We’re looking for a designer to work side-by-side with First Round Founders

The Role: Design Lead, Pitch Assist
The City: San Francisco
The Mandate: Help First Round companies craft visually stunning pitch decks and stories.
Ask any startup founder to list their greatest strengths, and chances are “fundraising” won’t make the top 10. But it might just be one of the most important things a founder will ever do for his or her company. A successful raise — and a great pitch — not only makes it possible for a company to invest in its future; it changes everything.
When it comes to actually building their pitch decks, most founders go it alone. Instead of closing deals or building product (or sleeping), they spend their nights and weekends hacking together slides and wrestling with basic design principles and story flows. And they end up with a pitch that’s often confusing to their audience, looks unprofessional, and fails at its most important job — telling a clear and compelling story that moves people to invest. 
Founders know they need help. They just haven’t had anywhere to turn.
For all of these reasons, we quietly launched a first-of-its-kind program called Pitch Assist two years ago. The idea was to help our founders better prepare for the fundraising process by pairing them with the content and design talent needed to create more clear, compelling, and visually effective pitch decks. What began as a 3-month experiment has since transformed into an internal “agency” that has helped 50+ First Round Companies raise more than $500 million in follow-on capital.

The Pitch Assist team works with companies in fast-moving, newly-defined industries to create powerful presentation visuals — and helps to define their brands in the process. Here are just a few examples:

Comprised of a Content Lead and Design Lead, our Pitch Assist team works closely with First Round startups to guide founders through the entire pitch development process — from crafting the narrative to designing the slides to rehearsing the pitch. It’s an intense, collaborative process that is continuously evolving but always fascinating. 
Because we focus on only 2–3 companies at a time, we’re now looking to help even more founders by adding another full-time Design Lead to our team. For any designer who loves startups, technology, and storytelling, there’s no more perfect opportunity. It’s a chance to dig into the inner-workings of a company and help founders excel at one of the most critical points in their journey. And it’s a front-row seat to the high-stakes roller coaster ride that is startup fundraising. 
Working hand-in-hand with First Round founders, partners, and the Pitch Assist Content Lead, our next Design Lead will be responsible for:

  • Directing and executing the design of all pitch decks — from “wireframe” to final draft.
  • Facilitating on- and off-site working sessions and rehearsals with founders.
  • Coaching startup founders on the design, content, and narrative of their pitches.
  • Sharing best practices on pitching and presenting with startup founders both inside and outside of the First Round community.
  • Owning and managing project timelines for all engagements.

We get that this is a different kind of role, so we’re looking for a different kind of designer. Where you’ve worked — and whether you’re a presentation designer by trade — is far less important than who you are and what you can do. If this sounds like you, we’d love to be in touch:

  • You’re a jack-of-all-trades with a broad set of design skills, able to apply core design principles to presentations and willing to learn the ins and outs of presentation software.
  • You’re a voracious learner who will dive head-first into new industries, technologies, and business models and is always looking for the next big thing.
  • You’re a good communicator who can easily see something from another person’s perspective, process information quickly and ask intelligent questions, and translate complex ideas into simple and beautiful visuals.
  • You’re a self-starter who’s able to do in minutes what others do in hours, without the support of project managers, art directors, and account directors. You bias towards action and believe that done is better than perfect.

This job isn’t about cleaning up decks, making them look “pretty,” or disappearing for weeks to craft the perfect slide. It’s about starting from scratch every time, working side-by-side with founders, and using design as the key instrument to bring a company’s story to life. This is not about making art; it’s about making a difference.
If this sounds like something you’d like to do every day, and if you want to learn more, please send your resume and a brief cover letter to Brett Berson at pitchassist@firstround.com.