i've been working on a project for the last year or so and during that time 4 out of 5 partners have left, leaving only me. I've turned the project into a modest success and have now received some invitations to pitch.
All pitch examples have quite a bit of stress on the "team" involved. I have very few pitches where it's an one-man team like in my case. I'm a bit worried that this might be seen as a negative.
Should I focus on bringing someone in before going out to pitch ?
I could be all wet here, but I don't think you should. Partners should not be just for getting investors, they are mostly to get you to where you want to be - and you are mostly there already. I think you should look at it as an advantage - that you have the flexibility to bring people in when they are needed.
If you are pitching a VC, then team is important. More important than that is what you built and can it make money.
A VC will want you to build out your team quickly and might even provide team members for you.
One thing you should look at is why your partners left. They will certainly ask that question.
The real advantage of more team members, at this point, is the refinement of your idea and the creditability it gives you. If you have attracted top people to your idea, that's one check box that's already checked off in the VC's mind. If you just show up, then you have a harder time convincing them of the viability of your concept.
Raising funding is a lengthy, time consuming and stressful process so there is no question that you should consider getting someone for that but I would ask myself if I really need that money at the cost of spliting the ownership of company with VCs and some guy who is getting aboard after all the work is done and you are already have "modest success"
Question is do you really need external funding? Will your business do bad without the money or will it do exceptionally well with the funding?
Depending on the answers you will need to decide if you should work on improving the product by listening to customers or look for funding..