The pitch deck is one of the founder’s core tools when contacting potential investors. With the pitch deck you can concisely explain the goal of your startup. But what are the exact advantages of a pitch deck? And how should a solid pitch deck be designed?
What Is a Pitch Deck?
The purpose of the pitch deck is to present the most important ideas of your business plan in a compact and concise manner. Using the pitch deck, founders can convincingly show what their startup is all about in front of potential investors – pitching their ideas basically. The word “pitch“ refers to the actual presentation while the pitch deck describes the digital slides that support the verbal presentation.
In its core, the pitch deck is similar to the Business Model Canvas but while the business model canvas rather serves to create a general analysis of your business model, the pitch deck should be a concise presentation of your vision for your company.
Why Do Investors Want To See Your Pitch Deck?
When you as a startup founder are looking for investors for your idea among venture capital firms or business angels, you should have a pitch deck ready. In contrast to your 25-50 page business plan, which details the business model, market potential, and proof of concept for your venture in terms of numbers and facts, the pitch deck is a narrative tool for conveying the essential ideas of your business plan in an abridged and appealing format.
That way, investors get an impression of your business idea and the financial requirements necessary for its implementation. The much more in-depth business plan investors usually want to see after the successful pitch.
If you want to finance your startup using debt capital, like a bank loan or a grant, you don’t need a pitch deck.
How Should You Structure Your Pitch Deck?
Keep the wording of your pitch deck as precise as possible and avoid lengthy text passages. Ideally, the presentation comprises 10, at most 15 slides. The slides should tell a story and have the following order:
- Cover page
What’s the name of your startup? What’s the company vision? Handle these concept as if you were writing a claim. AirBnB for example, is using the following claim in their pitch deck: “book rooms with locals rather than in hotels”.
What are the pain points your target group is suffering from? What consequences does neglecting these pain points have? Provide proof for your argument using up-to-date numbers and statistics.
How do you want to solve the problem? Keep the description simple and avoid in-depth, technical details.
What does your product look like? Show what you and your team have been building, even if it isn’t ready yet. Create mockups; or maybe you already have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) which you can showcase. Highlight individual features or functions of the product.
What’s the market situation? Which target group do you want to address? Why is your product useful right this moment? Provide proof for your argument using up-to-date numbers and analyses.
Why should someone buy your product, especially if there are other players in this sector? What could be especially attractive to investors?
Who are the other competitors? What makes your product better than theirs? Ideally, prepare a competitor analysis.
- Business Model
What does your business model look like? How do you want to earn money with your concept? At this point, it could be useful to already have prepared a financial plan.
- Proof of Concept
How actionable is your solution? What have you achieved so far and what milestones are still ahead for you and your team? Here, you can provide metrics like paying customers, MRR, growth per month, downloads, or user count. Also, use testimonials of existing customers!
- Financial Requirements
How much capital do you need for building your startup? What exactly do you need the money for? What amount should an investor be ready to invest?
Who are the founders? What kind of skills or experience are your team members bringing to the table?
At the end of the presentation, you must absolutely include an appeal to your audience. e.g. “Invest into this opportunity!”. Include your contact data.
Which Mistakes Should You Avoid When Creating A Pitch Deck?
Cramming too much text on individual slides and using a too small font size
Using animations and animated transitions between slides
Using bad slide design
Disregarding grammatical errors and typos
Leaving out KPIs and up-to-date numbers
Forgetting to include a call-to-action at the end of your pitch deck
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