An outstanding example of the one-page executive summary

HodlPal Executive Summary (no phone number)

What I’ve been seeing a great deal of in the past two and a half years is a lot of emphasis on pitch decks, which is fine, everyone needs a good pitch deck. But there’s little help for the founder on how to approach investors.

Too many times I’ve found that entrepreneurs will email their entire deck to a VC.
Don’t do that!

If you send your entire deck in advance of meeting with an investor they may have gone through it and robbed you of the opportunity to show your pitching skills. Your investor meeting will quickly turn into a shooting gallery, as the investor fires questions at you based on going through your deck.  And if you have followed my pitching advice, your deck is NOT meant to be read, it is a vital complement to what you say when your present to an audience, be they investors, job candidates, or partners.

This is where the one-pager comes in. People don’t read, as you may have learned from my earlier posts, and since investors are people, ipso facto they don’t read either. But a highly graphical one-page summary of your business plan will get read and will help you get the meeting. And getting the meeting is the goal of your email to your prospective investor. In fact if you have done a very good job of your one-pager, as George has done, it will likely to sent to other partners in the venture capital firm or other angels in the angel group. The job of your one-pager is to capture the attention of your investor and prime them for your meeting.

It is worthwhile walking through the elements of George’s deck:

  • At the top left is the HodlPal logo, and since most people read from left to right, your logo will be the first thing your audience will see.
  • Second is your company name, tied into the logo
  • Third is your tagline, the very short and punchy summary of what you are. Your investor should want to read on to find out what a trust-driven social network is.
  • Next is the company mission: what do they do and who do they do it for: in the case of HodlPal they are building a trust-based social network for members of the crypto community.
  • As I tell all my mentees, the most important part of a pitch to an investor is the team. Note the photos of the management team with their credentials, followed by other team members with their name and credentials. At the bottom are the logos of the management teams alma maters. So fully one third of the one-pager is devoted to the team
  • The second panel to the right has the next most important thing for any investor to see: What is the problem HodlPal is solving, neatly summarized in four bullet points
  • Next is how do they solve the problem.
  • The last section of the second panel is the secret sauce, the magic that powers HodlPal. Note how the problem and how they plan to solve it takes up the entirety of the middle panel.
  • The third and last panel begins with the market opportunity and their revenue model, the size of the crypto investor market and HodlPad’s revenue model and the size of the much larger influence market they have their sights on
  • Next are HodlPal’s competitors, followed by their competitive advantage over those companies
  • Next is the Ask: not just funding, but partnership and advice – the value add of the investor
  • Next is HodlPal’s vision, the mega trend that they will help make happen
  • And last and is the contact info for HodlPal.

That’s it. A very attractive summary of the company’s business plan on one page. Of course, you might want to layout the elements of your one-pager in a different order, perhaps your vision is first followed by your mission. But lead with the team.

You aren’t quite done! You need to carefully craft a 25-word email to your prospective investor. The job of that email? To get them interested enough to view the attachment – your one-page business plan. I’ll tackle that in the next post. Stay tuned!

Author: Mentorphile

Mentor, coach, and advisor to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. General manager with significant experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Focus on media and information. On founding team of four venture-backed companies. Currently Chairman of Popsleuth, Inc., maker of the Endorfyn app for keeping fans updated on new stuff from their favorite artists.

2 thoughts on “An outstanding example of the one-page executive summary”

  1. Definitely an outstanding example and excellent step by step description of what goes into the executive summary. Just what I needed. Thank you for supporting the startup community. You helped me a ton. Much appreciated!!


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