The Power of Storytelling and Pitch Decks in Securing Funding
An Interview with Crysta Spitzfaden, CEO and Founder of PowerPitch
Anna Bliss, Intrepid Finance: Hi, everyone. It’s Anna Bliss from Intrepid Finance. I’m here with Crysta, and I’m super excited to introduce her and talk to her right now, but just wanted to give a little quick reminder. Intrepid Finance is a revenue-based financing company. We really target the tech industry, the software. We love the reoccurring revenue companies, so if you need any help, please reach out. But you’re going to hear some wonderful stories from Crysta, hear about what she does, and I’ll go ahead and let her introduce herself. So go ahead, Crysta.
Crysta Spitzfaden, PowerPitch: Hey, everyone. My name is Crysta Spitzfaden. I’m the founder of PowerPitch, a company that helps startups and coaching Companies alike kind of redesign and rebrand PowerPoint when looking for funding, looking for partnerships, or trying to get their foot in the door at different companies that are already Pre-established, so we do a great job of not only redesigning the work and making sure you have the proper content but really focusing in on your storytelling skills and your stage presence as well. That is to be here today.
Anna Bliss, Intrepid Finance: Yeah, and that’s so important. I can’t even tell you how important that storytelling is and really, like, looking buttoned up and having everything in line. So that coaching aspect is awesome.
Crysta Spitzfaden, PowerPitch: Yeah, we really like to hone in on it, especially because we’ve had a lot of coaching clients, so we’ve worked with different companies that have worked with Fortune 500 and coached and work with their executive teams. And by working with them, we’ve actually gotten a lot of key information on how to better your pitch, what executives are looking to do when they’re trying to improve their stage presence, and some tips and tricks there, too, that we can share.
Anna Bliss, Intrepid Finance: Awesome. And what would you say, like, one piece of advice? If you were to give that to someone that’s going out for a pitch or looking to improve, what would you say?
Crysta Spitzfaden, PowerPitch: I would tell them to keep practicing it, hone it. And I mean, that’s very basic advice. I feel like everyone gives that advice. The other thing I would say, too, is make sure that your content is really branded and speaks to what your value is. You should be able to pitch to anyone who has absolutely no knowledge of what you do, and they should walk away with an understanding of the value you bring to the table. Because if you can’t convince someone off the street that you have a great idea, then you’re not going to be able to convince an investor who sees hundreds of pitches a week.
Anna Bliss, Intrepid Finance: That is awesome. I love that. And can you go into any detail? I know that you’re not going to name any clients or anything, but how you’ve seen the power of the storytelling, the coaching, what you’re doing, really impact how the companies can get funding.
Crysta Spitzfaden, PowerPitch: Yeah, so we’ve helped a lot of companies really retell that story in a better light. One great example was a startup that we were working with that was trying to show something bigger, kind of going to a smaller pool, like honing in on a certain market for people. And they were doing a poor job of showcasing that because they often showed something like a glacier melting, and their audience wasn’t getting that. They were trying to say, it melts, and then it gets into a smaller pool. Instead, we helped them work out a funnel graphic that really helped convey that message a lot better. That was the same startup that we saw go from $200,000 in funding to 2 million after working with us. And in just a few months after we improved their pitch deck, we’re still in contact with them today, and they have nothing but great reviews.
Anna Bliss, Intrepid Finance: That is awesome. That is an amazing story, because I know founders, it’s stressful to get everything ready. It’s very time-consuming. But to go that extra little step to really make it great, everyone wants that but doesn’t really know how to execute on that, so I think that that’s awesome.
Crysta Spitzfaden, PowerPitch: Yeah, we see that a lot, especially because these founders, they’re geniuses, but they are focused on what they do best. And you can create an amazing app or have an incredible idea or run an incredible business and not know how to present or build a PowerPoint. And that’s not your fault. You just hone in on what you do best, so leave what we do best to us, and we’ll help support what you do best so that the value is conveyed not only to investors, but also to those partnerships that come after. When you want to work with a different company that’s already established, you need to have a very pristine pitch deck so that they know you’re professional, they know that you’re real, and they know that what you’re talking about is something that will bring them value in the long run.
Anna Bliss, Intrepid Finance: I love it. That’s such great advice. Do you have anything to kind of showcase what PowerPitch does or that you could show people?
Crysta Spitzfaden, PowerPitch: Yeah, absolutely. And I can share my screen. Give me 1 second. So I do have some great things that I can share with you guys. One is just our own pitch deck, and then another is to showcase kind of those changes we can make. So first, I’ll show you, our example. PowerPoint. That is just great branding. It’s one that we would use for a music studio. We used a simpler template for another creative design agency, and we just wanted to showcase what that looked like. And I can put this down here.
Anna Bliss, Intrepid Finance: I love the cohesion and just how thorough it is with even the little details of it that you guys do and having templates for customers, being able to do that with your product, I think that that’s awesome.
Crysta Spitzfaden, PowerPitch: Yeah, so that’s actually our cheapest product, is if you just want a template, something like this to fill in, and then we scale up to creating your entire pitch deck, to reviewing the material and really capturing what an investor would want to see. So not only have we participated in a lot of different pitch competitions, but we’ve worked with a lot of VCs, and we have some on our board as well that helps us understand what they’re looking for when someone does come to them. So, it’s just an example of one of our templates, but I can go into more depth with our own pitch deck. And so I’ll just quickly kind of go through here because I know that you’ve seen it before, but we did start in 2019. I was actually working on another startup and helping them pitch, and people kept asking us where were we designing our PowerPoints, were we using some other tool? And it kind of grew into this big opportunity where I was helping startups, and I actually got scouted by two coaching companies the next year to help them prepare for rebranding. And that was a really fun experience. That led me to actually launching PowerPitch and scaling it, to have the great designers we have on our team. Now, we’ve worked with quite a lot of clients, and these are just a few that we have out there, but we also have done some coaching slides. So these are a few good examples of those. And obviously, we have them a bit small here, but it gives you a good idea of how we keep that branding consistent. And with some of our different vendors that we’ve had our clients, we really try to make sure that their logo is represented as well. So, this one’s a really cool example because we use this K and Caldera for quite a lot of their designs.
Anna Bliss, Intrepid Finance: I am in awe of what you guys do, because coming from a CPA background, give me an Excel spreadsheet, I love that. Let me do all the formulas. I can fill in colors and make it pretty that way. But being able to do this with PowerPoint and a pitch and your story, I just am like, this is amazing. You are so creative and artistic, and I really can see the value of what you do for your customers.
Crysta Spitzfaden, PowerPitch: Thank you so much. Yeah, it’s really a good opportunity to work with a variety of different people in different markets and learn more, too, through each one that we’ve done. I feel like we hone our skills ourselves every time we do another pitch deck. And what’s really great is we create those graphics for our clients that they can reuse. So, in that earlier example, we have a funnel that is a great example where they’re able to reuse that on other PowerPoints, other documentation, one Pagers, and we go out of our way to make sure that we make infographics that really represent them. And then here at the bottom, you can see Fresh, which is kind of one of the ones that started it all back in the day when we were first pitching. And so, I just wanted to showcase that one, too, because it’s near and dear to our heart. And then we also do some great animations. Now, this is more utilized when you’re pitching in person because if you have too many people on a call, it can get a little hectic. But I just wanted to showcase some of these cool animations because we can take it to then next level or include videos or different things. But it’s quite fun to work around with animation and see where can you bring in something that moves to catch the eye, where can you bold something to make a better point. And that’s something that we really focus on as well. We’re not afraid to have those conversations with our clients where we say, now, this is great. What you have here is awesome. We love the content, what if we took it to the next level? And that’s really what PowerPitch is about. From any walk of life, we can take a pitch deck or presenter and advance their skills and their branding. This one’s, my favorite.
Anna Bliss, Intrepid Finance: It’s so cool.
Crysta Spitzfaden, PowerPitch: But yeah, so this is some stuff that we have out there now, and I’ll stop sharing.
Anna Bliss, Intrepid Finance: Well, Crysta, this has been so fun, and I thank you so much for sharing what you guys do. I think it’s awesome. Again, I wish I could do one 10th of what you guys do, but that’s not my specialty either, so I’ll stick to what I’m good at. But it’s been so great talking to you and I really appreciate it. And I will tag you in the video so that people can contact you if they want to reach out.
Crysta Spitzfaden, PowerPitch: Absolutely. And if anyone has any questions, too, you can always reach out to me at email@example.com. Awesome. Look forward to hearing from you, guys.