Eytan Bensoussan has taken on the mission of reinventing financial services for small businesses, and dramatically increasing their survival rates.
On the Dealmakers Show, Bensoussan talked about growing up in a family of small business owners, fintech for small businesses, the art of stubbornness, and how to perfect your fundraising during changing times.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Here is the content that we will cover in this post. Let’s get started.
Growing Up In A Small Business
Eytan Bensoussan was born and grew up in Montreal, Canada.
Apart from the obvious cold weather, he was raised in a family of small business owners. Including his aunt, uncles, father, and grandfather.
He got to see what entrepreneurship was like from the inside. All of the stress and anxiety that came along with the financials. As well as how his father, who was an engineer, seemed to spend all of this time and mental energy managing the money part of the business, instead of working in his sweet spot of engineering, which came so naturally to him.
Eventually, this would be the seed that would blossom into the thriving business he has built today.
Even during high school, he spent a lot of time carrying around and reading biographies about founders that had built giant businesses, like Bill Gates.
When it came time for university, he sought out learning that would help him invest and build something from the hard sciences. So, he began studying math and biochemistry.
See How I Can Help You With Your Fundraising Efforts
See How I Can Help You With Your Fundraising Efforts
The Art Of Stubbornness
In order to make any progress at all, entrepreneurs have to be stubborn. It can be their downfall. Though it takes a lot of stubbornness to grind through the process and years it takes to create a huge success story.
Eytan Bensoussan certainly has this trait. He transitioned into studying law. Which he says provided more analytical and structured thinking. However, he quickly found himself diving from being in the top three percent of his class to being in the bottom 15%. On the verge of quitting, he decided he would rather suffer through it. Ending up graduating within the top 15% of his class.
After college, Eytan found himself working at McKinsey. In similar circumstances, a senior partner sent him a message questioning if the firm was the right fit for him. Again, he sprung into action and met the challenge. Powering through the next couple of years, to eventually leaving on his terms, when he was performing very well in his role.
Fintech & Reinventing Banking
During his time at McKinsey, Bensoussan enjoyed a lot of access to witness the challenges of finances in business.
He was watching the early stages of the fintech revolution as it started becoming a thing in Berlin, Paris, London, and Tel Aviv.
He didn’t see the same momentum happening in North America. Though he knew it was a trend that would eventually spread.
After watching and waiting for someone else in the banking community to roll out a solution, with no movement in sight, he decided to quit being a consultant, and jump in to make something happen himself.
Recalling his family’s experiences with their own businesses, he decided to tackle this space to the benefit of small business owners, instead of consumer banking.
Netflix For Banking
Eytan saw that the vast majority of business startups were failing. With 80% of small businesses failing due to cash flow issues. Which he had seen result in some people losing generational wealth in the space of a week.
So, he created NorthOne. What you might call a ‘Netflix for banking’ approach. Effectively providing small businesses with an inside finance department. Especially for those that don’t have the expertise and budget to build one out themselves.
They have already grown to 70 employees, and are seeing an incredible impact in increasing the chances their small business owner customers survive and thrive.
Perfecting Your Pitch
NorthOne has already raised $90M for their venture. Starting out with securing funding just on their initial concept.
Storytelling is everything which is something that Eytan Benoussan was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
However, that doesn’t mean it was always easy. In fact, Eytan says it took getting through 150 turn-downs from investors before getting a single yes.
He says he learned to iterate along the way. Working with a spreadsheet, he would note down the feedback from each pitch, and then tweak and hone his presentation each time.
As the pandemic lockdowns hit, and investors became more selective, he says that he also learned to read the room and adapt on the fly to flip to highlighting the most important facts and data points the particular audience was engaged by. Especially, as the company grew, and investors became more interested in unit economics, revenues, and profit.
Listen in to the full podcast episode to find out more, including:
- Titan’s top advice when launching a business
- How to make business decisions efficiently
- The evolving climate for small business owners