I covered Arkive's $9.7 million funding round, a startup that is trying to answer the question: "What if the Smithsonian was owned andcurated by the internet?"

The founder and CEO of the company graciously gave me a closer look at the pitch deck he used to raise their seed round. It is time to get to it.

If you want to submit your own pitch deck, here is how to do it.

Slides in this deck

Arkive's deck crams a lot of details into just 12 slides.

  1. Cover slide
  2. Mission slide
  3. Problem slide
  4. Solution slide
  5. Business model slide
  6. Value proposition slide
  7. Roadmap slide
  8. Market context slide
  9. Market size slide
  10.  Milestones and What’s Next slide
  11.  Team slide
  12.  Closing slide

The deck has a small number of redactions.

  • Amount of money needed and valuation.
  • Specific timeline of product features.

Three things to love

The slide deck proclaims both good stories and experienced entrepreneurs right away. The narrative is easy to follow from one slide to the next. The majority of the slides are labeled as "product" or "road map." The design and content make sure you know what you're looking at.

I believe Arkive did well.

Planting the seed of a dream

Arkive slide 2 - What if the Smithsonian was owned and curated by the internet?

The second slide shows a person barreling out of the gates. Arkive is open in a new window.

Early-stage startups can only share so much about their traction. If you have customers, they may not be fully representative of your eventual customers. If you have a beta product, it will evolve as you learn more about the problem space you’re in and the customers’ needs and desires.

What else is left? Arkive knocked that ball out of the park.

The idea of a museum being owned and edited by the internet is a great idea. For some investors, this slide will make them nope the hell out of the deal immediately.

Make it easier for investors to paint your dream in numbers — it makes it far easier to give an enthusiastic “yes!” to backing your company.

It is almost impossible to convince people who have already made up their minds about Arkive. When investors are excited about this space, they are invited to elevate their excitement with a very simple slide.

The slide indicates the solution Arkive is building, and it shows the company's goals and objectives. It is simple, effective and shows a clarity of vision that is rare in founders.

If you are having trouble coming up with a vision that is clear, ask yourself if you understand your market, the problem you are solving and the solutions you are proposing.

It was that, now it is this

Slide 4 - We create a unique opportunity by shifting from the consolidation of curatorial power with elites to weaponizing the power of crowd- sourced intelligence.

In order to create a unique opportunity, we must shift from the consolidation of curatorial power with elites to weaponizing the power of crowd-sourced intel. The image is called Arkive.

As a founder, you have to truly, completely believe that you’re going to change the world or something important within it. If that isn’t true, I’d question why you’re doing what you are doing in the first place. If you’re smart and persistent enough to think you’re going to start a company, why would you waste that talent on something trivial?

The investors are pretty similar in their motives. They are trying to create an outsized return for their investments, but to many VCs that is not the reason.

I like this slide because it shows a stark contrast between the old and the new. Crowd-sourced, equality and speaking democratic truth are some of the words used to describe the group of curators.

The message is correct for investors who care about diversity, inclusion and social justice. The slide shows a market that is low on innovation and may turn out to be ripe for financial disruption, for investors who couldn't wring out a single copulation about making the world a better place.

I think it is very close to being perfect, even though I wish the slide had less words in it. While drawing out the differences and setting out the playing field effectively, it leaves enough space to have fruitful and interesting discussions about Arkive's visions for the future.

Let’s talk business model

Flywheel: By acquiring and showcasing a global collection, our membership drives capital into the treasury long-term.

The business model needs to meet the acquisition model. Arkive is the image credit.

A startup’s business model should be like a flywheel that builds momentum as the company grows and evolves.

The business model is outlined in this slide. It explains how the company is going to take care of part of its marketing. The answer to the question of how will this thing make money is explained.

The slide helped me understand that the founding team is experienced. They have articulated how all of the pieces come together while focusing on the user acquisition aspect of the business model.

The effect is very strong. I know what I would have said to pitch it, but I have interviewed the company's co- founder, so I know he is a good speaker and can speak about his vision. There is a door on the slide that invites you to talk.

We will look at three things Arkive could have done differently, along with its full pitch deck.