Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Sample pitch deck: Tomorrow University $10M Series A deck

Through the years, I’ve seen quite a lot of startup decks overlaying all kinds of industries, verticals and phases. And I’ll admit that decks for education-based startups are fairly uncommon, and a group of parents making an attempt to arrange a brand-new, remote-only college is rarer nonetheless. Tomorrow College raised round $10 million not too long ago. The college writes concerning the fundraise on its weblog.

Proper off the bat, I’ve a ton of questions, so let’s see how nicely the deck solutions these!

We’re searching for extra distinctive pitch decks to tear down, so if you wish to submit your personal, right here’s how you are able to do that. 

Slides on this deck

Final week, I wrote a publish about how 30-slide decks are a factor of the previous. Tomorrow College has maybe overcompensated a bit of within the different route, with a really terse 10-slide deck. It’s attainable to inform your story in only a few slides. Man Kawasaki, for one, famously advocates for a 10-slide deck, however the overwhelming majority of founders haven’t bought a agency sufficient deal with on their story to tug that off.

In accordance with the deck, the college is planning to supply an MBA program, so I’d count on this deck to be actually top-shelf, first-class, with very thorough financials and plans. Within the language of universities: “This deck doesn’t meet the minimal expectations.” We’ll get to that. For now, listed here are the slides Tomorrow College selected to incorporate:

  1. Cowl slide
  2. Historic context slide
  3. Objective slide
  4. Mission slide
  5. Answer slide
  6. Product slide
  7. Traction slide
  8. Market slide
  9. Group slide
  10.  Closing slide

Three issues to like

I had a fairly disappointing college expertise, so I’m absolutely on board with the notion that the college expertise total may use an overhaul. This deck speaks my language in some ways.

Bringing some “actual life” to training

[Slide 5] Right here’s how Tomorrow College imagines the schools of the longer term. Picture Credit: Tomorrow College

People are infinitely complicated and nuanced creatures, so tailoring academic packages to particular person desires and wishes is sensible. A “metaverse campus” sounds fairly cringe (and nowhere within the deck does the college elaborate on what meaning, particularly), however on the entire, I feel this slide opens the door for buyers to do some dreaming about what a next-generation college expertise may very well be like. Actual-life challenges, customized studying and native studying teams sound much more just like the remote-first world we’re experiencing right this moment than what we’d discover within the present college expertise.

Fascinating traction

My two greatest questions earlier than studying the deck: Is it accredited, and the way is it measuring success? It seems each questions had been answered on the identical slide. Properly performed!

[Slide 7] This traction slide does quite a lot of heavy lifting within the Tomorrow College deck. Picture Credit: Tomorrow College

I like this slide, and it solutions some nice questions, like when it was based, when it began providing levels, and the way a lot cash it’s raised to this point. Nevertheless it additionally raised some questions.

For one, having a traction slide this skinny on numbers is a bit of suspicious. It says it has 3x development, nevertheless it doesn’t embody what that development is. As a result of that isn’t specified on the slide, my thoughts is invited to guess. Is it the income? Is it the variety of college students? If it’s the latter, it signifies that it went from 50 college students in 2021, to 150 college students in 2022, to 450 college students this 12 months. It has additionally raised round $30,000 per pupil in this system to date, which appears a bit of bizarre.

What does “in partnership with WU” imply? I assume that that is the College of Vienna, however that isn’t clarified wherever within the deck. Additionally, how does accreditation work in Germany and Europe extra broadly? The slide means that Tomorrow College is accredited in Hessen, which is a state in Germany that comes with the cities Wiesbaden and Frankfurt. However is that enough to construct a popularity as a college? The principle accrediting physique for larger training in Germany is the German Accreditation Council, so why wasn’t it the one to offer Tomorrow College’s accreditation? Ought to it have? Is there a plan to?

Suffice it to say, I lack the cultural or native data to actually choose this slide, however I do know if this got here throughout my desk as an investor, I’d have a lot of questions for the founders. These are questions that, frankly, can be fairly predictable and may need warranted a slide within the deck or the appendix entitled “Accreditation highway map” or related.

As a startup, what you possibly can be taught from this slide is to not assume that your buyers have all of the items of the puzzle. In case you function in a regulated area (akin to healthcare, training, or finance), be sure to have some slides on standby to speak buyers by the regulatory panorama and the place you’re within the course of.

Maaaaaarket siiiiiize

This market measurement is so large it deserves a bunch of additional vowels.

[Slide 8] Yowzers! Picture Credit: Tomorrow College

If Tomorrow College is suggesting it’s going after the complete international training market, I might in all probability problem it on that; for instance, the self-serve platform won’t work for everybody on this planet. Maybe post-secondary training is the corporate’s actual TAM, besides, I’m not likely going to argue right here: There’s little doubt that training is big, and there’s an infinite alternative for tech-forward options on this area.

There’s quite a lot of worth in going after monumental, well-established, ripe-for-disruption markets, particularly you probably have a very good go-to-market plan. One of the simplest ways to do that is by exhibiting the scale of the market after which explaining the way you’ll slice off your chunk of the pie.

As you could have gathered, it was a bit of arduous to search out components of this that I actually favored and that Tomorrow College did rather well. With that mentioned, let’s have a look at three issues Tomorrow College may have improved or performed otherwise, together with its full pitch deck!




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