Actual Funded Slide Deck For Angel Round of IMSafer

I have been waiting to write this post for a long time.  There are a great deal many resources on the web for entrepreneurs looking to learn, such as Hacker News, Andrew Warner’s Mixergy, and Eric Ries’s Lean Startup Blog.  However, I have always felt there was a gap in the the resources that really would help an upstart.  Having a really good base Excel model, fully built, and flexible (think Basecamp but for your financial/ operational model), would be extremely helpful.

Another resource I have always wanted to see were the actual decks which were used to get companies funded.  For obvious reasons, those are pretty hard at which to get a look.  Now that I am three years on from the initial funding of IMSafer, I have decided that I would post the slides that we used when we went out to raise angel funding.  Beyond just throwing the slides over the wall, as part of my community book The Failing Point, I have an entire essay dedicated to the content of the slides, and what it means with regard to putting together a long form business plan.

These are the actual slides, with no edits, save a few names removed for privacy reasons.  Please send questions.  Don’t be afraid to ask.  They biggest take away most of you will have is that there is no magic bullet for content, but there is good form to follow, and more than anything, at this early a stage, investors are backing people first, ideas second, slide content third.

  • Adam Krapish

    When it comes to getting market potential numbers where did you do your research? Especially I am interested in how you found out what people were willing to pay. Did you just try changing numbers as you began sales or did you find the numbers online somewhere?

  • Brandon Watson

    The market research was done with US Census data. The price testing was done via online surveys of customers who had created accounts and were using the product for more than a month. I have also found that Amazon’ Mechanical Turk is good for surveys. It can work for price discovery if you can describe the product or service simply.

  • Adam Krapish

    One other question, why so nervous about putting up a deck that you waited 3 years? Even after the product launch were you afraid of someone stealing your idea? Prelaunch, who would you show your deck to? Would you want an NDA to have someone review your deck that you weren’t friends with?

  • Brandon Watson

    When we were running the company, we didn’t want to share this level of competitive intelligence with our competition. We weren’t so much afraid of them stealing our idea as we were of them becoming aware that they had a problem.

    We showed the deck to angel investors we met via introductions through personal contacts. Never an NDA. They are worthless for fund raising.

    Once you have the company funded, in general, it’s not in your best interest to share competitive decks. The company was sold close to two years ago, so the content is less sensitive now. At some point in the future, I will be posting the deck we used to get two tier 1 VC term sheets. Stay tuned.