Open Access Ventures Co-Founder Steven Gelley on Why your Pitch Deck Says More About you Than your Business

Steven Gelley
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As a founder I have been on both sides of the table. I have built pitch decks and had them scrutinized by investors. Now with my new company Open Access Ventures, myself and my Co-founder David Rogove are those investors. From experience, it’s a much more painful process when you are the one presenting your idea and business.

The reason it’s painful is because you soon realize that your pitch deck is more than just

a visual representation of your business idea that aims to persuade investors, stakeholders, and potential customers to believe in your concept.

It’s a visual and verbal presentation of who you and your partner are as both people and entrepreneurs. We read multiple pitch decks a month curated by founders seeking investment in the Web3 space. As much as the business idea is important, what we are really looking for is the entrepreneur behind the idea and behind the presentation.

There are 3 main ways I look to assess decks and concurrently founders:


Your deck shows how clearly you can articulate your business vision and value proposition. And how clear your vision is in your own mind. The quality of the deck and the written content directly reflects how clear and concise that proposition is to both an investor, a customer and most importantly the founder themself. If the idea can’t be summed up in one or two lines which carry the rest of the pitch, then the idea is too diffuse. And in a space as fast paced and electric as Web3, diffuse ideas spell disaster.


The devil really is in the details, and so is the personality of the founder. The level of detail in your deck reflects a lot about your personality as an entrepreneur. It firstly shows how much time and effort you have put into preparation for the pitch and from that how much you value the investors time. A lack of attention to detail shows that you not only have failed to examine every aspect of your proposition, but it also shows that you don’t think you need to. Which as an investor doesn’t inspire you to part with your money.


A well rounded deck normally spells a well rounded entrepreneur. The best decks I have seen always tell a story. A story about the founder and how they ended up with their concept and business. A deck full of ideas and driven by a compelling narrative directly reflects that the entrepreneur is driven also. At Open Access we have invested in some companies that were at a really early stage when they came to us because we believed that the founders drive would make sure that the business worked. And as a principle, it hasn’t proved us wrong yet.

The bottom line is that a pitch deck is a powerful tool that does more than just convey your idea. It conveys who you are and whether you are investable as a prospect. Think of it like a resume rather than an extension of your resume. And more importantly realize it’s an extension of yourself as an investable prospect.






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