(and No, We Don’t Mean Another Boring Pitch Deck)
I’m going to tell you about something I have a small problem with. There is a chance you’ve actually never thought about this yourself, and if so, that’s fine. I may be the only one.
Occasionally, I will be in a meeting or on a Zoom call and someone will use a specific phrase – a common expression that we’ve probably all heard and maybe used ourselves without really thinking about what the words mean. That phrase? It’s the one about reinventing the wheel. You know, like:
“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel…”
“You’re wasting time trying to reinvent the wheel.”
When these words are spoken, my expression doesn’t change. I don’t stop anyone mid-sentence to register my complaint. But there is a corner of my brain that can’t help but imagine how life would be if we’d never reinvented the wheel. The first wheels were made of stone, and were used to make pottery and grind grain. It took our ancestors 300 years to discover that these same wheels could also be used for transportation. Even now, I imagine, someone is hard at work in a lab trying to make an even better wheel or a longer-lasting tire. Thank goodness we’ve reinvented the wheel.
The Intersection of Wheels and Pitch Decks
Just like wheels, the way we do business has changed dramatically – especially in the last 25 years. Many of us work from home offices, take virtual meetings from shared workspaces, and communicate electronically as much or more than we do in person. Imagine what life would be like today if, in 1997, we’d all agreed that the internet was fine the way it was. After all, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, right?
It’s even possible that your startup – the thing you’re trying to pitch, launch, and grow into a successful business – is an attempt to improve, simplify, or outperform something else that’s already on the market. In that way, your startup is a chance to reinvent the wheel. You’re going for it, and that’s exciting. It may also be harder than it has to be. Here’s why.
Most Pitching Tools Haven’t Changed
While the ways we work, communicate, and invest have all changed over time, most pitch tools have never evolved. They’re largely static, and that can make them feel stagnant. The majority of pitch tools are like stone wheels. Most pitch decks fall flat because they are flat – one-dimensional slide shows that struggle to engage the intended audience and certainly don’t compel anyone to action.
Startup founders need a system – one that includes an interactive, highly-engaging pitch tool, an integrated system of developing and maintaining investor relationships, and a simple, secure, and fully-compliant way for closing deals and growing your business.
I have good news: that’s exactly what The Main Stage does. We’ve reinvented the pitch deck, and this is how it works.
A Dynamic Pitch Requires a Dynamic Story
In the early life of your startup, your pitch is mostly you – your idea, your experience, your motivating force, and your vision for success. Investors, especially in pre-seed and seed funding rounds, are investing in you.
“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”
– Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO (1999 – 2020)
This is why honing your story is so important. What do you want? Why do you want it? How are you going to achieve it? Investors want to know these details.
What if You Think You Don’t Have a Story?
As a startup founder, few things are easier than getting lost in the weeds of your own company. When you’re hyper-focused on things like products, features, and user experience, it can be hard to remember that there was once a time when all of this was just an idea. Of course, there was also a time before that. Some series of steps or even missteps brought you to today. You know what that is, right? It’s your story!
Investors love these stories. It’s how they gauge passion, purpose, and your overall commitment to the idea. They want to know if you’re all in on your idea, or if it’s just a stepping stone to your next venture. Your story is a driving factor in an investor’s decision to put money into your company. That’s why it’s critical that you harness the power of your story and present it in a way that builds engagement and interest. While traditional pitch tools and presentations frequently leave investors bored and unimpressed, we help founders connect with investors in ways both groups love.
A Dynamic Pitch Starts With Story Vault™
Story Vault™ is one-third of The Main Stage’s proprietary platform. It’s also the first step towards developing your unique pitch. Unlike other pitch tools, Story Vault™:
- Is accessible to investors by invitation only, putting you in control of who views your pitch
- Enables your company to showcase its fundraise with video highlights and rich content
- Allows you to demonstrate proof-of-concept, share deal terms, and answer questions
For investors viewing your pitch, it’s a chance to see how much money your company has raised in real-time, as well as an opportunity to learn more about who you are and what your strategic vision is. While other pitch tools depend on a slide-by-slide progression that’s easy to lose interest in, Story Vault™ brings your pitch to life.
Given the time, budget, and network, there isn’t a startup founder who wouldn’t jump at the chance to meet face-to-face with any investor, in any location, and at any time – especially when the only other option has been a standard, one-dimensional pitch deck.
Story Vault™ puts you – your voice, vision, excitement, and opportunity – in the room with investors in your network. You can try to create a compelling story in PowerPoint, or you can elevate your pitch with interactive software and a clear plan for success.
Your Story Grows With Relationship Management
At The Main Stage, telling a great story is only the beginning. As your investor pipeline grows, you need a system for managing those relationships. Our CRM system provides:
- Advanced analytics for tracking investor activity and interest
- Tailored communication that boosts credibility, cultivates trust, and maintains compliance
- A built-in way of following up with interested investors so that prospects become shareholders quickly and easily
For startup founders, these tools have often been the missing link in their relationship management. They’ve used tools that aren’t intuitive and don’t work for them – like a spreadsheet that requires constant updating, their own email, or a calendar. The Main Stage’s CRM does the tracking and tells you when an investor is ready to move forward.
For investors, the process has never been simpler. They’re able to experience your pitch, understand your strategic vision, and decide to invest all within a few clicks of their mouse. If you’ve tried to fundraise like this in the past, our CRM will revolutionize the way you work.
Our system is seamless, but there’s still one more way that The Main Stage has reinvented the traditional pitch deck and is helping founders get the funding they need. It’s time to close the deal.
Relationships Become Tangible in Our Data Vault
Rounding out The Main Stage’s platform is our Data Vault – the place where the story you’ve told and the relationships you’ve made come together to create capital for your business. The Data Vault includes:
- A user-friendly interface that expedites the investment process making deals easier than ever to close
- Document storage, including pitch materials, Pro Forma, Articles of Incorporation, and investor communications, all in one secure location
- An Investor Dashboard that, once the process is complete, provides investors with access to their mutually executed documents
As a part of The Main Stage platform, the Data Vault simplifies the process of signing and filing documents, but it will also give you some much-needed order and peace of mind. When you don’t have to worry if your round of fundraising is secure, you’re free to focus on meeting new investors, building relationships, and growing like never before.
These three pieces – StoryVault™, our CRM, and the Data Vault – make up The Main Stage. They empower startup founders and entrepreneurs to achieve the success they knew they were capable of, but weren’t exactly sure where to start. Don’t worry. This is what we do. We can help.
The Main Stage is the future of fundraising and now is your chance to join us. If you’re ready to get started, so are we. Click here for a chance to learn more and sign up for a free 14-day trial.
Did you really read my story about reinventing the wheel and then scroll straight to the bottom? Okay. Fair enough. Here’s the too-long-didn’t-read version just for you:
- You are the message, so pitch a story you’d invest in
- Traditional pitch decks can’t help you do that, but The Main Stage can
- Our StoryVault™, CRM, and Data Vault create a seamless platform for engaging investors, compelling action, and closing deals
- Even though you didn’t read all of this, you can still click here for two weeks on The Main Stage free-of-charge
Aishlin Harrison is the co-founder of The Main Stage, as well as an artist, musician, and passionate entrepreneur. In addition to these roles, she serves as Creative Advisor for RedCrow™, Inc., a direct investment and marketing platform for healthcare companies. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.