It is critically important when you are writing an executive summary for investors that you write it with the investor audience in mind. Many first time entrepreneurs and tech company founders take a very technology and product centric view in the exec summary, and investors really want to understand the business model, how you make money, and how they will make money off of an investment in your company. The executive summary is the first thing that prospective investors will see about your company, unless you had a chance to deliver your elevator pitch. It is the pre-cursor to an investor pitch, and you will never get to that stage unless you capture the investor’s interest in the exec summary.
In a recent discussion with Jeremy Glaser, who is a partner at the law firm Mintz Levin and also serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Venture Capital & Emerging Companies Practice, we discuss the major error in most startup executive summaries for investors. Jeremy has worked with literally hundreds of VCs and startup companies.
According to Jeremy, “If there is one major takeaway when people are putting their executive summary together, you have to remember who your audience is. I work mostly with technology companies. They are in software or the biotech space. They come in with deep expertise in that industry. They write the executive summary as if they’re talking to a tech person who understands the technology or is investing because of the technology. And, while the technology is a key component of getting an investor interested in your business, what really makes the investor interested is that they see that they have the ability to make a lot of money off the money they’re going to invest. The major error that I see in executive summaries is that they don’t write it from the perspective of telling the individual how they’re going to make money off the technology.”
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This is Patrick Henry, CEO of QuestFusion, with The Real Deal…What Matters.