Pitch Deck Teardown: Mi Terro’s $1.5M seed deck

Turning waste into usable products is my jam, so when the Mi Terro team told me what they were working on, I knew I had to write about it.

Mi Terro takes agricultural waste and processes it into proteins that can be used as a plastic replacement, fed as food to animals, and much more. Back in March, the company successfully raised a $1.5 million seed round, and today, I’m back to show you the deck that made that fundraise possible.

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Slides in this deck

  1. Cover slide
  2. “PVA problems” — problem slide
  3. “First gen solution” — solution slide
  4. “Market size” — market slide
  5. “Protein Thermoplastic” — product side
  6. “Applications” — product slide
  7. “Material Comparison” — product slide
  8. “Awards” — traction slide
  9. “Clients & Partners” — market validation slide
  10.   Case study slide
  11.   Team slide
  12.   Road map slide
  13.   Second Gen. Innovation — product road map slide
  14.   Sustainability slide
  15.   “Drink more beer, reduce more microplastic” — closing slide

Three things to love

What I love about the whole deck is that it tells such a beautifully simple story. The company summarizes its mission on the closing slide: “Drink more beer, reduce more microplastic.” I love the sustainability story and the obviousness of it all. If the company can indeed do what it says, and make it commercially scaleable, as an investor, I’d get quite excited.

A clear problem statement

[Slide 2] I’ve got 17,200 tons of problems, but the ditch ain’t one. Pitch me. Image Credits: Mi Terro (opens in a new window)

I can’t express how much I love a good problem slide when it’s used as an opener for a pitch deck. It lets you open the door to a really fruitful conversation, especially if you manage to get an investor to go: “Holy cow, that’s a big problem,” and then immediately offer a solution to it.

The problem slide takes an abstract problem and makes it very real — especially to those of us who have been known to use a Tide pod from time to time.

I love that Mi Terro’s problem slide both shows the macro-level problem on the left, and then contextualizes it with “PVA wrapped dishwater and laundry pods.” It takes an abstract problem and makes it very real — especially to those of us who have been known to use a Tide pod from time to time. I also love how this chart illustrates the tremendous scale of the issue as part of the problem itself.

Now, there are things I would improve about this slide: Numbers over a thousand should have thousand-separators (1,000, not 1000) for ease of readability. And overall, it’s a little tricky to read the slide, as the punchline is actually on the bottom right: 75% of PVA stays in soil and waterways.

Bringing it to life with examples

[Slide 6] Showing how the tech could be applied is great storytelling. Image Credits: Mi Terro (opens in a new window)

As an environmentalist, I don’t mind things made out of plastic all that much as long as they are built to last. Would it be great if we never used plastics again? Maybe. But if you buy a plastic chair and use it for five or six days every summer for 10 years straight, well, at least the plastic had a good life while it was being used, and maybe it can be reused or recycled afterwards.

What I hate with the passion of a thousand suns, though, is single-use plastics. Packaging is the biggest culprit here: bottles, labels, takeout containers, etc. We use a lot of single-use plastics for all sorts of things, and Mi Terro’s goal is to replace much of that with biodegradable, upcycled waste materials.

This page of the deck really brings that to life for me, and I love seeing the company’s proof-of-concept products. In many of those categories, I can think of three or four things that I see every day, and from there it’s a short step to realizing how different the world would be if Mi Terro was successful. Beautiful.

There’s almost no text at all on this slide, and it does a lot of heavy lifting. I love that, and I want to see more of that in slide decks. Show, don’t tell, and if you can make an impactful point by making your product come to life, that’s even better.

Show the long game

[Slide 14] Sustainability for the win. Image Credits: Mi Terro (opens in a new window)

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sustainability slide on a pitch deck before, but this one gives us a clear glimpse of Mi Terro’s vision. I have little doubt that this will be a fantastically successful company in time, but look at those big, beefy goals! Mi Terro’s founders are clearly thinking long-term (the slide is planning nine years out from the fundraise!), and this slide shows both huge potential and fierce ambition.

You know what investors really like? Huge potential and fierce ambition.

In the rest of this teardown, we’ll take a look at three things Mi Terro could have improved or done differently, as well as the full pitch deck!

This article was originally published on TechCrunch.com. Read More on their website.

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