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Gearing Up to raise our pre-seed round

2.11K viewsFundingStartupsfeedback pitch pitch deck preseed

Got some feedback from 2 angels on our pitch deck would love to get some advice on how to tackle this wording problem

Paul O'Brien Changed status to publish

happy to help. what is the question?

Also happy to help!

Thanks, Ethan and John I’ve added the investor notes, and link to my deck. Feel free to comment below, or message my inbox if this thread gets lengthy.


OMG Paul, I love your response and wanted to start with “Why” all along!!  When I  first started our deck, a neighbor gave me Simon Sinek’s book and I read it. I originally started with why, but went against my gut and changed it.

I agree the verbiage needs to change. Innovators and early adopters get it, but like an investor once said “explain it like I’m your mother or an 8th grader or I don’t get it. Your advice has been extremely helpful and puts things in the right perspective. Thanks for your help. I’ll reach out to Joerg

Our why btw: PNDORAS BOX is a virtual environment, a metaverse experience challenging the status quo by inspiring people to see the world differently while thinking outside the box

Ricky Shepherd II Answered question

Ricky, I’m going to drop some of your messaging here and use that to add some thoughts

“PNDORAS BOX is a new platform, a virtual experience where gaming, digital collectibles, and community blur the lines of reality. Avatars can explore the metaverse  from the PNDORAS BOX app or immerse themselves  in a Virtual World with friends as they hang digital art on their walls, rave, go on  a health & wellness retreat or visit an iconic virtual bar known  as “The Juice Box””

Start with WHY.  Not to overly quote the Simon Sinek notion but it’s a very important consideration to appreciate (and great book to read).  I wrote a bit about what I call The Perfect Pitch, here, and it lead with that (Why first); and I regret, I’ve wanted to write more but to be frank, a lot of what we teach there is part of our program, because it takes a lot to get a pitch right.

I read what you’ve put together and it jumps right into WHAT, with a bit about HOW it works (or will work).  What you risk when you talk that way is that people have to :

  1. Care about what you’re doing (and most people won’t; not because of what you in particular are doing, it’s just natural that most people won’t care about WHAT any of us is actually doing).
  2. Agree that there is a reason for that to exist
  3. Have that need (or want) and want to use that solution in particular

95% of the people you walk with, when you talk that way, won’t.

So instead you start with WHY.  Why is there an opportunity here, a need, that can be meaningful to everyone?

VALIDATION of WHY is NOT a result of customers nor traction, not at the early stages and not in a pitch – validation is a matter of validating WHO you are and WHEN the industry has developed in this regard.  WHO helps clarify your experience, your passion, and your expertise.   WHEN can be a confusing concept but talking about the PAST and then present, establishes the opportunity and your knowledge of the market; then, talking about the future, opens up possibilities and introduces the potential to customers / partners / investors.

Let me switch gears.  What I’d also like to encourage it that you work on language (words).  Some examples:

  • “virtual experience” can be confusing or can depend on your audience’s understanding
    • So it’s a VR thing?  People need an Oculus?
    • It’s an Immersive thing?  This metaverse everyone is talking about??
    • You mentioned gaming so this is something like Fortnite or Minecraft?
    • Maybe it’s a real world platform, there are virtual experiences where you can visit a museum and experience WWII, for example
  • “Hang digital art on their walls”  Cool!
    • I hear Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have that in their homes and that the art changes
    • You should connect with Joerg, he’s doing something in this regard
  • Community, virtual bar, rave, gaming, digital collectibles, metaverse….
    • Whew.  Sounds like you do a LOT and that doesn’t sound easy and turnkey

Don’t misunderstand any of that as judgmental criticism; in fact, I get it, I know what you’re doing – we work in this industry.  Most people will be confused and wonder.

Start with Why this thing should exist.  Talk about who cares.  Talk about why you care.  Tell me a story about the industry/sector/market.  THEN I’m interested in what it is and how it works.

Paul O'Brien Answered question
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