🕶️ Is your pitch deck a walking red flag?

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Hey, lots happening this week, and we've got you covered, even if you're crazy busy.

The TikTok Ban Bill has been signed, and the company has 9 months to cut ties with its China-based parent company. Meanwhile, on the other side of the sea, startups are coming together under an AI Chamber to boost AI development and lobby for favorable policies in Europe 🇪🇺

If you are about to pitch your startup, there are certain common mistakes — AKA red flags 🚩 — that you want to avoid. Hint: does your design suck? 🫣

Prepare your coffee for a good read! ☕

Six bullets of updates

An AI Chamber to Boost Responsible AI Development

Source: Unsplash

Poland is setting up an AI Chamber with nearly 50 local firms, including startups like Iceye and Finiata, in a bid to develop and promote artificial intelligence (AI) responsibly across central and eastern Europe. The move comes as the nation's AI ecosystem struggles to keep pace with Western counterparts, due to limited local venture capital funding and political hurdles.

The AI Chamber will primarily focus on AI's social impact and its responsible development in the region. It plans to conduct market research, publish reports on AI adoption and promote AI-driven solutions across various sectors. The group also aims to engage in creating initiatives focused on leveraging AI to enhance education, health systems and policymaking across the region. Read more!

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These companies just raised money

  1. 🤖 Parloa, the 'voice first' AI customer service platform, nabs a cool $66M in Series B funding, boosting total capital to $98M.

  2. 🌎 Remittance startup Pomelo secures $35M Series A, plans Mexico expansion with its 'send now, pay later' model.

  3. 🎓 Community college startup Campus bags $23M in Series A extension led by Founders Fund, aiming to improve the low 16% of community students who receive bachelor's degrees within six years.

  4. 📊 Dataplor, the trusted source for business data, snags $10.6M in a Series A round. Funds to boost sales and brand presence.

  5. 💸 Financial platform for creators, Bump, netted $3M in seed funding to refine its infrastructure and expand its services.

  6. 🚀 Shoppable video startup Diddo raised $2.8M in seed funding, ready to let viewers shop their favorite TV looks in real-time.

3 Big RED FLAGS on a Pitch Deck - Avoid them!

Are you about to pitch your startup to investors? Before you do, make sure you don’t make these common mistakes:

 🚩 #1: Bad Financial Projections

Most pitch decks we see have two big problems on the financial slide: they overestimate growth, and they underestimate how much money they need. 

The money that you raise with your pitch deck needs to last through the next fundable milestone. If you’re raising Pre-Seed, your money needs to last through Seed. If you’re raising Seed, your money must last through Series A

If you over-estimate growth, you’ll run out of money faster than you think. Make sure to run a good financial model.

 🚩#2: Bad Go-to-Market Strategy

Regardless of what round of funding you are raising, part of your investor’s money is going towards growth, and they want to make sure you use it wisely. 

The financial model is half the answer. The rest comes from running experiments, even with beta products or landing pages; and understanding who your audience is (it’s NOT everyone. Let’s talk!)

 🚩 #3: Design Sucks

Investors are willing to spend ~4 minutes reading your slides (we actually measured this), and if you try to cram too much information into each slide, the result is going to be them skipping rather than stopping to read.

SaaS Growth Calculator

A growth calculator that lets you forecast the impact of your ARPU (average revenue per user) and Churn Rate on the long-term potential of your subscription business.