Founders tend to cut out slides about the technology of a startup in an investor presentation. Too detailed, too difficult, they (potential investors) won't understand.

But I usually push back. In early stage startups, the technology is actually almost the only asset the company has. And, every technology, yes every technology can be explained and understood (it is a presenter problem, not an audience problem). Believing that you can't might also cause huge offense with your potential investor.

And there is the opportunity to show how clever your platform is. Here are some steps that I usually take when presenting technology to investors:

  • Find out what bits are interesting, innovative, and what bits are not. In IT for example, there is usually some process: we load the data, we do this to it, then store it there, sync it here. But usually, one of these steps is the clever one. An approach to an algorithm nobody has taken before for example.
  • Dive really deep into the interesting bits, and leave everything else at a higher level. Invent, show a case example where your technology comes up wit something counter intuitive, unexpected.
  • Quantify, make it tangible where possible. If this is big data, show how much data you need to process.
  • Clean up diagrams (architectures, process flows), re size boxes, align them on a grid, group things that belong together, use colours. You will notice that even the most complicated architectures can be visualised in a simple way. Listen to how the "technical guy" talks you through his diagrams. Often it will be completely different from what is on the slide. Ditch the existing visual diagram and visualise the verbal one. 

Art: In England, artist Francis Barraud (1856-1924) painted his brother's dog Nipper listening to the horn of an early phonograph during the winter of 1898. Victor Talking Machine Company began using the symbol in 1900, and Nipper joined the RCA family in 1929.