A pitch deck is often the first line of communication used to reach out to potential investors or strategic partners and is an essential tool for any startup looking to raise capital. A comprehensive, informed and compelling deck will not only lend credibility to you and your brand but can influence a potential investor to take a big risk on you and ultimately lead your business to new growth and success.
Understanding the necessary elements of a successful pitch deck can help bring you one step closer to the funding you need, so we have outlined 12 slides that we consider to be critical to an effective presentation.
While your pitch deck can and should be simple, it needs to be professionally designed, uncluttered, on-brand and memorable. This is why we have even provided a complimentary pitch deck wireframe as a starting point for you to deliver a compelling pitch and finally land those dream investors or strategic partners. Scroll down to the bottom of the article to download your Free Powerpoint or Keynote Pitch Deck Template. No strings attached.
Checklist: Twelve Must-Have Slides For Your Pitch Deck
Begin with a very brief introduction: who you are, your background, current role, etc. If appropriate in the introduction, share the business Purpose Statement.
2. The Problem
What is the problem that exists in the marketplace? What eludes or troubles the customer and why? How large is this problem and how long has it been a problem? This is where you must paint a picture that investors can understand and empathize with.
3. The Solution
a) This is your value proposition: How exactly does your product or service solve the problem unlike anyone else out there? Don’t just use marketing language, be truthful and practical while focusing on how you address the problem better than the competition.
b) Demo/product overview: This is where you might showcase your product, provide a sample, or do a brief demonstration.
4. The Opportunity (Why Now?)
Describe the market opportunity. How big is the market? Why is now the right time to go to market?
5. The Market
Specify the addressable market(s) and identify the customer or user: Who are they? How will you reach them? Include a succinct outline of your go-to-market strategy here.
6. Competitive Landscape
Who are your competitors and what are your competitive advantages? Don’t make the uninformed mistake of claiming there is no other competition. Savvy investors know that ALL businesses have competition in some form or another. So how well do you know these competitors? Most importantly, what sets you apart from them?
7. Team (Why You?)
Investors want to know what qualifies you and your team to execute this concept successfully. It’s been said that investors invest in people, not businesses. So why are you the right one(s) for the job? List key team members, advisors, etc. Include relevant work history and industry-related backgrounds.
8. Business Model
How does this idea make money? Who pays, how much do they pay, and through which distribution channels? Simply put, your business model should illustrate the mode of operation and revenue stream(s) for your company.
What are your expected revenues? When will the company break even and reach profitability? Detail revenues and expenses for the next 3-5 years. If you are already operating, include some financial history to show the traction you’ve obtained thus far. Keep in mind that many investors will take a more skeptical view of forecasted data, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect a sound financial outlook. Be realistic, yet optimistic.
What have you and your team accomplished so far? What traction have you already gained in the marketplace that shows evidence that your product or service is needed? Traction can be measured by sales, customer response, or early market adoption.
11. Fundraising Requirements
Aka “The Ask” … How much capital are you raising and what will it be spent on? Will the exchange be debt or equity? If equity, how much? If you successfully raise the capital you need, what are the milestones you expect to hit? Have you raised any money so far and if so, from whom? If you and/or your business partners plan to invest additional capital, be sure to include this information because it’s a great way to show potential investors that you are willing to put your money where your mouth is.
12. Thank You (With CTA)
We hope you find this checklist helpful and that it motivates you to continually refine the presentations you use in your fundraising pursuits.
Superbase is a strategy-centric design firm that works with companies ranging from startups to global enterprises, and we have experience being on both sides of the desk when it comes to investing in startups. This means we are deeply passionate about startups and understand the challenges they face. One way we help them navigate through these challenges is working with them to develop their brand identity and brand messaging in a way that is more likely to attract customers and investors alike.
We’ve created a free Powerpoint template as a starting point. You can also get a Keynote version here. Just click the icon above to download this complimentary template and start building your own impressive pitch deck today, or contact us to learn how we can help your brand become unignorable.