The Most Important Intro Material
To grow a company requires many conversations with customers, hires, investors, partners and suppliers. Often, the best conversations start with introductions and people are more likely to accept introductions when you have the right introductory marketing material to share as part of the introduction. In our experience, every startup needs four core pieces of marketing collateral.
- One-Paragraph Introduction
- Investor Deck
- Customer Deck
This is a guide to creating these four mission-critical pieces of collateral.
This paragraph is needed for every email introduction. For example, if a friend agrees to reach out to a potential investor or customer for you, this paragraph is forwarded to the requested person for them to decide whether to take the introduction. This paragraph should be concise, well-edited and energizing to help someone immediately understand your mission and key differentiators. Here our introductory paragraph as an example.
Prime Movers Lab invests in breakthrough scientific startups founded by Prime Movers, the inventors who transform billions of lives. We invest $1–3mm in seed-stage companies reinventing energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, human augmentation and computing. We offer Prime Movers comprehensive resources and integrated coaching to support the transformation of world-class technical experts into extraordinary executives. Our team has developed in-depth academic scientific research, commercialized novel intellectual property, scaled significant enterprises, and mentored renowned scientists on their entrepreneurial journey. We only make a small number of investments so that we can dive deep with every Prime Mover we back and ensure that we create outsized value to dramatically improve the odds of success.
The first sentence is the mission statement. The second sentence gives specifics of what we do. The third through fifth sentences explain our key differentiators (world-leading scientific experience as an early stage investor and treating founders like customers, rather than investments). These differentiators make specific reference to our team’s experience which is what makes it possible for us to deliver on these value propositions.
Most introductions will start with forwarding the introductory paragraph and two-pager to the requested person (by the introducer). The two-pager should provide the core context on the company in a visually impressive form. Here is our two-pager as an example.
The crucial things to include are listed below.
a. Mission Statement
b. Value Proposition (best if based on results)
c. Core Products or Services (show don’t tell)
d. Team (pictures or backgrounds depending on space)
e. Brand Validation (media, quotes or proven results)
There are already fantastic resources for startups preparing investor decks (examples, guide) which we agree with. Below is our preferred template (similar to the linked YC seed template deck), which includes slides on each of the following: Problem, Solution, Traction, Metrics (possibly multiple), Technical Differentiation (multiple), Business Model, Market Size, Team, Financing, and Growth Plans.
This deck is similar to the investor deck, but instead has the following slides: Problem, Solution, Validation (multiple), Technical Differentiation (multiple), Team, Case Studies (multiple), and Next Steps.
Prime Movers Lab invests in breakthrough scientific startups founded by Prime Movers, the inventors who transform billions of lives. We invest in seed-stage companies reinventing energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, human augmentation and computing.