Make your “team slide” matter
The team slide is always a hard one for me. It is in every founder presentation for every new opportunity that I get to learn about. It is…
The team slide is always a hard one for me. It is in every founder presentation for every new opportunity that I get to learn about. It is also the slide where I learn the least — both in my pre-read of the materials and in the meeting with founders.
By the time I meet you, I have stalked you and your team on the internet — your history is clear to me and is typically a driver of the decision to request time on your calendar. Until this week, I typically encourage founders to skip the slide and avoid the “biohazard” but the other day I met a founder who didn’t want to skip the slide and I am really glad she didn’t.
Instead of talking about each person on her team and what they had done, she talked about each person on her team, focused on their unique area of strength, how it was critical to the success of her company and then gave a specific example from the person’s past — something NOT obvious from their LinkedIn profile — of this strength in action. It was great and I learned a ton.
Imagine we started a company together and we’re going to sell shoe laces with inspirational quotes printed on them targeting female runners. You’re the CEO, I am the product and marketing focused co-founder.
As the CEO, you could tell VCs that I have an MBA from a good school, was an early employee at a successful footwear company and that I founded a fitness gaming company. Alternatively, you could assume that the VC already knows the basics (or that they can read the bullets on the slide quickly). Then, you could tell them that my superpower is the ability to understand my target customer and their needs — almost to the point of schizophrenia. You could tell them (in more detail than I include here) about the creation of the AND 1 MixTape and how it evolved from a series of home videos we would watch at lunch to a celebration of hip hop and hoops and evolved into one of the best marketing/branding properties ever. From 16 year old ball players with attitude to stay at home moms looking for a affordable and convenient fitness guidance, my success in niche markets, similar to custom shoe laces for female runners, has come from this understanding of the customer and helped me create brands and products that resonate with the customer at an emotional level — a key to success for this company.
If you approach your team slide this way, you really tell the VC something important about each person you are working with and you also teach them how you thought about assembling the team, the strengths you have brought together and how you all will collaborate to achieve success.