NOQX is a Stockholm-based startup on a mission to assist firms enhance their goal-setting, collaboration mechanisms and experiences. It has simply raised a $200,000 pre-seed round to assist accomplish its goals and, by extension, assist out firms with worker counts starting from 50 to 500 or so. The corporate hasn’t been round for very lengthy — the crew behind NOQX felt pissed off by a scarcity of efficient purpose administration instruments for firms and based the corporate in 2023.

With “readability of goals” as its rallying cry, NOQX addresses a crucial operate of any enterprise — and certainly, of pitch decks — so I used to be intrigued to see how effectively NOQX communicates this for itself.

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Slides on this deck

NOQX’s deck has 18 slides, none of which has any redactions, though the corporate omitted its competitors slide. An 18-slide deck ought to cowl all the pieces (most startups do exactly effective with 16), however there are some omissions that depart it incomplete.

  1. Cowl slide
  2. Drawback slide 1
  3. Drawback slide 2
  4. Drawback slide 3
  5. Answer slide 1
  6. Answer slide 2
  7. Answer slide 3
  8. Onboarding (“the way it works” slide)
  9. Panorama slide
  10.   This Makes Us Distinctive slide
  11.   Roadmap slide
  12.   Traction slide
  13.   Go-to-market
  14.   Pricing
  15.   Goal buyer
  16.   Why Now? slide
  17.   Staff slide
  18.   Closing slide

“Virtually there however not fairly”

Prior to now 90-odd installments of this Pitch Deck Teardown collection, I’ve usually caught with a “three issues which might be good” and “three issues that may be improved” format. I attempted ever so exhausting to do this for NOQX as effectively however ultimately gave up.

The daring design of NOQX’s deck made me need to like it, however in fact, reviewing this deck was a deeply irritating expertise. Apart from the essential omission of an Ask and Use of Funds slide (it’s not unusual to get it unsuitable, nevertheless it ought to at the least be included!), nearly each slide within the deck felt nearly excellent — however then stumbled by not together with a crucial issue or overlooking an vital element. The deck is actually so obscure that it appears the founders don’t have a agency grip on why they’re doing what they’re doing.

You by no means want three drawback slides

[Slides 2, 3, 4] That’s numerous drawback slides. Picture Credit: NOQX

I used to be stunned to see NOQX escape three totally different drawback slides. It’s nearly defensive, as if the corporate is determined to persuade buyers that “Sure! I promise! There’s an actual drawback value fixing right here!”

Buyers are sharp. It’s far more practical to streamline this right into a single, punchy slide. This strategy spares everybody the boredom of repetition and sharpens the main target, guaranteeing the core situation shines with out pointless fluff.

The issue slide ought to hit buyers with a stark headline for a extra compelling punch: “70% of firms are failing to realize their objectives” instantly units the stage, signaling a major and widespread situation. Beneath this headline, NOQX may have added three to 5 bullet factors, every a mini-revelation on why this huge failure fee issues. These bullets have to pack a punch, highlighting the dire penalties for companies and the financial system, and the looming catastrophe if left unchecked. The concept is to make buyers sit up and understand, “We are able to’t afford to disregard this.”

These bullet factors ought to do extra than simply state the apparent; they should align with what retains buyers up at evening instantly: alternative and scalability. Every level ought to scream potential and revenue, convincingly arguing why NOQX holds the golden ticket to a urgent, profitable drawback. By distilling the issue right down to a single, impactful slide, NOQX would have lower via the noise, commanded consideration, and made their case with the form of readability that calls for a checkbook, not only a nod.

You additionally don’t want three answer slides

Noticed this one coming, proper?

[Slides 5, 6, 7] You probably have too many options, you don’t have an answer. Picture Credit: NOQX

From a storytelling perspective, it’s typically value divorcing the “answer” slide from the “product” slide. On this development of slides, Slide 5 is kinda-mostly an answer slide, Slide 6 is kinda-sorta a price proposition slide, and Slide 7 performs the position of a product slide — however not one of the slides are convincing.

Figuring out the slides correctly signifies that it turns into a lot simpler to know what to incorporate.

For a answer slide, it’s essential to obviously articulate how your services or products solves the issue you’ve recognized. This slide ought to succinctly clarify why your answer is superior to current options. It’s value holding this half strategic and excessive stage: You’re about to dive into the nitty-gritty on the product slide.

For the worth proposition a part of the story, founders should clearly outline the distinctive advantages the services or products affords and why it stands out available in the market. This slide ought to succinctly talk what makes the startup’s providing beneficial to potential clients and what differentiates it from opponents. It wants to spotlight the distinct benefits it offers, comparable to cost-efficiency, superior know-how, enhanced options or higher consumer expertise. On this case, NOQX’s worth props are a little bit of a nothingburger — effective at first look, however not differentiated sufficient to actually stand out from the competitors.

For a product slide, you get to dive in and present the precise options and performance that may assist your clients get worth out of your product and clear up their drawback. Other than the truth that “our superior platform” is a bit cringe, it doesn’t truly say something. Each startup on the planet may say “our superior platform,” which implies you’re losing that slide actual property for nothing. What’s superior about it? Why ought to buyers care? How is it totally different or distinctive?

What is that this slide making an attempt to convey?

[Slide 8] A timeline to confusion. Picture Credit: NOQX

I really like a great timeline slide that reveals what firms are attempting to perform. As a substitute, this slide fails to grasp who it’s speaking to. Maybe this slide works in a gross sales deck when the founders are attempting to elucidate its worth to clients, however for an investor deck, this appears just a little superfluous.

General, this slide falls between “the way it works” and “worth prop.” It’s not doing an awesome job at both, and it fails to fulfill the general standards for what to incorporate in a pitch deck: Will this show you how to elevate cash? My intestine sense is “no.”

This isn’t traction

[Slide 12] Traction is the previous. Picture Credit: NOQX

I really like how colourful and visually interesting this slide is. What it isn’t, nonetheless, is a traction slide.

When you don’t have income but, your traction slide ought to define what you’ve completed to de-risk the corporate. This slide not solely fails to do this, nevertheless it additionally goes to December 2024. Your traction, per definition, is simply in regards to the previous: accomplishments and milestones achieved so far. Ideally it’s introduced as charts and graphs that present that development is strong and accelerating. This appears to be like like there isn’t any traction within the enterprise. That is sensible; it’s a younger firm. However don’t attempt to trick your buyers; they’ll see proper via this, so simply be upfront.

However all just isn’t misplaced. This slide is type of a “use of funds” slide, exhibiting what the corporate is planning on doing within the close to future. That may be useful, nevertheless it ought to have clear time objectives round when it’s planning to hit these milestones and what it must do to get there. “Sensible buyers” and “repeatable gross sales course of” are vital steps alongside the way in which, however they’re apparent. Buyers need to know what you’re going to do to get these buyers and gross sales processes.

Why now, certainly

[Slide 16] Why, oh, why? Picture Credit: NOQX

Having an awesome “Why now?” slide might help create FOMO and a way of urgency. This slide simply doesn’t try this. It’s an awesome begin, don’t get me unsuitable, however well-informed buyers will know all of this; it doesn’t add something to the dialog. I’d have beloved to see some insights or some thought management right here. Why was there a shift in organizational constructions? What’s the influence of conferences evolving? What’s the influence of a management model shift? What does “a movement” purpose setting and cadence even imply on this context?

I really feel like I’m lacking one thing vital right here. Maybe this slide solely works when it has a voice-over, however pitch decks want to face on their very own two proverbial ft. And which may imply that you could be want a couple of pitch deck: one for voice-overs and one for sending forward.

Inform me why you’re superior!

Your crew slide is essential and is doing numerous heavy lifting within the context of an early-stage pitch. Let’s check out this one:

[Slide 17] A strong crew, however I would like extra context. Picture Credit: NOQX

There’s an excessive amount of and too little occurring on this slide. The slide has numerous very small textual content on it, which I don’t love. It’s fairly conversational, which might work, however on this case, I believe it comes up quick.

“With a decade of expertise in hyper-growth B2B-SaaS firms.” Sure, however which of them, and why is that related? The remainder of the assertion is numerous phrases, nevertheless it’s not serving to me, as an investor, verify whether or not the CEO is a good match to construct this firm. Now I want to go to LinkedIn, however there’s no hyperlink, so I’m going to have to begin Googling, and I’m discovering myself pissed off; this may very well be a lot simpler and higher.

The CTO’s bio is equally irritating: Senior developer at Klarna is spectacular, nevertheless it isn’t clear whether or not the expertise is instantly related or overlaps with the mission, imaginative and prescient and merchandise NOQX is pursuing. The remainder of the bio doesn’t say a lot. Sure, after all you’re a visionary chief who strives to interrupt new floor and ship distinctive experiences, however the identical could be mentioned for each startup CTO ever. Be extra particular. Clarify why you’re the gold-plated unicorn on a pile of unfair benefits and skills that lead me to imagine I’d be loopy to not deploy cash into this startup.

And eventually, in case your head of UX is a co-founder, we have to have a dialog about whether or not that is sensible. And if she’s not, what’s she doing in your crew slide? As an investor on the earliest phases, I’m investing within the founding crew and its capacity to construct a strong crew. I don’t have to know the crew itself fairly but.

Why so obscure?

[Slide 13] This might have been copied out of a enterprise textbook. That’s not a great factor, as a result of all of the specifics are lacking. Picture Credit: NOQX

General, the entire pitch deck appears actually obscure and nonspecific, which makes me (and buyers) suspicious. Is it obscure accidentally, and if that’s the case, will this startup be capable to clarify what it’s doing as it’s rising and evolving? Worse, is it obscure on objective, as a result of the founders know they’re not an awesome match with the business they’re making an attempt to enter?

Take this go-to-market slide, for instance. That is barely even a brainstorm; it simply outlines a generic gross sales course of. Chilly calling and e mail advertising and marketing: Sure, however the place will it discover its clients? What’s the top-of-funnel? What are the conversion charges?

Buyers need to know who you’re, what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and the way you’re excited about the market and constructing a (probably) multi-billion-dollar firm on this house. They need to know who your clients are, what their current choices are and the way you’re totally different. They need to know the way you discover and attain out to your clients, they usually need to know the way a lot you’re anticipating to pay to accumulate a buyer, and the way lengthy you’re anticipating them to remain round, and at what worth.

None of these issues are clearly current on this deck. That signifies that if I had been to take a gathering with this startup, I’d have a lot of very pesky questions for them, comparable to:

  • Why are you the most effective individuals on the planet to begin this firm?
  • What’s your moat / how is that this defendable?
  • Who’re your clients, and the way are you going to achieve them?
  • What’s the aggressive panorama, and the way are you totally different?
  • What’s your small business mannequin? How will you appeal to, convert and retain your clients?

All in all, the deck appears to be like so good, nevertheless it lacks substance. Hopefully the corporate can determine that out forward of elevating its subsequent spherical, or it might be in for a very nasty shock.

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