By Hadley Harris, Founding General Partner
Since we started investing at Eniac in 2010, I’ve reviewed thousands of seed stage pitch decks. It amazing me how often the most important slide — the team slide — is poorly executed.
When I posted on Twitter about how important the team pages are when reviewing a deck for the first time, I received a lot of questions and comments both on and offline. It seemed people were curious as to why it was the first thing we look at (versus the market and their solution).
I thought it would be nice to address it for everyone in one place.
Founder market fit is critical at the seed stage. For us at Eniac, it is more about starting by looking at who the founders are, their experience, the overall team dynamics and balance is very important. We’ve always put a heavy emphasis on the value of founders with rounded and collective experiences. So when looking at a deck for the first time, we assess the team page and then we look back through the front to assess what they’re doing with the team in mind.
So for anyone looking to create a better seed-stage pitch deck with the team in mind, here are 5 really simple tips based on what we’ve seen over the years:
- Put it up front! In a seed stage deck, it’s by far the most important slide. Don’t bury it as slide 23.
- List each member’s accomplishments and experiences. It boggles my mind when a founder’s description is “sales Ninja” with zero further information. Don’t just put a bunch of logos — be specific about the what and where of each members’ experience. More is better!
- If you have non-founding fulltime members on the team, list them. They’re very important.
- Don’t put much emphasis on advisors. Investors care infinitely more about full-time members of the team than advisors.
- If you have shared history make that very clear. We’ve seen a strong correlation between how well founders know each other and success. Highlight that!
I’d like to also note that I got a few really important questions around whether going straight to the team slide hurt our ability to control for unconscious biases. This is 100% a problem in our industry. More on that here: