Updated: May 8
Writing a pitch deck is all about getting potential investors excited about your Startup idea, thereby engaging them to discuss about your business leading to an investment. A Pitch deck is more informative document about your Startup business although in brief terms.
It covers the key points of your Startup business plan, the products & services your Startup provides , financial projections and your funding needs. Primarily be used as a tool to tell the story of your business.
While every Startup business is different, the following format works for most Startups and is most likely to generate interest from potential investors.
1) The Startup Name, Vision With A Tagline / Subtitle :
To Start with, Every Pitch deck needs to launch with the Startup Name along with a Tag Line just like a short tweet explaining your business in 140 characters or less. Something like take a hypothetical example, if your startup is a Co-working space for Agents ' We are 'We Work' For Agents' etc . You can also mention your Startup Vision under it's name, which makes investors clear upfront , the way you intend to head towards.
2) The Problem :
Indeed your Startup exists primarily to solve a problem. Story Telling works here. Try and tell a relatable story when you are defining the problem. Make the problem as real as possible, this will help the investors will understand your Startup business and your goals. You can mention the Target Audience that has the problem/ frustration . Mention that existing solutions are broken or non-existent . Facts and Graphics may help.
3) The Solution :
Every Problem you have mentioned ,has a solution. Describe how your Startup will solve the problems faced by your Target Audience. Resort again to the classic storytelling method . It's actually a continuation of what you did to explain the pain point . Now introduce your product / service to solve those particular problems. If possible, use pictures and stories when you describe your solution.Explain how your solution is better than existing alternatives.
4) The Unique Value Proposition :
Your Pitch Deck must send a clear and compelling message to the investors about your Unique Value Proposition . It should explain what you do, how you do differently & why you are worth investing in. Also mention what is your promise to the consumers & highlight what stands out about your products / services.
5) The Competition :
Describe what are the other companies doing in this space and how does your product or service fit in within this landscape. Explain how your solution is superior to the one provided by your competitor. Mention what key advantages do you have over the competition or is there some 'magic wand' that you have and others don’t?
6) The Competitive Advantage :
Explain the Unique Factors that give your Startup an Advantage and a competitive edge over your competitors . Describe how will you outmaneuver them in the market ?
The unique factors may be your product / service's unique feature , the Adoption rate, The First to market policy , a Unique pricing model or a Technological advantage with Exclusive partnerships.
7) Market Validation & Traction :
Use Key Metrics and Graphs to validate that your company has gained traction . If your startup is a pre-launch or does not have a minimum viable product yet, you may replace the traction with Progress or Timeline Graph to illustrate what you have done so far and what's next to come. The Key metrics used here may be Monthly Active users of your Products or Services.
8) The $ Numbers :
Investors need to see your Financials i.e: Sales , Income Statements, Cash Flow Forecasts etc. Generally previous 3 years forecasts are required. Also be ready to explain the underlying assumptions you have made in your financials. Do not go for in-depth spreadsheets, instead make a summary of your Income, Expenses, Total Customers , Profits and some key financial ratio analysis.
9) The Team :
Mention who is putting their blood, sweat and tears into this venture. Investors will want to see the team is passionate, experienced and going to deliver. Mention each team member's background and How did they end up joining your Startup company. Also explain why are you and your team the right people to build and grow this Startup company? What experience do you have that others don’t? Highlight the Key Team Members, their successes at other companies, and the key expertise that they bring to the table.
10) The Ask
Your Investors need to know 'The Ask' i.e: What Does Your Startup Still Need ? What is the Goal of this Pitch Deck ? It needs to explain the Funding Goals with a Timeline . Outline the Funding needed to achieve your next steps . Why the Particular amount ? How long do you foresee it sustaining your future actions ? How do you plan to allocate the amount ? Make a timeline of next big steps your Startup will take and how more funding will speed up your Startup's progress.