To demonstrate their company to potential venture capital investors or angel investors, startups often prepare a “pitch deck.” Pitch decks are typically composed of 15-20 slides in a PowerPoint presentation and are designed to introduce investors to the product, technology, and team of the company. A successful funding campaign requires a lot of time and patience from investors. An investor pitch deck has to be flawless and able to convey a compelling and interesting story so that startups can make an impact. Providing advice on how to develop a strong, relevant, and compelling investor pitch deck, as well as tips on how to impress angel and venture capital investors, I provide important information in this article. For your reference, I’ve included links to sample pitch decks you can check out as you begin the process of putting one together.
Important Do’s and Don’ts for Investor Pitch Decks
In the creation of their investor pitch decks, startups often make a number of avoidable mistakes. To keep in mind, here is a checklist of preliminary dos and don’ts
Pitch Deck Do’s
The following should be included in the pitch deck cover page at the bottom left The information in this document is confidential and proprietary. [Name of Company] has the right to reproduce it (c). Do not give the impression that all rights are reserved.” Make sure that the viewer understands Consider including images and graphics that are visually appealing. To prepare for a meeting, send a PDF copy of the pitch deck to prospective investors. If you make the investor download your memo from Google Docs, Dropbox, or some other online service, you will just put up a barrier for them to actually view your memo. As part of your in-person presentation, do plan to show a demo of the product. A compelling, memorable, and interesting story that reflects your passion for the business is essential. Show you have more than just an idea and that you have gotten traction in developing a product, getting customers, or acquiring partners as soon as possible. Be prepared to give investors a soundbite that will remind them of you. Be sure that the font size, color, and header title style are consistent
Pitch Deck Don’ts
The pitch deck should not be more than 15-20 slides long (investors tend to have short You can add more information to an appendix if you feel it is needed. A wordy slide should not be too many. Ensure your financial details are not overly detailed, as a follow-up can provide those in more detail. Your pitch deck should not attempt to cover everything. If you present in person, you will have the opportunity to add and highlight key points. Be sure to avoid using complex words or jargon, unnecessarily lowering or demeaning the competition. Try to avoid using jargon or acronyms that you may not understand instantly. You don’t want your pitch deck to look old. It is not a good idea to place a date on the cover page when it is several months old (that is why I don’t put a date at all on the cover page). You don’t want to include information or metrics about your business that are dated or out-of-date in your deck. Do not use poor graphics, a poor layout, or a “look and feel” that will muddle your presentation. Consider hiring a graphic designer to make your pitch deck look more professional.
Make Sure to Review Other Pitch Deck Examples
Having access to other sample pitch decks can be exceedingly helpful in creating your own pitch deck for investors. Pitch decks are available online in a wide variety of formats, Template Pitch Deck for Startups by Google. The pitch deck used by LinkedIn for its Series B round. Originally, Facebook compiled a deck of business cards for a pitch in The Airbnb Pitch Deck for Its Angel Round was screened at Mint.com’s pre-launch investor meeting. Please view this example investor pitch deck I created for Recuperate.com, which incorporates the advice I give here. Interested individuals can obtain a free sample investor pitch here which can be used to create their own.
What Are the Key Slides You Want In Your Investor Pitch Deck?
As an investor pitch deck, you should include the following topics in roughly the order set forth here and with titles that look like this A brief description of the company. We have a mission and a vision. It is they who make a team. Identify and solve the problem. We have found a solution. There is an opportunity in the market. It’s about the product. It’s about the customers. It is a technology. There is a competition. There is traction. The business model describes how the business operates. It is time to create the marketing plan. The financial world. Here is what you have to ask.
1. The “Company Overview” Slide of the Pitch Deck
After the cover page, I believe the next page should contain an “About Us” section that sums up in 4-6 bullet points what your company does, how it solves problems, where you are located, the experience of the leadership team, and any key traction you have already achieved. Using this example, you can write the following on your “Company Overview” page It is vital for your company overview page to grab the reader’s attention and convince them that your company has the potential
2. The “Mission/Vision” Slide of the Pitch Deck
An objective of this slide is to give a crisp summary of the company’s mission and vision. Among the examples of a mission are
3. “The Team” Slide of the Pitch Deck
The team of an organization will be among the most important determinants of whether or not an investor will invest. On a “Team” slide, investors may see A wide range of pictures of the key team members Title of the team members Brief description of the prior employment of the team members as well as domain experience and relevant expertise Advisors, consultants, and Board members (sometimes included
4. “The Problem” Slide in the Pitch Deck
In order to fulfill your startup’s mission, you must identify the problem or need it’s solving, which typically includes Do you know how big the problem is? What are the reasons for its importance? What is the problem you are trying to solve?
5. “The Solution” Slide in the Pitch Deck
In light of the previous slide describing the problem, the “Solution” section of your investor pitch deck should describe your proposed solution and explain why it’s better than the alternatives. As there may be overlap with the “Product” slide on the pitch deck, this slide may need to be synchronized with it.
6. The “Product” Slide of the Pitch Deck
As you make the product pitch in the pitch deck, you will have to explain what your product or service is and why it is unique. You will need to answer questions such as Can you explain the major features of the product? How does it make a difference to users? What were the previous Can you tell me the key features that differentiate your product? Are you planning any other features for it? It is imperative not just to use lengthy written explanations here, but to use visuals, audios, and videos as well.
7. The “Market Opportunity” Slide of the Pitch Deck
Investing in a big opportunity with a large addressable market is what investors seek. You want to include the following information on your “Market Opportunity” slide You need to define your market. Indicate how much of the available market your company will address. Include graphs showing that your company will be addressing a substantial portion of the available
8. The “Customers” Slide of the Pitch Deck
In the case of early customers, a “Customers” slide can be powerful and strengthen the credibility of the company. A slide page with a logo is usually included for customers that are well known. As an example, here is a page that highlights both the company’s customers and partnerships
9. “The Technology” Slide of the Pitch Deck
A particular focus of the funding will be on the underlying technology (both existing and one Among the topics that can be covered on this investor pitch slide are A description of how the basic technology backbone is developed Key IP rights the company has (patents, patents pending, copyrights, trademarks, domain names) Reasons why the technology is superior or will be superior Why competitors will have difficulty replicating it
10. The “Competition” Slide of the Pitch Deck
It is always extremely important to investors to know who the company’s competitors are. You should anticipate the following questions on the “Competition” slide How does the company compare to its Is there anything your company does that gives it an Differentiating your company from competitors, what are the main features? The real key to winning a job is to demonstrate an understanding of the competitive landscape and be prepared for interview questions. A failure to comprehend your competitors may lead investors to conclude that you do not have a complete understanding of
11. The “Traction” Slide of the Pitch Deck
Positive comments will be given to a company that has achieved early traction in some way. Occasionally, but not always, there is a “Traction” slide included in the pitch deck (frequently, info about the company’s progress is spread throughout the deck). There are several slides that can be used for the “Traction” slide How has the company been doing in terms of traction (sales, traffic to its website, app downloads, growth metrics, etc., as appropriate)? Among the strategic partnerships created, which ones were the most successful? Is there a way to accelerate traction early on? Testimonials, media coverage, and praise
12. “The Business Model” Slide of the Pitch Deck
You need to understand the business model of your company before you approach investors. As such, this slide can provide an overview of key issues such as How does the pricing model work? In what ways do customers provide you with long-term value? Can you tell me how the customer acquisition channels work and what the costs are?
13. The “Marketing Plan” Slide of the Pitch Deck
A good marketing plan is essential to getting customers or users for any product, no matter how good it is. Among the topics that can be covered in a marketing plan slide is Among the marketing channels that you will utilize (paid search, social media, TV, radio, email marketing, etc. ), which will you use most often? How did your early successes work and what media did you use? Which are your preliminary customer acquisition costs per customer (and, correspondingly, what do you expect the lifetime value of a customer will be)? Who will be doing the PR for you? have you gotten in the way of press so far?
14. The “Financials” Slide of the Pitch Deck
The current financial situation of the company and its projected future “burn rate” (a monthly or annual loss of cash while the company is developing and marketing its product) will be of interest to investors. following slides are sometimes included in the “Financials” slide Plan out the financial details for the next three to five years Unit economics Burn rate Key metrics for the business (such as revenue recurring annually), Total revenue and expenses, and EBITDA Key assumptions, and make sure your projections are reasonable If you want prospective investors to be confident in your projections, you cannot assume they are absurd or impossible. You shouldn’t claim that your revenue will grow 10x in one year, but that your sales and marketing costs will only increase by two times.
15. “The Ask” Slide of the Pitch Deck
At the end, you should have a slide titled “The Ask.” On this slide, you should include Conclusion
An effective investor pitch deck will make it much more likely for your startup to gain financial backing. It’s important, however, to ensure that your story is compelling and intriguing. Investors expect to see a range of topics addressed in your presentation.