VCs spend an average of 3 mins, 44 secs on a pitch deck. What is the perfect deck then?

dollar-1164990_640DocSend recently published their findings from a research on the pitch decks of 200 companies raising funds. The companies raised a total of $360m so I believe this research could be treated as pretty representative.

Respected companies like Sequoia have long published their dream pitch deck.  Yet, DocSend has brought a bunch on insights that should be considered.

Here are the most important take aways in brief:

  • Seed raise takes 3 months on average.
  • Seed firms provide higher rounds with fewer meets than angels.
  • More meetings does not mean more money. 20-30 meetings should be enough.
  • Average time an investor spends on your deck is close to but under 4 minutes.
  • The perfect deck should be 20 pages or less.
  • Your deck should be mobile friendly, 1 out 8 investors views it on mobile.
  • The Sequoia suggested model seems to be ubiquitous in the industry as there were almost no big deviations on the slides required and their order. Check slide 7 for more info.
  • Investors spend most time on Financials, Team and Competition slides. If your financials are not ready yet, better do not include as they will be seriously scrutinized.
  • Do not include your deal terms in the deck.


Entrepreneurship Series – Featuring Rustem and his Robo Wunderkind

I came upon something truly inspiring. As usual I check few interesting startups each week. Lately I do it mostly in the IoT, B2B SaaS and Ecommerce/marketplaces space. It is not easy, with all the rest going on, so is really a matter of discipline to stay relevant and follow the trends.

During one of these sessions I met Rustem. This guy told me his story and it blew my mind.

Rustem and his team built this (see picture below).

robo wunderkind

Simply said, Robo Wunderkind is a robotics kit that allows you to build your own robot, so that kids also pick up basic coding skills along the way.

It is essentially a set of blocks which you can use to build all kinds of functional robots. Connecting the cubes is as simple as putting building blocks together — there is no wire or magnet.

robo wunderkind bricks

Then comes the 2nd fun factor. Kids can learn how to code by playing with the app’s visual programming interface which is super intuitive: kids with no previous exposure to coding will easily figure out how to program in the app.

robo wunderkind app

Here are some things that Robo Wunderkind can do:

  • drive around while avoiding obstacles
  • play a recorded sound when somebody enters the room
  • react to claps and other noises
  • play music when somebody picks it up
  • record and play voice messages
  • …and much, much more!

The idea was born end of 2013.

first robo wunderkind prototype

After building his prototype and putting his star team together, Rustem and Anna did something unexpected.

In 2014 they moved to Shenzhen, China to pursue their dream. There they learned all around hardware manufacturing.

That took a year and it mid 2015 came their Kickstarter campaign. Which ended up raising more than 3x the amount initially planned.

In this month, July 2016, almost 3 years after the idea was born and a ton of awards and pitches later, Rustem and team will start delivering their product to their 1 169 backers.

In simple words entrepreneurship is about dedication, patience and believe in what you do, and Robo Wunderkind is a true example of what it takes.

Go Robo Wunderkind Team!


Chessboxing entrepreneur launches “blood and sweat equity” Seedrs campaign

Hi there,

It has been quite some time since my last post but finally can break the silence with some great news. Iepe, a dear friend, has put more than 10 years of his life to create a new sport – Chessboxing. Yes, it is indeed a mix of playing chess and boxing at the same time – one round at a time.

Iepe has started his long-awaited crowdfunding campaign few days ago and he needs your little contribution in support of his Chessboxing campaign. I am sharing his press release below so take a look to learn the story behind.

Twelve years after he founded the sport, and 3 years after founding the marketing company, the man behind chess boxing is offering would­-be investors a ‘blood and sweat equity’ stake in his company if they can defeat him in the ring. To mark the launch of a €500,000 (minimum goal €150K) funding campaign on Seedrs, entrepreneur and former world champion lepe Rubingh will hand over a one percent stake to any professional investor who beats him in a chessboxing fight – either by check mate or by knockout. However, a loss will come with at a price – a compulsory investment of €35,000(pre­-money valuation) into Chess Boxing Global the sport’s global marketing company.

The popularity of Chessboxing continues to rise as increasing numbers trial the sport’s unique blend of mental and physical challenges – and in particular the opportunity to pit their brains and brawn against skilled opponents. A chessboxing fight consists of up to 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing. A bout begins with a three ­minute chess round, followed by three minutes of boxing. Competitors have a maximum total of nine minutes to complete all their chess moves ­ and a maximum of 15 minutes for boxing. A fight can be won by knocking an opponent out in the ring, via a checkmate in chess, by a judge’s decision or if a competitor exceeds their chess time limit.

“Unlike most other sports, chess boxing requires both adrenalin and concentration, it takes nerves and muscles of steel,” said lepe Rubingh, Chief Executive Officer of Chess Boxing Global. “The first rule of chessboxing: control yourself before your opponent does.” After founding the sport in 2003, Rubingh formed CBG three years ago to establish a professional global league. Buoyed by the successful staging of sold­ out world championship events in Moscow and Berlin, he’s looking for investors to help fund the sport’s continued growth.

“Chessboxing produces a unique form of intelligent entertainment,” said Rubingh. “The global success of the Ultimate Fighting Championship shows the potential if you create the right sport – and deliver it to the right audience.” And unlike most entrepreneurs, Rubingh is willing to put his gloves where his wallet is and offer interested parties a unique investment opportunity. In addition to the Seedrs campaign, he’s proposing a ‘blood and sweat equity bout’ where investors can fight for shares by challenging the sport’s creator in the chessboxing ring. “If I’m beaten fair and square in the ring, I’ll hand over one percent of my company – no questions asked,” said Iepe Rubingh. “But I want to warn interested investors they’ll need deep pockets. If I win – and I normally do – they’ll have to have their cheque book ready as they’ll have to agree to invest €40,000 (post­money valuation).”

“As in all walks of life, there’s always a price tag attached to winning – and losing.”

I have already done my little contribution to this cool new sport. Hurry up and make your contribution as you will actually get a stake in the company at pretty favorable valuation. What if it becomes as big as F1?


First reads for 2016

It has been busy two months of the new year so my compilation of reads comes relatively late. Hope you will discover something  interesting for you too:

Enjoy the reads!