How to showcase your team slide on your overview deck #startup

The most important question you are trying to address on your “Team” slide is

“Why is this the best team in the world to execute this opportunity?”

Most investors get pitched multiple times by different teams with the same / similar idea or different approaches to the same problem in the same market. It is not unusual as well for investors to start to look at other companies in the space if they get a chance to see your company.

In the absence of having lots of traction or a large market (which is a non starter if you do), this is one of the most crucial slides of your overview deck.

This helps them understand the space better, and also lets them determine the merits and differences between the approaches.

While it is no unusual to hear the term “Rock star team“, most investors only tend to believe what the founders tell them about themselves and the investors are able to double check via references.

If I were to simplify the definition of a rock star team, I’d say –

A team that’s worked together and solved the same type of problem a startup would face at their current stage before in their career.

In many cases the problem has never been solved before, or the team is new and young, while approaching it differently from others in the past. In that case, a rock star team

Complements each other, works very well together and is able to trust each other to execute independently well and collectively be better than the sum of parts.

Now, to present your combined knowledge and experience on how your team is uniquely positioned to execute this opportunity, you will have to present the team slide by focusing on the top 3 things you will need to get right before your next stage of growth.

In your team slide it is not uncommon to present the founders alone. In many cases I have also seen folks include their advisory board members and sometimes legal partners in their presentation.

The ideal team slide has a key takeaway – here are the 3 most important things we need to get right and here are the 2-3 best people in world who can help us do this uniquely.

Lets say for example you are looking for a seed stage investment and have 2 co founders and 2 other employees in the company. You have an MVP and possibly a couple of early customers and users.

The next most important things you have to prove is that you can get distribution at scale and technology at scale.

Then you should focus on why the two members in the founding team are the best to figure out how to scale distribution and technology. It is really that simple.

For the specific type of users you have, the proprietary business model you have chosen and the unique technology stack you possess, there would be very few people in the world who understand what you know about the market that others dont.

You are trying to show in your team slide that this team can successfully ensure that the risk involved for an investor is minimal, since you are one of a few set of people in the world who can do this.

I would put the key 3 items that make your team different on the slide title. For example: Team has SEO domain expertise and has been named AWS scalability experts by Amazon. This assumes you need SEO expertise uniquely to gain customers at scale and your technology critical success factor is scaling using AWS.

Many folks use logos of key previous companies to show pedigree (some also put the logos of their school affiliations), while that’s good for the overview deck, for your operating plan I’d be more detailed about how long you have worked together and in what circumstances.