When courting potential investors with an executive summary, or even just an email, see if you can deploy a seriously captivating hook right off the bat. I know this is easier said than done. But remember, your executive summary is nothing more than a 30-second blipvert to get the reader interested in taking a meeting and learning actual stuff about your company. It’s an advertisement. The point is just to hook them.
Your executive summary will be scanned by investors with all the conscientiousness of an HR manager reading a resume. You’ll have about 5-10 seconds to catch their attention. Which means you need to tell them right up front why they should give a f*ck. Which might look like this:
[MY PRODUCT] is a proprietary [THING] that [DOES SOME AMAZING THING THAT HAS NEVER QUITE BEEN DONE LIKE THIS BEFORE], and it empowers its users to [ACCOMPLISH SOME IMPORTANT THING THEY CARE A LOT ABOUT] at a fraction of the current cost. This is a $[LARGE NUMBER] industry. Users demand [FEATURES LIKE THIS]. [MY PRODUCT] is the holy grail of the industry, and only [MY COMPANY] can provide it. [MY COMPANY] has validated this market by conducting meticulous customer research. [MY CUSTOMERS] are clamoring for this solution, and are willing to pay up to $[MEANINGFUL NUMBER] for it. With just $[APPROPRIATE NUMBER] in working capital to support our aggressive sales and marketing plan, [MY COMPANY] expects to show annualized revenues of $[IMPRESSIVELY LARGE NUMBER] within the first 12 months.
Also, once you’ve hooked them, avoid optional stuff, like “once we pursue this particular segment, we may move into this other segment, or that one, depending.” Investors don’t like options. Options mean uncertainty. Think of yourself as a cruise director on an expensive cruise ship. You would never say, “Well we’re gonna sail around the keys on our way to Jamaica but Cuba might be nice, too, so maybe we’ll stop there if we feel like it.”
No. Your investors want solid, reliable, confident direction. Your message is: This will happen. I know it will happen. The data prove that this will happen. Just give me your money and watch it happen.