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When a startup graduates and becomes a “real” company, with hundreds of employees and the first inklings of large amounts of revenue, you could argue that a Team Slide is less important.

Yes, the top leadership team still has to be good, but if the company is growing rapidly, getting new customers and delivering a good product, it’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy: If the team is able to grow the company, at least they aren’t completely helpless. But in the early stages of a company, things are a little different, and that’s where a good story around a company’s team is crucial.

And yet, I am surprised how often startup teams are wasting the opportunity of telling the story about their team.

Spoiler alert: For early-stage companies, investors are looking for exactly three things:

  1. Is there demand in the market? In other words: Is there a real problem here that people are willing to pay to solve?
  2. Is the market big and growing? Not to put too fine a point on it, but is it possible to build a billion-dollar company in this space?
  3. Is this the right team to deliver? Assuming that the answers to the first two questions are in the affirmative, the investor has convinced themselves that there is space in the market for a big company and that there’s money to be made here. The hardest question is the third one: Do we have faith that this is the right team to bet on?

Five Flute was confident enough to put its Team Slide as its second slide. And it’s easy to see why: This is what an extraordinary team looks like. See the full pitch deck teardown here. Image Credits: Five Flute

Why should the investors back you and your team? That is the question a Team Slide has to answer.

The ugly truth is that if you have a good idea, chances are that there are 10 other teams working on the same idea. It’s unlikely that you are special enough to have a 100% unique idea. It’s unlikely that you are the first founders to pitch a particular idea to a group of investors. So the question morphs into this: Why should the investors back you and your team?

That is the question a Team Slide has to answer. In this post, I’ll show you how.

The Team Slide is the most important slide in a startup pitch deck by Haje Jan Kamps originally published on TechCrunch

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