How to Create a Startup Pitch Deck

One question I get asked often is “how do I craft a pitch deck that will get me funded?” A great deck is obviously only one element in getting startup funding, but it’s a crucial piece in instilling confidence in potential investors. Your deck should be 10-12 pages max, with any supporting documents (financials, management bios, etc.) included in an appendix. Below, I’ll fill in the blanks with a slide by slide look at what your deck needs to include and this Pitch Deck Template for you to follow. Mission — Create a brief and cogent one-sentence description of your startup’s reason for being. Problem/Solution — Clearly define the problem your business exists to solve. What is the customer need? How do you plan to address it? Why is your product/service/approach better than the alternatives? Market Opportunity — What is the market for your product? Who are your customers? Here’s …
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Essential IRS Publications for Startup Employers

This guest post by Robert W. Ditmer was originally published on Justworks. The Internal Revenue Service is truly the best source for reliable payroll information for employers, because of how federal tax law structure works. The IRS: Tax Law Educator Congress passes tax laws that become part of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), often without any clear idea of how they can be implemented on a practical basis. The next step in the process is incorporating the regulations that implement the IRC in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). At this point, it’s up to the IRS to determine how the regulations will to be implemented, and to educate taxpayers. It accomplishes that task by preparing publications that explain the tax law and provide direction on how to apply it in within a business. The IRS’ publications tend to be very clear, and often contain practical examples showing how the …
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Early Growth Financial Services (EGFS) Launches JumpStart Program for Early-Stage Startups

Originally published in PRWeb. Outsourced financial services firm adds low-priced, fixed cost offering to their suite of financial services to help support very early-stage startups nationwide. San Jose, CA (PRWEB) July 24, 2014 Early Growth Financial Services (EGFS), an outsourced financial services firm that provides accounting, CFO, strategic finance, tax, and valuation services and support to small to mid-sized companies nationwide, has just announced the launch of their new JumpStart program. JumpStart was designed specifically for very early-stage startups, to provide essential financial services and build a solid financial foundation for young companies. “Companies, in their earliest stages, have very specific financial needs and are often very price sensitive,” said Steve Olson, CTO for Early Growth Financial Services. “Our finance professionals have experience working with 400+ companies from Silicon Valley to New York City. This has given us insight into every stage of the business development process, and the ability …
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Bring Your Startup to the U.S.

Ever wondered what expanding your startup internationally entails? We shed some light, and hopefully—provided some encouragement, during our recent webinar with Daniel Glazer, Partner at Fried Frank, John Breidenstine, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs and Robert Ben Parkinson, Visa Analyst, both with the U.S. Embassy in London, and Glenn McCrae, EGFS’ Chief Strategy Officer. You can view the slide deck here. Why might you want to consider expanding into the U.S? For one, there are well-established venture capital communities, and not just in Silicon Valley, that facilitate access to capital. There are also integrated service providers and a collaborative environment of founders working toward the common goal of a liquidity event. Also, success likes company! There are significant monetization opportunities for apps and software businesses, a wealth of technical expertise and other talent, a breadth of well-established startup infrastructure, and of course, the serendipity factor given the sheer scale of …
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How Startup CFOs Can Help Turbocharge Growth

So often—too often—I see the position of CFO as misunderstood or undervalued in smaller companies. In such companies, there needs to be a paradigm shift as the company grows. Early-stage companies need to understand how a CFO can positively impact the company’s growth from every angle. CFOs can help lead the charge when it comes to growing your company. Because your business strategies are deeply woven in with your financial strategies, you need CFO support for any and all of your growth initiatives: from the planning stages through to execution. When your CFO is deeply involved at a holistic strategic level—not just a superficial money management level—here’s what he or she can do. 1. Identify strengths and your competitive advantage. Your CFO has deep insight into your company’s strengths. Where are you making money? Where is your biggest ROI? With this knowledge, your CFO can help you to leverage these …
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Are We in Tech Bubble 3.0?

With Priceline’s announced purchase of OpenTable coming at a 46% premium to where OpenTable’s stock recently traded, the highest for an internet stock since before the Great Recession, following hot on the heels of Facebook valuing WhatsApp at $19B, and Uber’s valuation recently topping $18 billion in its latest funding round, I figure it’s time to share my thoughts on whether we are indeed witnessing the latest bubble. First off, how do funding, pricing, and valuations compare to those in previous periods? Looking at private markets: Valuations have risen across all funding stages — Series A pre-money valuations have soared from 4 times in 2009 to 7 times in 2014. While buyout multiples are at 10.7 times versus 6.8 in 2009.1 Deal flow in internet specific businesses is higher than in 2001: while VCs invested $7B in 141 deals so far this year versus $65 billion in 375 deals in …
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Why Not to Use Independent Contractors For Overseas Hires

Guest post contributed by Ben Wright of VelocityGlobal. Using contractors to save on overseas employee costs can backfire, as this case study demonstrates. Expanding your company into foreign markets can be daunting, and the prospect of hiring international staff is often the tip of the “fear” spear. Understanding the ever-changing domestic employment laws can be a real challenge. When venturing abroad we’ve seen countless situations of companies trying to avoid hiring employees altogether — often with disastrous consequences. Even a little bit of research can go a long way to keeping employees happy, regulators appeased, and your board of directors off your back. Here’s the story of a well-meaning client who needed to discreetly convert a contractor to an employee in Argentina. Background We received a call from a distraught CFO. Her company had entered the Argentine market two years earlier, after researching several Latin American markets and concluding that …
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A Guide to Wealth Management for Startup Founders

One thing that’s probably not occupying much mind space as you’re building your company is managing your personal assets. Too often, entrepreneurs neglect planning for and managing personal finances as they focus on building their business, lining up financing, and steering toward an eventual liquidity event. But it’s not too early to start thinking about your options and doing some advance strategizing. Darin Donovan, Shareholder at Hopkins & Carley, and Glenn McCrae, EGFS’ Strategy Officer, shared ways to tackle this during a recent webinar. Read my take below and get the download here. Personal planning issues tend to fall into these 3 areas: Financial investment – Diversifying a concentrated position, whether in the form of founder’s stock, stock options (ISOs) or restricted stock (RSUs). Complex income tax planning needs – Deferring income tax and converting assets subject to the maximum federal income tax rate of 40% to ones that qualify …
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Entrepreneurs And Personal Finance – How to Stay Organized

Originally published in KillerStartups. We talk a lot about managing cash flow if you start a new business, but less about managing your own finances while you do that! How do you keep your personal finances (and cash flow) organized? The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons. 1. Keep ‘Em Separate It is essential that you keep your personal finances and business finances completely separate. Do not commingle! Make sure you are paying yourself a salary (rather than paying your personal bills) out of the business finances as soon as possible. Use software like Mint.com (www.mint.com) to keep track of your …
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How to Protect Your Startup IP

Not protecting your business’ IP or unwittingly infringing someone else’s can be a really costly unforced error. This week Allonn Levy of Hopkins & Carley and Glenn McCrae, EGFS’ Strategy Officer, gave a webinar on how to avoid the biggest mistakes startups make with IP. Get the download here and read below for the top 5 mistakes, advice and tips on how to address issues before they blow up, and ways to avoid being involved in costly litigation. Mistake #1 — Failure to register IP. There are several types of protection, with varying degrees of strength. Copyrights — protect “creative expression,” not ideas or concepts. Among other things, they confer the right to reproduce, distribute publicly, and publicly display: essentially providing a limited government monopoly on the ability to sell/distribute your work. What can’t be copyrighted? Ideas, processes, or method of operation. Software code counts as “creative expression. Applying for …
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