he critical task of any modern businessman to succeed is to raise funds. You may have the best idea in the world and have the perfect plan to implement it, but unless you can convince investors that that's the case - it will be virtually impossible to create a successful project. And one of the best tools that can help you raise funds is a Pitch Deck - a brief (no more than a dozen slides) presentation of your business plan.
Why is a Pitch Deck so important?
When you interact with an investor for the first time, you have no more than half a minute to make an impression and lay down a foundation for cooperation. A Pitch Deck is an extremely condensed and time-efficient way to present your company or project. But only if you do it right.
How do we know?
We work with Pitch Deck for more than 10 years now. We've designed and built more than 120 Pitch Decks for our businesses and clients. And these Pitch Decks allowed our customers to be accepted in accelerators like 500 startups, YCombinator, Techstars, to pitch to Tim Draper Show and to get investments from Andreesen Horowitz, Launchpad and others. We are constantly in contact with more than 400 VC funds, family offices, and angel groups, which provide us with feedback, so we know precisely what is fundable and what isn't.
How to build a fundable pitch deck for your startup?
There are 3 main rules.
Follow the standard - the deck should have 10-12 slides. Anything extra - use cases, in-depth technology overview, detailed metrics, and so on - should be moved to the appendix and presented during your meeting with the investor. First, you have to get the investor interested.
Keep it simple—one point per slide and no unnecessary elements. You should get people interested in a glance. So everything should be visually clean and straightforward.
Avoid common mistakes:
Don't use vague words like "Huge," "Great," "Hard," and so on. Use precise numbers.
Don't get too technical. If people don't understand what you're talking about - they won't be impressed.
Don't focus on the distant future and makeup billions in revenue out of thin air. Show your current traction and expected metrics for 1-2 years maximum.
But what should these slides be?
Well, we've figured out. based on our experience, that the optimal Pitch Deck structure is as follows:
Elevator pitch. Basically, it is the introduction. You should answer the three most essential questions about your startup: "What?" "Why?" and "For Whom?". And you should do most simply and straightforwardly possible: no technical language, no showing-off how smart you are and so on.
The Problem. What issue does your project address? You should not only describe the problem but prove that it is real (using numbers, not vague words) and specify, who struggles with that problem the most. In other terms - define your target market,
Your Solution. Explain how you will solve this problem. The perfect way is to explain it in one sentence and in a couple of others - to explain why it is the best option.
Your Product. Give investors a sense of what your product does. Don't go deep; key features will be enough for now. SCreenshots, mock-ups, and short videos are the way to go.
Market Volume. You must specify the volume of the market you try to get into. In most cases, investors aren't interested in markets smaller than $1 billion. However, be careful with the numbers - if you screw up here, you won't get another chance. So don't lie - the data can be easily checked.
Your Business model. Explain how you are going to make money. If you plan for multiple sources of income, talk only about the main one. Again - keep it simple. You'll get your chance to get into details.
Your competition. Everyone has a game, don't even try to pretend that you don't. Competitors may be outdated or not compete with you directly, but they are there. Also, try to identify a real advantage that makes the competition unfair in your favor.
Your current traction or plans to get more traction. That slide's content is hugely industry-specific. However, the typical requirement is that you should show your current traction and strategies for development, or if you have not yet, show your plan to reach your targets. Again - speak in numbers.
Your Team. Introduce investors to your team. A couple of sentences per each of half a dozen or so key people are enough. Don't talk about hobbies and personal life - only skills, experience, and team cohesion matter for now.
How much are you raising? Explain how much money do you need and how it will be spent. Be ready to explain every point. A typical question is something like, "How much will you pay this specialist per hour?"
Wait, but here only 10 slides are listed!
Exactly. Sometimes some points (Product, for example) require more slides to cover. So 2 of 12 are reserved for this purpose.
Does it look like creating a good Pitch Deck is quite hard? Well, it is.
Don't worry, we'll help you. We've prepared a series of articles that explain every point in detail. Also, you can contact us, and we will help you to build a fundable Investor Pitch Deck.