Executive Summary Template

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Executive Summary

This document describes the entirety of the business in two or three pages. This will likely be the only document a prospective investor reads initially, and hence brevity, conciseness, and clarity are of the utmost importance. This document is designed to guide you on the creation of the critical components of this document, and provide examples of appropriate content for each section.

Instructions: Read each section and fill it out using the instructions and examples to guide you. Once you have completed the section, erase the instructions that appear in italics.

1 Overview

This section consists of a single paragraph that succinctly describes the product you intend to develop, the target market for the product, the benefit the product provides to that target market, the competitors for the product, and how the product is different from competitive solutions in the market. A sample overview paragraph might look like this:

is a that delivers . Unlike , provides .

For example:

PayPal is a web-based payment service that allows buyers and sellers to transfer funds instantaneously while protecting against fraud and identity theft. Unlike credit cards, PayPal allows any merchant to accept funds, and allows customers to pay for goods without disclosing sensitive banking or personal information.

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2 Problem

This section consists of either a short story or a handful of bullet points that concisely identifies the problems the product is designed to solve. Educate us – what is the current state of the world? Tell us – why is this a problem, and for whom is it a problem? Inspire us – what could a customer achieve with the product that currently isn’t possible? Use declarative sentences with simple words to communicate each point. Less is more.

For example:

Small web-based merchants are currently unable to sell their goods online due to their inability to process credit cards. Processing credit cards requires a merchant to acquire a merchant account from their bank, something that is currently prohibitively expensive for small online merchants. At the same time, customers are currently hesitant to disclose their credit card number to merchants on the Internet, due to the risk of fraud. As a result, many merchants are unable to capitalize on the World Wide Web to reach and sell to new customers.

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3 Solution

This section consists of either a short paragraph or a handful of bullet points that concisely describe the product and how it addresses the problem outlined in the previous section. It is best to describe the product in terms of the benefits to the customer, instead of focusing on the features of the technology. Why would this be better for the customer? What could they achieve that they couldn’t before? Include intellectual property, if any.

For example:

PayPal provides an easy-to-integrate web-based payment service that can be used by any merchant to accept payments over the Internet. Users create a PayPal account linked to their bank account, and use it to pay for goods without revealing their credit card or banking information. PayPal transfers money between customers and merchants, and protects both parties from fraudulent transactions. Merchants get access to paying customers they are currently unable to access without a merchant accounts, and customers gain the ability to make risk-free online purchases.

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4 Opportunity

This section consists of one or two short paragraphs, or a handful of bullet points that define the market opportunity that the product is designed to capture. It’s important to cover the estimated size of the market, the estimated growth of the market, and the characteristics of the target customer.

For example:

Online retail sales in 1999 reached $X dollars, a growth of X% over the previous year. By 2005, Jupiter Research estimates...
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