PalauProjectPre seedPitchDeckTechCrunchPitchDeckTeardown Slide 05

Project Palau’s $125,000 game • TechCrunch

I get a lot of pitch deck presentations for this TechCrunch Pitch Deck Teardown series of people raising friends and families, and I mostly pass them on. Often these decks aren’t very good, but it’s important to remember that they don’t have to be.

For a small turn (say $200,000 or less), most well-connected entrepreneurs will be able to find a group of people who believe in them and are willing to invest in them. It’s not about the product (there usually isn’t one), nor the solution (the business is still iterating).

These investors typically bet on two things:

  1. Is it market Is it important enough and the problem worth solving or is it relevant enough to give this endeavor a chance of success?
  2. Are the founders the right people to solve this problem? Do they have connections, skills or experience that give them an unfair advantage?

Here’s the truth: when considering early-stage businesses, if you can’t answer “yes” to both of these questions with 100% certainty, you shouldn’t be investing. If the market isn’t big enough, don’t invest. If the founders are smart, friendly, and amazing, but don’t have anything special that gives them an edge, don’t invest.

It is in this context that I received the Palau Project pitch deck. Its founder, Jérôme Cloetens, is a professional kitesurfer (!) with an economics degree and an MBA, and he tackles climate change.

Let’s take a closer look at how all of these pieces fit together in a pitch deck.

We’re looking for more unique pitch decks to take down, so if you’d like to submit yours, here’s how you can do so.

Slides in this deck

This pre-seed deck has 22 slides, but it probably could have been around 10 slides. That said, it looks good, and while it jumps around a bit from topic to topic, I can see how the presentation would shape up. Cloetens notes that the slide deck has been updated slightly since the fundraiser, and he mentioned that it’s “not exactly like Pitched; some minor design and content changes (such as our traction measurements) have been updated. »

  1. cover slide
  2. Issue impact slide
  3. problem slide
  4. Solutions Slide
  5. Product Slide
  6. Product Slide
  7. Product Slide
  8. Challenge Slide
  9. Slide Value Proposition
  10. Business model slide
  11. Market Size Slide
  12. Market slide
  13. Traction slide
  14. Metrics slide
  15. Milestones Slide
  16. Team slide
  17. Founders Slide
  18. Interstitial slide “seed round”
  19. mission slide
  20. The Ask Slide
  21. Milestones Slide
  22. Closing slide “Equity for thrifthers”

three things to love

As I mentioned in the intro, this is a pre-seed deck. According to slide #20, the founders were trying to raise $500,000 and they closed with around $125,000. This is not entirely uncommon in the early stages. Later, your plan should match the funds, which should match the milestones you are trying to achieve.

At this point, “I just need the money to prove what we’re trying to do” will work, and if the angel investors think that makes sense, you’ll fundraise.

Simple product, testable now

[Slide 5] Palau Project’s product is super simple, but the power will be in the data. Image credit: Palau project.

Make your product demos as simple as possible – they’re easy to understand, visual and impactful.

I mentioned earlier that all that matters is market size and team, and I’ll get to that in a moment. So far, I’ve been really impressed with how simple the idea is and how easily it can be imagined in use. Scan a barcode, get product information and be pushed towards products that have less impact on the climate.

As an investor, I would immediately have three questions:

  1. How good is the database and how many products are captured there?
  2. Will people actually use it when walking around, shopping?
  3. This use case appears to be in person, but the business model refers to a commission. How would manufacturers know that a user has changed their behavior as a result of using an application?

You can learn two things from this slide: Keep your product demos as simple as possible: they’re easy to understand, visual, and impactful. The second step is to link it to your value propositions: What does it bring to the consumer? What’s in it for product manufacturers? What’s in it for your business (i.e. how does it help you gain or retain customers, and how does it help you generate value) ?


[Slide 13] Such an early product with traction is magnificent. Image credit: Palau project.

When a company raises their first round, they are unlikely to have a product, let alone one with any real traction. If you happen to have such a product, shout about it from the rooftops. Having 30 downloads per day is impressive, and 10,000 reviews show that the app is working and driving user engagement. Commitment time is cool too – there are a lot of early indicators here that the founders might be onto something. Going from 0 to 700 weekly active users in a new market (Portugal) is also impressive.

Again, the slide raises questions for me:

  1. The scans are great, but I want to know what percentage of those scans were successful (i.e. there were products in the database). If users scanned 10,000 items and ended up with 600 results and 9,400 “We don’t know about this product”, this will cause a lot of users to immediately turn away.
  2. 25-30 new users per day is impressive, but show us a graph and the total number of registrations.
  3. TikTok videos are cool, but it’s a vanity metric that means nothing unless it moves the needle to the business side. Did the video drive downloads? More scans? More requests?

What you can learn from this slide as a startup is to think about the story you’re telling with your metrics, because you might be telling the wrong story, or it might raise more questions than it does solves.

Pretend to be a VC for a moment and ask yourself: if a company told me these numbers, what caused these numbers and what do they tell me about where the company is headed?

Elegant value proposition

[Slide 3] It’s hard to be a consumer who cares. Image credit: Palau project.

The graphic on the left really highlights a point: companies blatantly use greenwashing to claim they’re sustainable, tree-hugging hippies are real (and Coca-Cola, in particular, wraps itself in curious green pretzels trying to prove how much he cares about the environment), and as consumers, you can’t trust big companies to accurately represent what they do.

So what should a poor consumer do? Palau Project’s take on this topic is a masterful setup of a pitch and a wonderful way to open the door to a story.

This slide is a great example of a good opener that can help move the conversation forward. Having a clear value proposition or painting a picture for your purpose is a great way to engage your listeners.

Remember when I said “team” and “market” are the two most important parts of a pre-seed slideshow? You’ll notice the absence of either in this “things I liked” section. There’s a reason for that, so let’s take a closer look at what could be improved in Palau Project’s pitch.

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