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Pitch Deck

Pitch Deck

By Nick Telson
Pitch Deck is hosted by Nick Telson, founder of DesignMyNight, that he sold for over $30m in 2020. He is now co-founder at Horseplay Ventures; a startup playground.

A startup founder has 5 minutes to pitch their business to Nick and guest Angel Investors/Mentors. They then all discuss the pitch and the business itself, asking questions an Investor would ask in a real pitch. The guest Angel and Nick then discuss what they make of the business and investment opportunity.

🌐 Top 10 Global Business Podcast
🚀 Top 5 UK Business Podcast
🧠 Top 3 UK Entrepreneurial Podcast

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Series 3 Trailer

Pitch Deck

Series 3 Trailer
Super excited to announce that Series 3 will be launching soon. Series 3 is going to be the biggest yet, with some of the world's biggest and most renowned Angel Investors, VCs and Mentors, listening to pitches from some incredibly exciting startups. Listen to the trailer for Series 3 to see who we have lined's going to be a banger of a Series! 
April 29, 2021
#18 The Bunch - From professional rugby player to shared accommodation software
I'm joined by Chris Smith, Managing Partner at Playfair Capital who focus on pre-seed and seed investments in UK and Israel. Chris is specifically interested in autonomous transportation, business automation, health tech and B2B SaaS. Chris is also an angel investor with 14 deals and 4 exits to date, previously an operator at and a corporate lawyer.  We listened to the pitch from Elliott Herrod - Taylor, founder of The Bunch - looking to reimagine how tenants manage the process of shared accommodation. Elliott had a professional rugby contract with Bath but got bitten by a spider and got sepsis so 3 weeks later decided to go to Uni. He started The Bunch in his 2nd year of uni and took his 3rd year off to get the startup off the ground. The bunch is now in 30 cities, serviced 7000 customers and generates £4m gross revenue. Elliott has a vision to stay with a customer from 18 at university all the way through to renting a property as a young professional, with The Bunch sorting out bills, liability, finding a property and more.  We dug down on managing and preventing churn, expanding out your customer base to improve stickiness, standing out against competitors and going up against some big boys within your industry. We also discuss the different angle taken by an Angel vs a VC. Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - The Bunch - Playfair Capital -
January 12, 2021
#17 Mini Mealtimes - A dietician in your pocket
I am joined by Veronika Kapustina, an early-stage investor and advisor, who started her journey working on capital raising for late-stage technology corporates such as Uber, Airbnb and Netflix in London and later in California. After moving to the West Coast she started mentoring seed-stage founders and quickly realised that her passion lay in angel investing. After building a high-performing portfolio, Veronika has now become a founder herself, currently setting up a Venture Fund focused on investing in seed-stage founders who come from a social science background. We listened to the pitch from Marie Farmer, founder of Mini Mealtimes app, looking to revolutionise how children's nutrition is both tracked and improved. The app provides personalised nutrition reports, easy to use food diary, expert nutrition advice and dietician-approved recipes. This was a problem for Marie as a mother which led her to set up the idea; a very assured and confident pitch. We dug deep on the business model and subscription model, getting scale for a B2C app, advertising within an app and building a team and a moat. Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Mini Mealtimes - Veronika Kapustina -
January 5, 2021
#16 Chatable - The future of focused hearing?
Guest Angel is Saloni Bhojwani who has moved from operator to investor. Saloni was a management consultant at Deloitte for 3 years followed by doing an MBA at London Business School to then being a strategy lead at startup Zebra Fuel. She has since moved into the world of angel investing independently as well as at Founders Factory. Saloni is also recently the founder of Sie; a capital platform that supports the most promising female founders on their fundraising journey. Their ultimate goal is to close the gender funding gap by providing female founders with better access to capital, network, and support. We listened to the pitch by Giles from Chatable Apps; previously an app that, via Bluetooth to your headphones, helped those with hearing loss or hearing difficulties especially in busy environments, that has now pivoted to help those with learning/concentration difficulties including autism and ADD including an actual wearable to be offered via national health services.  This episode is a super interesting deep dive into understanding/judging a pitch where the Angels don't have much knowledge, wearable hardware vs app subscription, the risk/reward of relying on health services as your go-to market strategy and different pricing models. A really interesting vertical, a well-informed founder and some brilliant Angel questions.  Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Chatable - Sie -
December 22, 2020
#15 Kieka - Beat the crowds and beat the queues
Guest Angel is Anthony Rose, currently the founder of Seed Legals. Anthony is a serial tech entrepreneur whose career has spanned across many sectors including the advent of 3D graphics, P2P music, video streaming, social TV, social platforms, and most recently, legal technology. Anthony is best known for his work managing the launch of BBC iPlayer for which Wired named him "the man who saved the BBC. Anthony lead the team as CTO from 2007 until 2010. Since leaving the BBC Anthony has founded 5 companies with two exits and his new venture Seed Legals is the number 1 closer of funding rounds, closing deals worth over £400m.  Pitching to us was Conor, from Kieka. Kieka's mission is to help its users beat the crowds and get from A to B as quickly as possible. Currently starting on the London Underground there is a bigger vision to help beat the crowds in all scenarios from transport to stadiums. It is centred around an AI brain, which is all proprietary tech.  This was an extremely interesting episode as Anthony had his founder and investor hat on, both asking investor questions and offering advice to Conor and startups as a whole. We dug deep on B2B data play vs B2C app play, achieving network effects, listening to investor advice and overall business focus/strategy.  Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Kieka - Seed Legals -
December 15, 2020
#14 Othership/WeCoffee - The future of remote working
Guest Angel, Alex Macdonald is founder of Velocity Black, the leading global digital concierge service. Velocity Black is now on Series C, operates in 70+ countries and has been one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK over the last few years. Alex made his first angel investment 5 years ago that exited last year for a 26x return and now reinvests the gains in early-stage, seed and pre-seed tech investments, with a particular interest in marketplaces.  Alex joins me to listen to, and question, Benjamin's pitch, Othership; previously called WeCoffee. Set up well before the Corona pandemic, Othership aimed to help freelancers find workspaces wherever they may be; in unused spaces such as hotels, pubs, restaurants, event spaces etc...for a small monthly fee they could get access to this large vetted marketplace across the UK. Corona and the boom of working from home has come at a good time for Othership as they accelerate growth, redefine their business model, take advantage of multiple new opportunities and build a strong community. With other competitors out there, both indirect and direct, are Othership the ones to steal this space? We really drill down on the marketplace model, how tricky it can be to master, and different business model directions. With Alex's wealth of experience in this field and myself building and selling a marketplace startup, this episode is a must for you marketplace founders (and beyond). Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Othership - Velocity Black -
December 8, 2020
#13 Oja - Just Eat for ethnic food supermarkets
Guest Angel Simon Squibb has started 17 companies, invested in over 60+ startups and has mentored hundreds of founders. Having sold his award-winning branding and digital agency, Fluid, to PwC, Simon now focuses on inspiring, motivating and guiding both budding and experienced entrepreneurs by sharing his personal experiences, insights, ideas and tips. His aim is to get 1 million people to start a company. Simon joins me to listen to and question Mariams pitch, Oja. Mariam knows the pain point on wanting to get access to world foods not available in the supermarkets and realised, it's just not that easy. For immigrant families or those that just love world cooking at home, why not get easy access to all the ingredients your heart desires, delivered to your door? That is the Oja mission. We dive into growing a B2C market, the difficulty of implementing technology into old school businesses and flipping the model to a B2B opportunity too. The problem makes sense, the solution makes sense, but is that enough? Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Oja - Simon Squibb -
December 2, 2020
#12 Send Music - Radio 1 Producer spots a pain point
Angel guest is Pietro Invernizzi, 1st cheque investor at Stride VC and actively looking for seed deals. Stride has become one of the most respected VCs in a very short time due to the line up of Pietro, Harry Stebbings and Fred Destin. They have a £100m fund to deploy across a small number of exciting companies and founders. Pietro joins me to listen to and question Kemal's pitch, Send Music. Kemal has been top of his game as a music producer for decades, currently producing for Radio 1 and Radio 1 Xtra's Diplo and friends. His lived experience revealed a pain point of new artists sending tracks to producers and other high profile artists/DJs. Currently, it's all done with traditional file transfer sites but what if there was one just for the music industry that also acted as a marketplace for new artists/producers to get their tracks in front of the ideal people; as well as track the listens, downloads and hopefully get picked up? Enter, Send Music. A very interesting dive into disrupting an old school industry, is a supremely qualified founder enough to back and a look at different business models. Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Send Music - Stride VC -
December 2, 2020
Series 2 Intro & Release Date
Delighted to announce that Series 2 is about to launch. A quick intro about what to expect from Series 2 of Pitch Deck and the release date. Brought to you by my startup playground Horseplay Ventures. 
November 30, 2020
Did they raise their round? Summary Episode #1
In this short episode we look back at 4 of the startups that featured in Series 1, to see: - Did they raise their round? - Did Horseplay Ventures invest in their round? - How has the company been progressing? - Is there anything the Pitch Deck community can do to help them? The startups featured in this episode are: 👶 Mamamade - D2C baby food brand 🧠 Heights - D2C brain supplement brand 🛴 Zwings - B2B/B2G turnkey e-mobility solution 💳 Mintago - B2B financial well-being platform
October 13, 2020
#11 Honest Mobile - The Bulb/Monzo of phone companies
Guest Angel Chet Parker, started out in Architecture, then went into the world of tech, finding his feet at cyber security company, RSA, out of Boston. Whilst there he started flipping houses, builidng up a contact book in California and then went into Angel Investing. 23 investments later, Chet invests in positive impact companies and is now also co-founding his own company, currently in Stealth Mode. Chet joins me to listen to and question Andy's pitch, Honest Mobile. Bulb changed the landscape for the energy industry, Monzo the banking industry and now Honest Mobile want to to the same to the telco industry; improving customer experience and building a B Corp standing. A lofty ambiition indeed, but when an industry is ripe for disruption, then why not give it a go? A great focus on disrupting the big boys, doing things differently and the importance of brand/customer loyalty.  Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Honest Mobile - Chet Parker -
September 21, 2020
#10 Just Wears - D2C Underwear brand with balls
Guest Angel Samira Ann Qassim founded Pink Salt Ventures to back purpose-led female founders. She invests early stage and is sector agnostic. Prior to investing, Samira gained experience as a successful tech founder and global brand strategist. Samira joins me to listen to and question Alex and Yang's pitch, Just Wears. Fresh from their appearance on TV's Dragon's Den, husband and wife team, Alex & Yang looked at disruptive brands such as Away and Harry's, who disrupted old school industries, and thought men's underwear has remained unchanged and unchallenged since the dawn of time! Can their ballsy and tongue in cheek marketing and very impressive early revenue, convince us that this is an industry ready to turn away from Justin Bieber and his Calvin Kleins? A great focus on D2C, social media marketing pillars and whether the stand out feature of being environmentally conscious is an important purchase trigger for all industries.  *The sound on my mic isn't perfect in this episode. I hope it doesn't affect your enjoyment of the podcast. Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Just Wears - Pink Salt Ventures -
September 14, 2020
#9 Wholey Moly - The first ever healthy cookie
Guest Angel Henry Allan, UK GM of mega D2C brand, Hims, joins me to listen to and question Meenesh Mistry's pitch, Wholey Moly. Surprised at the lack of choice of a naughty but healthy snack, Meenesh and his wife hit the kitchen and set about creating the first-ever healthy cookie. Over 50 iterations later they launched Wholey Moly with interest already from Whole Foods and Selfridges, Meenesh is looking to raise cash to take the brand onto the next level in retail and launch their D2C letterbox cookies proposition.  With the expertise of Henry, this is a great deep-dive into D2C branding, retail margins and the importance of team.   Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures -   Wholey Moley -  Hims -
August 31, 2020
#8 Vibio - Bringing Sex Toys into the 21st Century
Guest Angel, Dan Rosenberg, founding partner of acquired apparel brand Represent, and now an angel investor in UK and West Coast US, joins me to listen to, and question, Alma Ramirez Acosta's pitch, Vibio. Vibio is looking to bring 21st century connectivity and sensuality into the world of sex toys. They launched their first female vibrator on Kickstarter with an accompanying app, allowing women and couples to control the wearable via the app as well as having educational content to improve people's sex lives. Alma is looking for funding to promote the new sex toy as well as expand the range. Sextech is a booming space but did we think Alma and her team were the ones to breakthrough? Was there differential enough with their offering? And was there a real need for the gadgetry?  Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Vibio - Represent -
August 25, 2020
#7 Sellar - B2B software, selling craft drinks into hospitality
Guest Angel Melissa Lester, investment partner at Dig Ventures, launched Dig alongside Ross Mason who sold his company, Mulesoft, to Salesforce for over £6bn. Dig is a VC with an angel investment outlook, working with early-stage startups and founders helping them grow into huge successes. Melissa joins me to listen to, and question, Julian Bourne's pitch, Sellar. Sellar is looking to modernise the way craft drinks brands and breweries sell into restaurants, bars and off-licenses; trying to convince them to move away from emails and paper/pen ordering and fulfilment to fully online ordering, payment and stock management. Julian pivoted from his original idea with his early-stage investors' cash to this totally new opportunity; could we see it as an opportunity worth taking and has Julian really grasped and understood the market he is going after? Some great insight into pivoting, running with an MVP and the importance of team.   Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Sellar - Dig Ventures -
August 17, 2020
#6 Wayfare - The Klarna of Travel
Guest Angel Tom Savage, award-winning entrepreneur, travel company founder, Ted talker, angel investor and founder of new forward-thinking venture fund, joins me to listen to and question Jamal Whorms-MonDésir's pitch, Wayfare. Wayfare is looking to re-imagine the travel experience for Gen Z. Jamal wants to start with helping them fund their holidays and then digitise the whole experience from discovery, booking, organisation and payment.  Can Wayfare become the Klarna of travel? There is some real digging on the idea and business in this episode. Tom doesn't hold back. Some great insight into vision vs execution and the importance of your team. Can Jamal hold up to the intense scrutiny? Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Wayfare - Tom's Travel Company - &
August 11, 2020
#5 Zwings - B2B & B2G E-Scooter/Bike Brand
Guest Angel Kelvin Au, Head of Venture at Founders Factory, one of the UKs leading accelerators and incubators, joins me to listen to and question Joe Lewin's pitch, Zwings. Zwings is a B2B and B2G e-mobility brand; think Lime and Uber Jump but rather than dumping them in cities for anyone to use, Zwings sells a turnkey solution to universities, real estate, local councils and companies; this includes the scooters/bikes, docking stations, white-label software, insurance and maintenance, all for a monthly fee.  Can Zwings take advantage of the new gold-rush in this space due to social distancing? Are Lime and Bird still a threat? Does Joe have what it takes to grow Zwings to venture scale, or does he even want to? The very interesting difference between how a venture firm and an angel investor look at investments, and their potential exit, are highlighted and discussed.  Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Zwings - Founders Factory -
August 3, 2020
#4 Mintago - SaaS Employee Financial Well-Being
Guest Angel Dan Rosenberg, COO and first employee of acquired, transatlantic apparel brand, Represent, joins me to listen to and question Chieu Cao's pitch, Mintago. Chieu, the founder of huge B2B perk company, Perkbox, has now turned his SME selling sights onto financial well-being. He is on a mission to bring happiness to employees and this starts with an understanding of how they can reach their goals with active financial planning: Physical and mental well-being are greatly affected by a person's financial state so should HR departments focus on this as a starting point? Chieu clearly has incredible experience in this market having been there and nailed it already, but can he convince companies that financial well-being really is the holistic solution where well-being should begin? Great insights into selling into SMEs and how to build a company ripe for B2B scale as well as how to shape your message to sell successfully into companies.   Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Mintago - Represent -
July 27, 2020
#3 Mamamade - D2C Baby Food Brand
Guest Angel Henry Allan, UK GM of mega D2C brand Hims, joins me to listen to and question Sophie Baron's pitch, Mamamade. Sophie was disenchanted with the quality and convenience of good baby food available so she decided to hit the kitchen and experiment. Selling her meals to friends and family, Sophie then decided to take it to the masses. Already growing to over £100K revenue a year, having spent zero money, Sophie is raising her first round looking to grow the brand and presence of Mamamade. Can she compete with other huge brands such as Allplants or is her niche and community within the baby good sector her moat? With the expertise of Henry, this is a great deep-dive into D2C branding, KPI measures and how to market a new D2C brand. Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Mamamade - Hims -
July 20, 2020
#2 Lirica - Learning Languages With Pop Songs
Guest Angel Beta Lucca, Founder of bafta award-winning, million-dollar games company, Bossa Studios, joins me to listen to and question Paul Custance's pitch, Lirica. Once ex-FD of Sony, Paul saw the science between learning languages and how we remember lyrics of our favourite pop songs. Now financially, and artist, backed by his ex-employer, Sony, Paul wants to disrupt the billion-dollar, booming, language learning space. He definitely has the contacts in the music space but does he have the know-how and team to compete with the likes of Duolingo and Busuu? Paul is looking for funding to now fuel growth globally, launch gamification into the app and add new languages beyond Spanish and English.  Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Lirica - Beta Lucca -
July 13, 2020
#1 Heights - D2C Brain Health Brand
Guest Angel Eamonn Carey, MD of Techstars London and Director of The Fund, joins me to listen to and question Dan Murray-Serter's pitch, Heights. Heights is a mental well-being and brain health brand, starting with a smart supplement to feed your brain every morning. Having spent no money on marketing Dan already has endorsements from the likes of Stephen Fry and an impressive £30K MRR. Dan is looking for funding to now fuel "proper growth", as he calls it. An interesting deep-dive into D2C brands, the importance of community and product/market expertise.  Brought to you by my Startup Playground, Horseplay Ventures - Heights - The Fund -
July 13, 2020
Pitch Deck - Introduction
Hi there! Host of Pitch Deck, Nick Telson, here. I just wanted to give you a very quick introduction as to why I started this podcast and what you can expect. We have some amazing, insightful Angel Investors lined up as well as some brilliant startups and startup founders across; D2C brands, B2B Enterprise software, E-mobility tech, sex tech and language learning.  Check out my own personal Startup Playground -
July 8, 2020