PH Startups: Creating a Pitch Deck

Mentors have told us that in the US (particularly Silicon Valley), it is very ‘normal’ to see startups in elevators, coffee shops, parking lots (a scene in the series Silicon Valley comes to mind) pitching their ideas to angel investors. Creating a pitch deck is a normal “thing” that they do (as how taking pictures before we eat is normal for us). Practically, everyone has a startup idea. That kind of culture is not yet evident here in the Philippines, therefore, not a lot of us are skilled enough to deliver great pitches. Even those with corporate backgrounds, like us, realize that pitches for businesses are very different from the lengthy corporate presentations that we have. Now that I have seen quite a number of pitches already, I even think that corporate presentations should be more like pitches when delivered.

I remember once, in my corporate life (seems like ages ago), I was avidly following Ted Talks speeches. I admired how skilled the speakers were at delivering talks. These speakers (well, most of them) just told a story, as if they were really talking to us. They didn’t seem practiced nor rehearsed. Out of the blue, I wanted to deliver my corporate presentation in a Ted Talks-way and it worked out quite well.

My point being is that we, in this country, need to be more vocal about sharing new thoughts and ideas with each other, because that’s a way we can validate these ideas. Creating a pitch deck and presenting it is a great way to validate your business idea. It’s a way to adjust and rethink strategies when we receive feedback. The problem with most of us is we that we take not-so-good feedback personally. Nope, feedback is not an attack against YOU but it’s actually something that you should hear early on so that one, you can come up with a clear answer/solution for that particular concern or two, you can readjust certain things about your business idea or three, drop the business idea altogether. Bottomline is that these feedback make you dig deeper and analyze situations better.

Also, I think that most of us fear being copied, but I think that most of the people that we meet and pitch to are mature enough to respect your idea. We just don’t give the people around us enough credit. Also, it really is just an idea. The meat is in the execution. Who executes better and faster is the name of the game. Oh, let me drop the faster part, because I am all for who executes it the best!

Taxumo Pitch

The Pitch and Creating a Pitch Deck

When you want to create pitch deck (presentation), there are a lot of resources that you will find online. When I first created a pitch deck, I just Googled “creating a pitch deck”. Here are some of the resources that I used:

1) The one from Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/chancebarnett/2014/05/09/investor-pitch-deck-to-raise-money-for-startups/#4db3234c4863

2) This one page guide on slide 8:

3) Super cool decks of successful startups: http://bestpitchdecks.com/

and a whole lot more! I think read and listened to tons of material on creating a pitch deck.

Cape Pitch

What I have seen and observed is that you can initially copy the standard template, then practice your pitch. If you feel like there are certain points that you want to highlight and if you feel you need to drop some aspects, then do so. Pitches should be short. How long, you might ask? Let’s just say that we have a 1 minute pitch, 2 minute pitch, a 3 minute deck and a 5 minute deck to explain our business (haha! we just want to be THAT ready).

Another lesson that I have learned is to customize your deck and think of your audience. I have seen and experienced that every pitch is different.

So that being said, we will be having one of the most important pitches for our business this afternoon. Please pray for us! (#ideaspace2016)

Hope this helps!

PS. Thanks to all those who have helped us improve our deck (mostly from Ideaspace!) Ms. Diane Eustaquio, Manny Martinez, Gabe Mercado, Prim Paypon, Jojy Azurin and the rest of the Ideaspace team. Thank you, too, to our advisors Jojo Flores, Jay Fajardo and Anderson Tan 🙂

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Tech Babies who Pitch

Two days ago, the fastest and one of the most important 3 minutes of our lives happened. During that day, our team had to deliver a 3 minute pitch for the Philippines Qualifiers for Echelon Summit Asia 2016. We didn’t even expect to be part of the top entries in the Philippines, since we really didn’t have any basis on what the judges were looking for. This was the first time that we were going to pitch after several years. Looking at the list of startups, we felt like babies pitted against the pros who have done this several times before. All we had were the business experience of each member of the team, confidence and a lot of preparation. It may seem very trivial to spectators, but let me help you understand how important these pitches are for startups.

Echelon Asia Summit Philippine Qualifiers

Pitching is basically summarizing the time and effort spent in your business in 3 minutes. We started conceptualizing our business late last year, but some of these businesses have even been in the industry for a year and already gaining revenue. We have gone through brainstorming, idea generation, choosing what brand or product name to go with, purchasing hosting or even dedicated servers. We have gone through hours and hours of coding to create product prototypes and user friendly websites. We have gone through market analysis, market strategies, market research. We have analyzed the market sized and have come up with the best business model that we could think of after deciding that thinking about it too much caused analysis-paralysis. We have gone through all those and more and in pitches, they expect us to relay all of these things that we have done in 3 minutes. Can you just imagine that?

Taxumo Pitch

Ej, CEO of Taxumo.com

Echelon Summit Asia

Pitches open doors. Startups pitch business ideas for different reasons. They pitch because they want funding and pitches shows investors a little bit about who and what you are as an entity. Some startups use it to validate ideas and some use it as a testing ground to learn more and to improve their product by hearing what the investors and judges have to say.

Lyle from Cape

Lyle, CEO of Cape

 

As mentioned. we haven’t attended a pitch since 2010 and this is the first time again that we are actively joining this scene. I haven’t been in touch with this industry for several years, but since two years ago, I have joined friends who wanted to make a difference by putting up a tech startup. And recently, I have become even more attracted to this community and I’m beginning to love it.

Carlo of Klaseko.com

Carlo of Klaseko.com

As far as I have seen, people are very nice and are willing to share ideas and input that would further improve your product. They are also very helpful and are willing to share contacts for resources that you might need. Of course, you still have to protect you ideas, but so far, I’m loving the vibe of the Philippine Tech Startup Scene.

Taxumo Team: EJ - CEO, Ginger - CMO and Dex - Lead Developer

Taxumo Team: EJ – CEO, Ginger – CMO and Dex – CTO

What I have noticed is that a lot of Filipinos have new and great ideas and not a lot of them have access to things like these pitches. I have been helping my fellow entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs come up with solid business plans and marketing strategies for a couple of years now and it was only recently that I got to absorb and see with my own eyes what articles or what people meant when they said that the Philippines is the up and coming startup scene in SEA. I have my own start ups in the Philippines and it was just fairly recent that I got to realize that there are already quite a number of incubators, angel investors, venture capitalist who are willing to invest in startups with good, unique and revenue generating ideas.

I highly recommend people to check out this industry and if you have new ideas, just go and check out its feasibility and its potential.

 

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