How to Write an Executive Summary for Venture Capital Funding

executive summaryThe 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:

  1. what your company does;
  2. why your product or service is unique and what opportunity you’re presenting;
  3. how your management team is well qualified to execute your business plan;
  4. how much capital you need and how it will be used.

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.


iWidget, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets software solutions for the online gaming and desktop publishing industry. The company’s flagship product, iWidget Pro, is the leading software package for entrepreneurs seeking to start up a web business in the fast growing online gaming industry. iWidgetPro allows a user without any HTML skills to quickly set up an online gaming web site bundled with quick loading graphics and gaming technology. The company’s two accompanying software packages, iWidgetNext and iWidgetWorld, provide advanced design elements and technologies that allow users to customize their web sites. While the market is flooded with desktop publishing software, there is no other desktop publishing software company focused exclusively on the online gaming industry.

1. The Market

iWidget’s target market is the rapidly expanding online gaming industry and entrepreneurs seeking to set up gaming websites. Since its inception, the online gaming industry has experienced tremendous growth. Estimated at just over $1 billion in 2003, In-Stat/MDR expects the online gaming market to grow to nearly $4 billion by the end of 2008.

2. iWidget’s Competitive Advantage

As the only desktop publishing software maker focused exclusively on the online gaming industry with proprietary software that allows individuals to easily set up their own web businesses, iWidget is uniquely positioned to grow along with the industry and adapt to new industry developments quickly. Unlike other software makers’ products, iWidget’s products offer advanced and continuously updated technologies exclusive to online gaming. Software products offered by other software makers do not include these specialized technologies and do not offer the same ease of use or gaming graphics capabilities.

The expertise needed to design gaming industry-specific software is a significant barrier to market entry; iWidget’s management team includes desktop publishing industry pioneers with extensive knowledge and understanding of the online gaming industry and market.

3. Management Team

This is the second software venture for iWidget founders and co-owners J. Smith and R. Jones. Former classmates at M.I.T., the two teamed up to co-found iStudy, an online study system for college students that was acquired by BIG Textbooks Co. in 2002 for $8 million. Smith and Jones were among the pioneers of the desktop publishing software industry, and used their extensive knowledge and expertise to develop gaming-specific software that would allow individuals to set up lucrative online gaming web businesses. As the online gaming industry grows and develops, Smith and Jones are at the forefront of adaptive software that continues to evolve into a greater array of business options for online gaming industry entrepreneurs.

4. Investment

The capital sought in this proposal is iWidget’s third round of financing. Proceeds of the first round of $2.6 million in funding and second round of $3.5 million in funding have been used to expand the company’s highly knowledgeable team, develop new software products, and execute the company’s first software licensing agreement.

iWidget intends to raise an additional $3.5 million to develop additional software products, build out its marketing function, and successfully bring new products to the market.

5. Conclusion

First mover advantages have allowed iWidget to gain a dominant position in development and delivery of online gaming software. This early mover status, coupled with several years of desktop publishing management experience and technological expertise, will allow iWidget to continue to lead the field with cutting edge products in the fast growing online gaming industry.