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How to create Startup Pitch Deck

dsvdeveloper88 profile image Developer DSV ・3 min read

One version will be with a lot of text and information which will be shared with people via email. The pitch deck is a presentation that entrepreneurs put together when seeking a round of financing from investors. On average pitch decks have no more than 19 slides.

One version will be with a lot of text and information which will be shared with people via email. Having more visuals will contribute to having investors focused on you.

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In essence, the three keys to powerful pitch decks that get funded are:

Clear and simple
Compelling
Easy to act on

1. Problem

This needs to be a painful problem that people can relate to and that investors would not have issues with understanding. The slide covering the problem should be a way for you to explain what gap you are filling in the market.

You need to come across as someone that is focused and relentless to resolve a known issue. Furthermore, you are only resolving one problem.

If an investor falls inside the three buckets of interest cited above at the same time, that means you got your lead investor.

2. Solution

A company in which they can invest in order to have the wheel turn much faster. The solution needs to be concise and very clear. Especially if you are a tech startup, your solution needs to be scalable.

Being too early or too late to market can be the main cause of failure for startups. Moreover, it makes sense on the solution to outline why it makes sense now. As you may know timing is everything in business and being at the right time in history is what really matters.

3. Market

The market is going to determine the potential exit of the investor. If you are operating in a small market also the returns could be impacted by this.

Ultimate investors, and especially institutional investors, look for companies that will not only transform or disrupt their industry but have the potential to fundamentally reshape the way consumers interact with a market.

Remember that any market that is under $1B might not be that attractive to an investor in hyper growth businesses.

4. Product

This slide is all about showing screenshots of your product in action. To make it even more powerful you may want to add some description about the product itself and some quotes of some of your existing clients talking about how much they love your product.

5. Traction

This slide should show the month over month growth of the business. Getting to this type of “promise land“ for startups is not easy. This is the slide where you would include hopefully the famous hockey stick that investors want to see on every pitch deck they review.

To give you an idea, accelerator programs like Y Combiner expect at least 15% month over month growth. In the event you are very early stage or your growth is not that interesting I would avoid including it.

6. Team

Note there are at least 100 other people that have also thought about your same idea. The team is probably one of the most important slides in any pitch deck. The investor wants to know who is driving the bus and what makes them so unique to execute on that mission and vision.

Unfortunately when you are investing in a first time founder you are also investing in that individual‘s education and all the mistakes he or she will make during the early days. If you have the right people seated on the right seats of the bus the company will end up finding its direction to success.

7. Competition

A diagram is a good idea to show the investor the competitors that you have executing in your space. How you compare to them and where you land with your value proposition.

You want to clearly differentiate yourself from the rest so that the person that is reviewing the slide gets what makes your company so unique.

8. Financials

Normally you want to shoot for at least 3 years of projections. Even though projections are a shot in the dark when you are dealing with startups, they do provide a good idea of where the business is heading and potential outcomes.

There are some institutional investors that even ask for 5 years of projections but in my experience these investors tend to be the least sophisticated ones.

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