Presentation Deck Breakdown: $65M Forethought Series C Deck

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foresight was on our radars for a long time – the company won our 2018 Startup Battleground at TechCrunch Disruptand just a few weeks ago, CEO Deon Nicholas joined NEA’s Vanessa Larco on TechCrunch Live to talk about presentations and presentations:

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Today I am pleased to analyze the presentation of the company from 23 slides. which helped him raise $65 million in Series C late last year..

forethought The mission is to help people work better with AI. “One of the things we’ve been focusing on is building a human-centric artificial intelligence platform. And that’s what really happened… with our mission, and really our mission is to unlock the human potential through artificial intelligence,” Nicholas told TechCrunch. Ron Miller.


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Slides in this deck

In the vast majority of cases, this is the slide that makes my eyes cloud over; The forethought slide got me thinking because this is a rare exception to that rule.

  1. cover slide
  2. Founders slide
  3. TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield slide – (yes, really!)
  4. Traction slide (numbers redacted)
  5. Client list slide
  6. Forbes Next Billion Dollar Startups 2021 – Mystery Slide
  7. “Remember the last time you were on hold” – problem slide
  8. “The Cost of Poor Customer Service” – problematic slide
  9. “Transform the Customer Experience with Human-Centered AI” Solution Slide
  10. “Full Platform” – Product Slide
  11. “Real AI” – product slide
  12. “Quick payback” – product slide
  13. “Safe and Secure” – Product Slide
  14. Smart Gap Detection – Product Slide
  15. “We are trusted by the best” – customer breakdown slide
  16. “Summary of Metrics” (Edited) – Traction Slide
  17. customer testimonial slide
  18. Increasing ARR per cohort (edited) – customer development slide
  19. Foresight team slide
  20. Advisors and investors slide
  21. “What’s next” (edited) – roadmap slide
  22. “Where Are We Going” (Edited) – Income Growth Slide
  23. “Unleash human potential with AI” mission slide

Three things to love

There’s a lot to love about this deck, and it’s hard to pick just three things. In the last few presentation breaks, I’ve often focused on the beginning of the story—the first few slides.

End of the mission

OUR MISSION: Unleash human potential with AI.

[Slide 23] Final slide. Image credits: prudence

I have already said how important it is to have a good final slide. To understand why, remember that in many presentation situations, the first and last slides are on screen longer. First, because you mess around with making coffee, waiting for people, and accommodating. Last, because during Q&A at the end of a talk, it’s not uncommon for the last slide to be left up—at least until you have to move to another slide in the deck to clarify something. To be fair, this was more true when you were doing a presentation in person than when you were doing a virtual presentation, but it’s good practice to make each slide do the hard work.

In most cases, the last slide is simply a repetition of the company’s slogan or motto and the founder’s contact details; it is logical to repeat your vision or mission here, but this is rarely done, and this is a shame. If you have a clearly defined mission, why not raise that flag during your presentation?

Uh, investor slide

Slide for investors

[Slide 20] Consultants, investors and client advisory board. Image credits: prudence

Many startups include a “advisors and investors” slide. The customer service advisory board is less common, but I’ve seen it. Overwhelmingly, it’s a slide full of people that make my eyes cloud over—people who are unlikely to really help your company. The forethought slide got me thinking because this is a rare exception to that rule. It first caught my attention when I recognized Ashton Kutcher from a photograph. This prompted me to take a closer look. This slide is extraordinary and probably the first slide of its type I’ve seen that truly deserves to be part of the deck.

Having the CEO of Waymo and a professor at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab as advisors is a flexible approach. The Client Advisory Board includes (presumably employed) clients making decisions for Pinterest, Instacart and Carta. What about investors? Well… it’s not always clear how much time individual investors have actually invested in a startup, and that would be a question I would ask Forethought, but it’s certainly a conversation starter: how the company managed to add some big names. in their investment table, and will they add value beyond their money and celebrities?

Contextualized numbers are sexy

customer testimonial slide

[Slide 17] Customer reviews. Image credits: prudence (Opens in a new window)

I include slide 17 in my “favorite” list for several reasons. Like an investor slide, it’s rare to see a customer testimonial slide that actually does some hard work. Basically it’s fluff that comes in place of real traction. However, in this case, the company was able to do something really smart; Forethought highlights impressive customer statistics and backs them up with real testimonials from their customers.

I’ve done a lot of customer support in my past startups, and if anyone provided me with any of these stats, I’d buy on the spot: 43% of customer interactions don’t result in support. ticket? Routing accuracy 85%? Process tickets 21% faster and increase the productivity of every helpdesk worker by 32%? It’s extraordinary by any measure, but tying into customer reviews makes the story much more realistic. Really very well done. It also helps that the slide is well designed, easy to read, and the logos show that this is also a solid clientele.


For the rest of this breakdown, we’ll look at three things Forethought could improve or do differently, as well as its full presentation!




Credit: techcrunch.com /

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