What is a Pitch Deck?
A pitch deck is a brief presentation that gives potential investors or clients an overview of your business model, products, strategy, and growth traction. The pitch deck usually consists of several slides that help you tell a compelling story about your business. These decks can be created using generic softwares like Powerpoint, or more startup-friendly ones such as Canva. Having a great pitch deck is essential and the first step for startups looking for funding.
What’s included in a Pitch Deck?
Pitch decks should be short and easy to follow, usually somewhere between 10 - 15 slides. If you’re struggling to keep the deck short, it might be a good idea to have an appendix section apart from the main deck. It is not recommend to have too much text on a slide, bullet points should be used to lay out main ideas and keywords, and you can fill in the details verbally during your pitch. Keep the text focused so the investors can have an easy time following the presentation.
The specifics included on a pitch deck will vary depending on the company and field, but overall, they should cover the following information:
- Company Overview
- Mission/Vision of the Company
- The Problem
- The Solution
- Your Product/Services
- Business Model
- The Market Opportunity
- The Customers
- The Competition
- Go-to-Market Strategy
- The Team
- The Ask/Use of Funds
Here we go into more detail about each one of the specifics in a pitch deck:
This is how you introduce you and your company to potential investors. You may want to add your mission statement if it’s straightforward and describes exactly what the startup does. These first few slides are also a great place to share the company's origin story, why and how the company came to be. At a recent Pitch workshop for our Navigate community, Allison Byers, founder and CEO of Scroobious, a pitching platform for startups, suggested "How would you explain what your company does to a third grader? Use that language on your slide and in your presentation.”
Talk about the problem of where everything started, where did you come up with the idea? What was the problem in your life/someone you care about that you identified that needed to be solved? What led you to create the product/service you are about to offer. Tell something relatable about why you’re passionate about the opportunity, tell your story concisely. It’s important that in this slide you identify the problem, your target audience, and why it’s not currently being solved.
The Solution (Your Product)
Describe how your product/service solves the market problem. What makes your solution unique? How is your product different from the ones in the market? Make sure you can explain your product or solution simply in a solution statement. You can also show your audience a demo or support the information sharing relatable stories of customers using the product or service. What makes your solution special?
Explain to investors how you plan to monetize your business. "Investors want to know that you understand your primary revenue sources and the cash-flow implications of your business model," Byers said. She recommends that founders arrange their business model slide(s) before their market size slide(s). "Investors need the context of how you make money and what your average revenue per customer is to understand where your market size numbers come from," she said.
Explain who your ideal customer is, the size of your target market, and the size of the opportunity. You can also include information on the competitive landscape in which your business exists, can your market grow? Be sure to quantify your market size, segments, and sales. Why is now the right time?
What are the alternative solutions to the problem you are trying to solve? Talk about your competitors and why customers will choose you over them. What are you providing that the competitors are not? What makes your product different than the rest?
Founders don't benefit from listing generic marketing tactics, such as social media ads, partnerships, or word-of-mouth marketing — but there's also no need to go too deep into the weeds and illustrate what your marketing spend will be per channel, Byers said. The goal instead should be to present the specific, relevant channels that are unique to your business.
You can also include your traction information about how your product or service is already showing its value. This can include current sales, growth, valuable partnerships, endorsements, pre-orders, or data from a pilot study outlining current consumer interest.
Focus on the growth, major goals, and next steps of your business, this slide validates the business model of the company that you showed earlier.
You’re not only trying to convince investors that you have a good product, but that you also have the right people to bring it to life and make the company successful. Introduce your team members and their specialties, describe their roles in the company and abilities related to the market and the product. You can include a photo and a short bio of each member, including education, achievements, and experience that might prove they are helpful for your company.
Show that you have the financial knowledge to reach your goals. In this slide, you will give an overview of the balance sheet, the income statement, the financial model or plan, possible marketing expenses, growth trajectory, and gross margin of profit. This slide is designed to show investors a solid case for how much money your business plan will generate and its recommended to include stats and metrics showing growth over months/years.
The Ask/Use of Funds
This is the punchline of your presentation, tell your investors what you need from them and why. Explain to them why you are asking for that amount and what is your plan on using that money. It is important to show investors how their investments are going to help you to achieve your goals, and how you are planning on giving them a return.
At the end of your pitch deck, be sure to add a closing slide that may include a thank you message with your contact information and any company social media links.
The most important tip we can give is to practice your pitch multiple times to different people before presenting to investors. Our Navigate Accelerator members have the opportunity to practice their pitch deck at our Bi-Weekly Member Pitch Practice, where they get feedback from our Founders Pedro and Andres.
For a limited time, our founders will be giving free feedback on limited Pitch Decks to anyone interested - for more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To get inspired, you can view other companies’ pitch decks, including big names such as Uber and Airbnb at Pitch Deck Hunt and Angel Match’s Pitch Deck Database.
This past week, our Accelerator Members participated on a Pitch Workshop presented by Scroobious CEO Allison Byers. The workshop recording will be available for anyone to watch HERE until May 31st, then it’ll be available for our accelerator members and our toolkit subscribers on our Startup Toolkit.
For startup founders who have a story to tell but need help telling it, Scroobious is a pitch education & investor connection platform that helps you get your story into an investor-ready format that resonates. Scroobious has everything you need in one place with a self-paced pitch program, live 1:1 feedback from a human who understands the investor mindset, and access to our diverse founder community. Use promo code Navigate15 for a special 15% discount!