu@uwyo.edu.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at www.wyomingsbdc.org/blog1/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.


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