Step 2: Create Your Executive Summary
An Executive Summary is a four-to-six page overview of your business. We look for concise and concrete summaries which address the key questions articulated below.
1. Entrepreneur and Team
What is the background of the entrepreneur and leadership team? What roles do they fill? Why are they qualified to lead this venture? What are their skills, do their skills complement one another; are there any skill gaps? Do they work well together?
What is the product (define succinctly)? What pain point facing Base-of-pyramid (BoP) customers does this product address? How does this product – in a unique or superior way – address the pain point? What is this product’s unique advantage? (Unique solution? Product innovation? Improved quality? Business model innovation? Customer reach? Unique partnership?)
Who are the target customers? What customers have used product/service, and what impact has it had on their lives? What is the customer’s willingness to pay? How large is the addressable market size, and customer demand? What evidence exists that customers care about the value proposition (customer referrals, voice of the customer interviews, etc)?
What is the competition? What is the advantage (in areas that matter to the end customer) of this product/service over existing ones that are either currently available on the market or through charitable distribution channels? What are those alternatives? What are the three-to-four key market drivers that would affect the market and all players operating within it?
5. Operations / Distribution
How will the entrepreneur be able to produce the product, or deliver the service? What is the distribution strategy to reach the customer? What is the customer acquisition strategy? What aspects of the business model have/have not been tested or piloted?
6. Impact – Social Impact
What is the theory of change? How do you see your organization causing customer “actions” that link to measurable “outcomes” and thus real “impact”? What social or environmental impact can be achieved (positive and negative)? How does your organization intend to measure these outcomes, and how do they tie to social impact? (eg metrics, definitions)
7. Impact – Scalability
What is the existing scale (e.g. number of customers reached)? How will organization achieve significant scale within five years (e.g. reach 1M end users; grow by order of magnitude)
8. Impact – Financial Sustainability
What is the revenue model? When will the product/service be cash-flow positive? Financially sustainable? What milestones will this financing round enable? (Please include a copy of the company’s financials, and explain any assumptions used).
What keeps you awake at night? What are the main risks your organization faces or would face, and how can each risk be mitigated? (e.g around technology, manufacturing, product, marketing, IP, demand, operations, distribution model, etc.)