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The executive summary is by far the most important section of your business plan because it's the first thing the busy VC or prospective investor will look for and read to get an idea of your investment opportunity. If your executive summary is compelling enough, the VC will read further, contact you for more information, and/or ask you to come in for a meeting to present your ideas. If your executive summary fails to strike a chord of interest, the reader will quickly move on to the next business plan in the stack.
The executive summary – really just a compact version of your business plan – should concisely address the following:
Keep your summary brief – ideally, two pages or less. Think of it as everything you'd say to a prospective investor in a five-minute interview. There are some who advise that you write your executive summary last, to capture the crucial points you've written into your plan. Others advise that you write the executive summary first and use it as a road map to keep your business plan on track. Both approaches have merit. In either case, make sure your executive summary is professional, comprehensive, and concise.
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