The Startup Tools

Here you will find some tools for making it all somewhat easier. You are not the first one to struggle with similar issues. Then is just easier to listen what others have find out about their mistakes and successes and take all the best things.

According to Sami Etula:

“A pitch is a tool that allows companies to solidify what they do and where they are headed to. This is extremely useful not only for companies themselves but also their partners, clients and potential funders. A pitch contains all the essentials.”

“Pitching embodies the ability of the presenter to consider who sits in the audience and to fuel their interest about the topic at hand. At his/her best, the presenter arouses excitement in all listeners leading to a captivating conversation.”

Sounds easy, but the truth is that even after juggling with excel sheets and different analysis beforehand, you still need to work on each slide for one or two days. It’s easy to talk for long, but it’s difficult to capture the essence. A good pitch works in sales situations, when recruiting and when looking for funding. In fact, it works in any situation when asked “What does your company do?”.

Sami Etula

Sami Etula’s tips for a good 2-3 minute pitch, that covers a topic to be discussed for hours.

A good pitch is clear and easily understood by your friend working in a completely different field. It has a solid structure allowing easy comprehension. Remember that all investors are familiar with the structure and format, so they expect a certain storyline.


A good pitch starts with an attention catching slide that consists of the name of your company and an explanation of what your company does in just one sentence. This is a slide that the entire audience will pay attention to. If they find it interesting, you’ll have their attention.


Defining the problem is the hardest and most challenging but by far the most important part. You need to ask: Who is facing the problem? When does it occur? How big and what exactly is it? A good problem is concrete, understandable, and gets a bit under the audience’s skin.


Each solution can be explained with one slide. Far too often I see pitches with 8/10 slides describing all the details of the product or service. They are not important in your pitch but telling how the problem is solved is vital.


A map is the best way to display the market potential. At the same time, you can tell when and in which markets your company will be launching. When speaking about market potential remember that there are several subsets, such as the TAM-SAM-SOM division.


When you’ve convinced your audience about the potential, assure them of a profitable revenue model. There are tens of models, but a good revenue model stands out from the others and delivers a competitive advantage. The most important part to know about finances is when you’ll break even – is it now or in five years?


There is ALWAYS a competing alternative for each solution that is solving an existing problem. You can identify your competitors with a table or a graph. It’s good to have broader information available, but only include the most important parts in your pitch. Explain how you stand out from your competitors and what makes you better than them. Remember that often your most distinctive features are not in your technique, qualities or technology.


Everything comes down to your team. You need to state who you are, why you are the best, and why you are going to smash it. An A-class team can carry out a B-class idea but not the other way around. Remember that holdings are public information in Finland and important to investors. 

Partner companies are not a part of your team.


Up until now everything has been all talk and tooting your own horn. It’s time to show that your team can actually deliver results. List your achievements and impress the doubters.


Finish by explaining why you presented your idea to this specific audience and what exactly do you want from them – they’ll already be queueing up at your stand. In a presentation made for investors, it’s good to tell how much money you’re asking for, how much is the company worth, for what do you need the investors’ expertise and which contacts you wish to make use of. If your presentation is for clients, you can throw a customised offer or propose a partnership. A presentation without a clear proposal is a waste of their and your own time.


This slide will be shown to the audience for the longest. Think of the most important message you want to communicate. You can end your pitch with the previous slide or make a summary that includes the name of your company, your own name and contact details.

Read more (In Finnish):

Elevator Pitch 20-30 seconds

Tomi Kaukinen

Tomi Kaukinen is a serial entrepreneur and a speaker (finalist as a “Storyteller of the year” 2020 to be awarded in August). He currently runs his blog Licence to Fail (in Finnish), which deals with different aspects of start-up funding and problems founders face. 

In 2020 he also launched an extensive investigation on the Finnish Venture Capital scene with interviews with for example Riku Asikainen:

An elevator pitch is a compelling 20-30 second presentation about you and/or your business. The term “elevator pitch” refers to the amount of time you have to pitch your business idea to the person next to you before the elevator reaches the top floor.

You always need to have an elevator pitch ready because you never know who you’re going to meet on the street, in a bar, or even in an elevator. It’s the fastest way to convincingly summarise who you are and what your business idea is.

An elevator pitch needs to be structured and customised to maximise the time you have with each listener. A strong intro, a solid story of yourself, then the hook, shake hands and strike a deal.

An elevator pitch consists of four key points: Interest, Praise, Hook and Question.

  1. Interest: Arouse interest with an attention catching intro. (3-5 seconds.)
  2. Praise: Why are you the best? Show, don’t tell. Use examples. (10-15 seconds.)
  3. Hook: What are you offering? (3-5 seconds.)
  4. Question: Ask for contact details, for a meeting etc. (3-5 seconds.)

Read more (In Finnish):

Licence to Fail – Tomi Kaukinen shares his tools for funding:

What do you need to know about funding?

How to set up a financing round:

If you are struggling with your pitch deck, here is the ultimate guide for that:

Everything you want to know about valuation (In Finnish):

Everything you want to know about VC’s (in Finnish):

The Success Matrix by Sami Etula
(A Success Matrix – The team building tool)

The success matrix presented below can be used to evaluate the team of a startup. It’s not a tracking method, but instead a tool to analyse whether your company has a profitable network and enough knowledge. In other words: Do you have the right people to be successful?

The required skills for a team are determined by the company’s vision. Does your team reflect the goals of your company? What are your goals? What kind of skills do you need to achieve them?

  1. In this case, your company’s vision is a CONCRETE goal to be reached in 3-5 years.
  2. Define 5-7 soft skills your company needs to reach the goal. For example, negotiating skills, social skills, and presenting skills.
  3. Define 5-7 hard skills your company needs to reach the goal. These are usually something that you can learn in school. For example, construction engineering, linear optimisation, and tying flowers.
  4. Write down your company’s owners, employees, advisors and board members.
  5. Evaluate each person from -3 to +3 regarding how much knowledge s/he has over each identified skill. This can also be done as a peer review.
  6. Calculate the pluses and minuses of each person. You’ll see what added value they bring to the company.
  7. Calculate the pluses and minuses of each identified skill. You’ll see what your company’s strengths are and in which areas you need more resources.
  8. Find people who are motivated and fill in your knowledge gaps – Make them a part of your team!


Evaluate all following points from 0 to 3 and multiple the results.

Will is deliberate desire. Desire to work on your idea and company tirelessly, regardless of whether you have the skills or not.

Know-How is knowledge, skills, experiences, and contacts. The team of a successful company knows what it takes to stay ahead of the game. 

Courage is to be different and dare to think differently whilst ignoring fear, pain, difficulties, danger, insecurities, and results.


Tahko Ski Lift Pitch PITCH DECK

The SLP growth community provides tools for startups to use freely. For example, this deck can be used while creating a 3-minute pitch for the Tahko SLP competition.