How to Fundraise: Start-Up One-Pager Guideline

Emilija Banytė

Emilija Banytė

Emilija is a BSc Communication Science student at the University of Twente and 2020-2021 Brand Director at DSIF. She is responsible for online/offline marketing and is one of the decision-makers when it comes to investing.

The first impression is formed in the first 7 seconds. The question is: what first impression do you aim to have on an investor using your one-pager? In this blog, we provide you with a general content guideline you should apply when requesting funding.

Firstly, what is a one-pager?

A one-pager, as the name suggests, is a one-page document with a summary of your business. In other words, a one-pager is like a written pitch of your start-up that informs investors about the business’s core particulars. It is usually presented in a branded, concise and visually appealing way to make it eye-catching and memorable. The purpose is to provide just the right amount of information to convince investors to proceed to the next round or get a meeting.

Your one-pager should be easily comprehensible, short and right to the point. Show some insights, data and your start-up purpose. Avoid the most common mistakes, such as lack of concreteness, poor grammar, and lack of information on the value proposition, growth potential and team. If you think you forgot to include something, then follow the list further below.

Note: the order of the content in one-pager is up to you

1. Start-up overview

In this section provide a short summary of your start-up, the idea behind it and most importantly the reason why you started in the first place. The most common mistake here is that entrepreneurs usually write to much saying too little. Be as specific as possible, try not to confuse your reader instead create curiosity for other parts. After all, put yourself in investor’s shoes and think which of information must be kept and which one should be erased.

  • What is your start-up about?
  • What is the purpose of your start-up?

2. Problem

Successful businesses have something in common, all of them solve one or more societal problems. You have to describe the issue you are solving by including sources that back up its importance.

“Success is not delivering a feature; success is learning how to solve the customer’s problem” – Eric Ries

  • What is the problem you are solving?
  • How severe is the problem?

3. Solution

This is a part where you have to convince investors with your authentic solution to the problem. Together with the solution, mention your unique selling point and competitive advantage. It is a bonus if you can include a picture of your product. Note: usually, regarding a one-pager, investors are more interested in what your solution addresses and not how it addresses it, leave this part for a business plan.

  • What is your solution to the problem?
  • Do people need your proposed product/service?
  • How do you differentiate from your competitors?
  • At what stage is your product?

4. Target market

Mentioning target audience shows that your product applies to its audience and that your marketing plan will revolve around that group of people. Many start-ups forget to include it or miss the importance of setting the audience. However, you can have the best idea in the world, but if you do not know to whom you will sell your product/service, then success is hardly achievable.

  • Whom will you target?
  • How big is your market?
  • Product-market fit?
  • What is the demand for your product/service?

5. Growth and scalability

Growth and scalability are two keywords that investors look for in your one-pager. The distinction with growth is that scalability refers to increased revenue without a significant increase in resources. While by growth you show if your start-up can grow from local to international settings. Leave investors with no doubt that your start-up can and will be successful.  

  • What is your growth potential?
  • Does your start-up have an international growth potential?
  • How scalable is your start-up?

6. Team

Even though you might lack the free space in your one-pager, it is still needed to include your team. Investors will have to work with you, so introduce yourself at the very beginning. Give 3-4 bullet points that show the core competencies, skills, strengths and the role in a start-up.

  • Is the team motivated, diverse and competent?
  • What are the roles of each person in a start-up?

7. Financial model

In this part, you should state the sum of money you want to raise, how you will use it and your revenue model. If you leave investors guessing there are more significant chances of losing the investment opportunity.  

  • What is your funding strategy?
  • How much money are you asking for?
  • How will you use the money?
  • How are you planning to generate revenue?

8. Milestones

Give a glimpse of start-up’s past, present and future milestones in the form of a timeframe. Show your start-up’s evolution and your plans.

  • When was the start-up founded?
  • In what stage is your product/service?
  • Your past acquired investments and potential ones?
  • When did you attend accelerators/incubators/hackathons/competitions?
  • When did you conduct product/service testing? What is its status?
  • Your start-up traction/number of users?

9. References

Do not forget to put references in small font. This creates credibility and trust.

10. Contacts

Put the contact person’s name, email, telephone number. If applicable, include the address of your business.

In short:

Resources for one-pager

Programs to create a one-pager:

Start building:

Inspiration & examples:

More information about a one-pager:

Ready to start your venture? Apply for funding now!

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