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"You have the most attention from investors in the first 60 seconds of your pitch, so how you begin is incredibly important. One common mistake is putting the team slide early in the deck. The team behind your idea is critical, but don’t open with that. Instead, open with the investment thesis."

Great piece of advice, so obvious in retrospect and at odds with many other pitch guidelines out there, that suggest you start with the management team / "company snapshot".

As with everything else, it depends.

You start with your strongest suite. So, if you're an extremely early stage startup with a stellar team, you start with that. If, you're technology/traction/investment thesis is stronger, relative to your team, you start with that.

Keep in mind this is a Series B. By now the team already has some momentum and track record, so it has been vetted before. The question is not the team anymore; is this line of business really going to explode with more money?

The first 60 seconds is key for any presentation (pitching investors or not). But even on a seed round, I wouldn't start with a team slide, unless it sends a powerful message of why this is a team of rockstars (but chances are, if this is the case, you wouldn't even need to talk about team upfront. Your reputation precedes you).

As someone that has raised $100M+ in VC for my current startup, I totally agree with this sentiment.

Open with the investment thesis -- or more specifically, lead with WHY this is a great investment compared to the other 100+ deals they're looking at.

With the increasing popularity of the "aquihire" exit strategy, I'm not surprised that "pitch guidelines" encourage discussing the team so early.

Investors typically are not going for acquihires. See for a good discussion on many issues: http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2013/05/13/the-corrosive-...

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