The A Team

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The team slide should aim to showcase a few things:

Image result for the a team
Experienced, competent team whose skills and background complement each other. Possibly some diversity issues.
  • that the founders have the experience and competence to pull off the solution they’re pitching
  • that their backgrounds are diverse and complement each other
  • that they can work together and with others (advisors, investors, etc.)

The slide should include:

  • Founding team members and full time key first hires
  • Board members (on a separate slide)

It should not include:

  • All the company’s mentors, advisors and investors (this can be misleading as these people typically spend very little time working in the company)
  • Every single employee, including interns (these people come and go and are not necessarily committed to the success of the company)

Most of the space on this slide should be reserved for the founding team and should include:

  • Photographs
  • Role within the company
  • Significant accomplishments or relevant experience

It’s OK for a slide to include a line about the number of employees, e.g. 3 software developers, a designer and a marketer, but their names, photos and experience are unnecessary and distracting for investors.

What if there is no team yet?

Going it alone is possible. BUT most investors prefer to invest in teams for the following reasons:

  • It shows the founder is able to convince other people the problem they’ve found is worth working on
  • It shows the founder can work with other people
  • It gives an idea of how good the founder is at identifying the right people
  • Startups are hard! More hands make light(er) work

So if a founder doesn’t have a committed team yet, it’s important they have begun to identify who they want to bring on board and start to reach out to them. Even if they only get commitments to come on board post-investment, it at least shows that the immediate few months after a raise won’t be eaten up by searching for and building an initial team.