Disclaimer: Even though this guide is Arweave-focused, it can also be seen as a guide to any Web3 investor pitch. The focus is on the recent presentation given by Arweave’s COO, Sebastian Campos Groth.
On the 2nd of March, the Open Web Foundry hosted its 4th Gather Town meeting of OWF6. This time around, Sebastian Campos Groth, COO of Arweave, presented a detailed presentation on how new projects can craft a pitch deck for OWF demo day and investor meetings. One of the key takeaways was that pitching on demo day differs from pitching to a dedicated investor. Both have specific goals you want to achieve and a specific target audience, and different material you should prepare beforehand.
On demo day, the goal is to get an investor meeting. You must practice your pitch many times and prepare sleek slides and a live demo of your product. At an investment pitch meeting, the main goal is to show the potential investor that your project is a viable investment opportunity for them. It usually involves talking to one dedicated firm, so you’ll want to do some research on that firm ahead of time.
The OWF DEMO day pitch
- Talk about how you are integrating Arweave into your product.
- Intrigue them enough to make them come up to you and ask more.
- Keep your presentation short, 5 mins max.
You want to achieve two main goals when pitching at the open web foundry demo day. Firstly, you want to get the community engaged. The people attending the open web foundry are your first users and the first contributors to your project. They are hard-core dedicated members of the community who want to find out everything about the latest projects coming out and new Arweave use cases. These are people that you will be working with short-term and long-term to get your project off the ground.
The second goal is to entice the investors to attend the event enough to approach you after your pitch. After all the projects have talked on demo day, they will gather to mingle in the after-event area. This is where those genuinely interested in investing will come and find you if you have done an excellent job at enticing them. What you want to get out of this chat is a future dedicated investor meeting.
Something vital to remember is not putting too much pressure on yourself to leave demo day with a set deal. This most likely won’t happen. You will go to the event not 100% sure about the outcome. So you just need to focus on delivering a firm pitch which usually consists of the following things.
Since you’ll be addressing people from the Arweave community, they’ll want to know:
- How are you using Arweave in your project?
- Are you utilizing Arweave for storage only, or have you incorporated Smartweave contracts into your product?
- Are you setting up a Profit Sharing Community (PSC) and distributing tokens?
- How your product will further the entire Arweave community.
- And whether or not your project can help – or integrate with – their project or teams.
- Whether or not your project is a viable and profitable investment for them.
Make sure your presentation is no longer than 5 minutes; otherwise, people might stop paying attention. Remember that there are other projects there, too, so be to the point, concise, and build suspense by leaving people with just enough info that they come up to you in the mingle section to find out more.
It is imperative to show them a live demo of your product. Doing so will instill in them that you are confident with your product. If you don’t have a live demo, create a digital mock-up, something more than simply words on just another slideshow.
The investment pitch
- Be conversational, but don’t wing it.
- Do research on your investors beforehand.
- Know your product inside-out, but only present key aspects of it.
Your main goal is to get investors highly interested in what you’re showing them. You want to intrigue them enough that you get a follow-up call. Know that investors like to do due diligence and talk to you multiple times before deciding how investable your product is. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get a final answer from this first meeting.
You will be talking directly to an investor or firm during the meeting. Most likely, to the firm’s analyst rather than its director or CEO. Do not underestimate the analyst’s role, for it is they who do the research and decide if it is worth moving you on to the next stage. Be sure to impress them in the simplest of ways, like being on time and making sure you give them all the info they ask for. After all, the more information you provide them, the easier it will be to decide on the outcome.
It’s essential to keep it conversational in this meeting, as this is a more intimate business meeting, don’t just show up. Open your laptop on the spot and start presenting. Firstly, introduce yourself, then ask if you can present your product.
You won’t need a slideshow but a live working demo to showcase. Share your screen, show the demo briefly, then cut – keep them wondering.
You want to know your DEMO inside-out, but at the same time, you don’t want to go into every little detail – like all menu options, for example. Just highlight the key aspects your product is solving and point out its specific use case. Only go a little further into detail if they have questions about something specific. Be brief, concise, focused, and to the point.
We mentioned keeping it conversational, but that does not mean the presentation is unstructured, so have all the info you need to answer any questions the investors might have around your product and tokenomics.
Don’t just wing it!
One of the most important things to remember is a two-way conversation and pitch.
You are trying to decide if you want to work with these investors as much as they want to determine whether they wish to invest in you. Have a couple of questions prepared for them regarding how they work with current projects in their portfolio and just how they will be involved in your journey – aka, are they solely offering capital, or will they be closely working with you on other aspects of development. This leads to the next point.
In preparation for your meeting, you want to research the venture capitalist or firm. Visit their website before the meeting to see what’s in their portfolio, understand what types of investments they like – aka DeFi projects, or maybe real estate -and find out a bit more about their story and background. Find out about their team, precisely the person you will be talking to. (A great resource you can find out more about companies in Crunchbase.)
Typically, you will receive a follow-up call or email when the meeting goes well. Usually, this is for them to go more in-depth with your project. Again though, remember, be specific. It’s not cool to give out a 100-page long white paper and expect them to read through it all since it’s highly likely they are looking at multiple projects to invest in at the same time. Don’t flood them with the info they don’t need – address the important things. If all goes well, expect more meetings and calls.
Once on a flow, the real journey begins.
How OWF helps you on your journey
Open Web Foundry helps you prepare for investor pitches. The OWF can help you prepare all materials you need and, at the same time, help you with explaining your project in the best way possible. They will guide you through honing your skills. Usually, the foundry will spend between 15 and 20 hours making sure everything is sleek and you have the skills needed to communicate and get across just what your project does.
All you need is a simple document with an intro and all the project’s basic info to get started. The foundry will then help you put together your presentation, providing dedicated graphic designers to build your slides and refine them until they are as good as possible.