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How Startup Valuation Works
Startup valuation shows how much of the company the investor gets for his investment. At the early stages, valuation is about growth potential, not present value.
Difference Between a Startup and a Small Business
Startups are different from small businesses mostly because they are designed to grow fast. So when investors put money in a startup business, they don’t just want to make money, they want the business to grow fast while they make money. This means that startups have something they can sell to a very large market. Most of these businesses are found in the tech sector. Startups usually get capital from angel investors or venture capital firms.
The value of a startup business is determined by market forces in the industry in which it operates, including:
- willingness for an investor to pay a premium to get into a deal
- level of desperation of the entrepreneur looking for money
- balance between supply and demand of money
- recency and size of recent exits
The investor’s considerations mesh with market forces. The first thing an investor considers when determining the value of a startup is the exit, or how much the company can sell for in future years. Other matters of importance include the total money it will take to grow the company to the stage that someone will buy it for one billion dollars, and what percentage of that amount the investor owns. The option pool, or stock set aside for future employees, also influences valuation.
Persuading an Investor
Traction is the number one thing that will convince an investor to put money in a business. Traction is evidence that a product or service will be used by many people. If you can show that your business offering has many users, an investor is likely to be convinced that your company is a winner. Your reputation, or prior success, is another factor that influences whether or not an investor will take a chance on your company.
Determine If a Startup Is Right for You
A startup is a viable option when embarking on a new business venture since there is a great deal of funding for early-stage startups and many big companies are buying them. If you like working hard and then moving on, this may be a good option for you. Investors take a hands-on approach since they have so much money invested. So if you like input and guidance from an expert, you may find that this type of business is best for you.
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Templates for startups
Explore our collection of free presentation templates for startups and easily turn one of them into your own pitch deck, investor update, or status report.
More From Forbes
How to create a great investor pitch deck for startups seeking financing.
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This post has been updated. To read the latest version, click here .
Startups frequently prepare a “pitch deck” to present their company to prospective angel or venture capital investors. The pitch deck typically consists of 15-20 slides in a PowerPoint presentation and is intended to showcase the company’s products, technology, and team to the investors.
Raising capital from investors is difficult and time consuming. Therefore, it’s crucial that a startup absolutely nails its investor pitch deck and articulates a compelling and interesting story.
In this article, I provide important advice for creating a strong, thorough, and engaging investor pitch deck, along with guidance on presenting to angel and venture capital investors. I also provide links to sample pitch decks you can check out for reference as you begin the process of building your own.
Important Do’s and Don’ts for Investor Pitch Decks
Too many startups make a number of avoidable mistakes when creating their investor pitch decks. Here is a list of preliminary do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
When trying to raise capital for your startup, it's crucial to nail your investor presentation.
Pitch Deck Do’s
- Do include this wording at the bottom left of the pitch deck cover page: “Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright (c) by [Name of Company]. All Rights Reserved.”
- Do convince the viewer of why the market opportunity is large.
- Do include visually interesting graphics and images.
- Do send the pitch deck in a PDF format to prospective investors in advance of a meeting. Don’t force the investor to get it from Google Docs, Dropbox, or some other online service, as you are just putting up a barrier to the investor actually reading it.
- Do plan to have a demo of your product as part of the in-person presentation.
- Do tell a compelling, memorable, and interesting story that shows your passion for the business.
- Do show that you have more than just an idea, and that you have gotten early traction on developing the product, getting customers, or signing up partners.
- Do have a soundbite for investors to remember you by.
- Do use a consistent font size, color, and header title style throughout the slides.
Pitch Deck Don’ts
- Don’t make the pitch deck more than 15-20 slides long (investors have limited attention spans). If you feel you need to add more information, include it as an appendix.
- Don’t have too many wordy slides.
- Don’t provide excessive financial details, as that can be provided in a follow-up.
- Don’t try to cover everything in the pitch deck. Your in-person presentation will give you an opportunity to add and highlight key information.
- Don’t use a lot of jargon or acronyms that the investor may not immediately understand.
- Don’t underestimate or belittle the competition.
- Don’t have your pitch deck look out of date. You don’t want a date on the cover page that is several months old (that is why I avoid putting a date on the cover page at all). And you don’t want information or metrics in the deck about your business that look stale or outdated.
- Don’t have a poor layout, bad graphics, or a low-quality “look and feel.” Think about hiring a graphic designer to give your pitch desk a more professional look.
Make Sure to Review Other Pitch Deck Examples
In creating your pitch deck for investors, it’s extremely helpful to view other sample pitch decks. A great many pitch decks are available online, including:
- Google’s Template Pitch Deck for Startups
- LinkedIn’s Pitch Deck for Its Series B Round
- Facebook’s Original Pitch Deck from Spring 2004
- Airbnb’s Pitch Deck for Its Angel Round
- Mint.com Pre-Launch Investor Pitch Deck
Check out this sample investor pitch deck for Recuperate.com that I created, which incorporates the advice I give in this article. This sample can be downloaded for free and used as a template for your own investor pitch.
What Are the Key Slides You Want In Your Investor Pitch Deck?
You want your investor pitch deck to cover the following topics, roughly in the order set forth here and with titles along the lines of the following:
- Company Overview
- Mission/Vision of the Company
- The Problem
- The Solution
- The Market Opportunity
- The Product
- The Customers
- The Technology
- The Competition
- Business Model
- The Marketing Plan
1. The “Company Overview” Slide of the Pitch Deck
I’m a big believer that the page after the cover page should be a “Company Overview” where you summarize in 4-6 bullet points your business, what problem it solves, where you are located, the experience of the management team, and any key traction already established.
For example, here is what your “Company Overview” page could say:
Example of a strong "Company Overview" slide.
Your company overview page should grab the reader and convince them that your company has the opportunity to grow big.
2. The “Mission/Vision” Slide of the Pitch Deck
In this slide, you want a crisp summary of the mission/vision of the company. Some examples of a mission include:
- “Our mission is to be the enterprise solution for cybersecurity holes in a company’s data storage.”
- “We are the mobile solution for millennials wanting to invest in the stock market.”
- “We are the Uber-like on demand solution for house cleaners.”
The “vision” can be the goal you think you could become, such as “Our vision is to become the leading e-commerce company for individuals recuperating from injuries.”
Think of this slide as your 15-second compelling elevator pitch.
3. “The Team” Slide of the Pitch Deck
Many investors believe that a company’s team is the most important determinant of whether or not to invest. “The Team” slide will typically include:
- Pictures of the key team members
- Titles of the team members
- Short summary of prior employment of the team showing domain experience and relevant expertise
- Advisors, consultants, and Board members (sometimes included in this slide to bolster credibility)
4. “The Problem” Slide in the Pitch Deck
You need to define the problem or need your startup is solving, including:
- How big is the problem?
- Why is it important?
- Who are you solving the problem for?
5. “The Solution” Slide in the Pitch Deck
Since the prior slide articulated the problem, “The Solution” section of your investor pitch deck should articulate your proposed solution and why it’s better than other solutions in the market. This deck should be carefully coordinated with the “Product” slide of the pitch deck, as there may be some overlap.
6. The “Product” Slide of the Pitch Deck
You must clearly articulate what your company’s product or service consists of and why it is unique, so “The Product” slide of the pitch deck should answer:
- What are the key features of the product?
- Why do users care about the product?
- What are the major product milestones?
- What are the key differentiated features of the product?
- What additional product features are planned?
Images, visuals, and videos can play an important role here—don’t just have lengthy written explanations.
7. The “Market Opportunity” Slide of the Pitch Deck
Investors want to invest in big opportunities with large addressable markets. On your “Market Opportunity” slide you want to:
- Define the market you are in.
- Set forth the dollar market size.
- Include graphs showing that your company will be addressing a large part of the addressable market.
8. The “Customers” Slide of the Pitch Deck
If the company has early customers, a “Customers” slide can be powerful and add credibility. Normally, the logos of customers that are well known are included in this slide page. Here is an example of this page, which highlights both customers and partnerships of the company:
The "Customers & Partners" slide should show investors the connections you've already established.
9. “The Technology” Slide of the Pitch Deck
Investors will be particularly interested in your underlying technology (both existing and that in development). This slide of the investor pitch deck can address:
- The basic technology backbone
- Key intellectual property rights the company has (patents, patents pending, copyrights, trademarks, domain names)
- Why the technology is or will be superior
- Why it will be difficult for a competitor to replicate the technology
10. The “Competition” Slide of the Pitch Deck
The company’s competitors will always be an issue to investors. Your “Competition” slide should anticipate the following questions:
- Who are the company’s competitors?
- What gives your company a competitive advantage?
- What are the key differentiating features from your competitors?
You really have to show an understanding of the competitive landscape and be prepared to answer questions about your competitors. If you don’t understand your competitors, then the investor may conclude that you really don’t understand the market.
11. The “Traction” Slide of the Pitch Deck
A company that has obtained early traction in some way will be viewed positively. A “Traction” slide is sometimes, but not always, included in the pitch deck (sometimes the company’s progress/traction is just sprinkled through other slides). The “Traction” slide can cover the following:
- What early traction has the company gotten (sales, traffic to the company’s website, app downloads, growth metrics, etc., as relevant)?
- What strategic partnerships have been consummated?
- How can the early traction be accelerated?
- Press and accolades
12. “The Business Model” Slide of the Pitch Deck
The investors will want to understand your business model. So this slide can address key issues like:
- How do you make money?
- What is the pricing model?
- What is the long-term value of a customer?
- What are the customer acquisition channels and costs?
13. The “Marketing Plan” Slide of the Pitch Deck
No matter how good your product is, you will need to have a good marketing plan to get customers or users. The “Marketing Plan” slide of the pitch deck can cover:
- What key marketing channels will you use (paid search, social media, TV, radio, email marketing, etc.)?
- What early successes have you had and what channels have worked?
- What are your preliminary customer acquisition costs per customer (and, correspondingly, what is the projected lifetime value of a customer)?
- What PR will you be employing?
- What early press or buzz have you gotten?
14. The “Financials” Slide of the Pitch Deck
Investors will want to understand the company’s current financial situation and proposed future “burn” rate (monthly or yearly cash loss while the company is developing and marketing its product).
The “Financials” slide sometimes includes the following:
- Three- to five-year financial projections
- Unit economics
- Key metrics that are important to the business (such as annual recurring revenue)
- Total revenue and expenses
- Key assumptions
Make sure your projections are not unrealistic; you don’t want prospective investors to immediately question your projections as absurd or just not believable. Avoid the trap of saying you will grow revenues by 10x in one year but only increase sales and marketing costs by 2x.
15. “The Ask” Slide of the Pitch Deck
Near the end, you should have a slide entitled “The Ask.” On this slide you should address:
- How much money you are you seeking (a range is fine, such as “we are seeking $2-$3 million in financing”)
- How long you think the financing will last (15-18 months)
- What major milestones you think you will be able to reach with the financing
- What your key use of proceeds from the investment will be (e.g., technology and product development, new hires, capital expenses, marketing, etc.)
- Who your existing investors are (highlighting any well-known investors)
Here is a sample slide from my sample investor pitch deck:
"The Ask" slide should spell out exactly what you are asking the investors for.
For related information, see:
- 28 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Pitching to Investors
- 17 Key Lessons for Entrepreneurs Starting a Business
- 10 Reasons Why Your Startup Idea Sucks and Won’t Get Funded
- 65 Questions Venture Capitalists Will Ask Startups
- Sample Investor Pitch Deck [downloadable template]
A great investor pitch deck can make obtaining financing for your startup much more likely. But you need to make sure the story is compelling and interesting. You must address the topics that investors expect to see.
Read all of Richard Harroch’s articles on AllBusiness.com.
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How to Create a Startup Pitch Deck Presentation
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single startup in possession of a good idea, must be in want of investors . OK, this is not the original quotation by Jane Austen, but this one is more up-to-date. If you are a young startup, more than often you will need a financial supporter. In this respect, pitch decks are perfect for gaining investors.
But, what is a pitch deck?
It is a type of presentation to attract the attention of investors who support your project or product. A pitch deck is, therefore, the ideal type of oral exposition to present your startup , from its inner workings to new projects. Moreover, pitch deck presentations are short, concise, visually attractive, and clear.
If you have more doubts about this topic, you can visit this other article on how to create a good business pitch deck .
Now you may be wondering, how do I get the ideal pitch deck presentation for my startup ? How do I achieve all the previously mentioned characteristics? Don't worry! Slidesgo is always ready to give you a hand and we are going to provide you with some tips to create your startup's presentation, as well as, show you some examples of this type of presentation. Here we go!
Tips to create a startup presentation
15 tips to create an amazing pitch deck for your startup, examples of startups presentation templates.
To begin with, the key to the success of these oral presentations lies in conveying ideas with simplicity . In other words, brevity and conciseness are your allies, since the time during which a person pays attention is quite limited. So don't bore your audience!
First things first . A stunning first impression is always an invitation to consider your proposal. Remember to use attention-grabbers at the beginning of your presentation, like personal stories or jokes. Create a powerful introduction about yourself and the company, dress the part, and be prepared for any sort of question!
As we said, it is a guarantee of success that a presentation is visually attractive and, at the same time, simple and clear. If the design is also professional and in line with the values of your startup, even better. You can try including illustrations, images, and other types of resources related to your business area (music, fashion...).
It is important to remember that looks (or an attractive bunch of slides) are not everything. You need to touch your investors, emotionally speaking, and allow them to observe the most human side of your startup . Tell them about the members of your team, and add pictures so they can see other human beings. And if you could hire a professional photographer to take those pictures, the better!
In consonance with what we said before, explain a little bit about the story of your startup. It is important to show your achievements and to highlight your successes. Make them understand that you are a winner!
Focusing on the pitch deck, there are certain sections that should be in this type of presentation to make it a success.
- Introduction , our company, and our team: it is of paramount importance that you introduce your team and your company to the financial supporters. It is key to talk about the skills and expertise of your members in order to grow and manage a successful startup.
- Problem and solution : customers have a need that only your product can satisfy. Talk here about your unique selling proposition, that is, how your startup is going to solve the problems of your future customers.
- A SWOT analysis : a study to assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Them vs. us, competitors : if you want investors to trust you, you need to show them your competitors and that you are better than them.
- Product overview and demo : in one of the slides you can include a preview of what the product will be with a video or a simulation. If the preview alone attracts attention... imagine what your startup will achieve with the finished product!
- Your plans : tell your supporters about your price plans and how they adjust to the competitive market.
- Traction : not all beginnings are easy and knowing where you've come from and where you're going will spark the interest of investors. You can help yourself with resources such as timelines.
- Case study : explore a phenomenon related to your product in a real-life context.
- Reviews : people love your product. To prove so, add the results of your surveys and include some good reviews of what your clients are saying about you!
- Awards : remember, you, your team, and your company are winners. Let your awards speak for you.
- Market size : How does your product fit in the market? In this section, prove that there is a place for your startup in the market and that, therefore, investors will more than recoup their contribution.
- Target : who is your target audience? You need to define them: add age, demographic data, gender, socio-cultural and economic levels…
- Business model : provide an explanation behind the rationale of your startup. Explain how your startup works at the operational level and the ways in which it makes money.
- Timing and projected growth : talk about the future steps of your company and how much it will grow. Use a timeline to show the future and evolution of your company. Include your next steps and their projected growth. How do you see your company within 5-10 years? In the same fashion, you can also show the milestones achieved by your startup and the company roadmap.
- Investment : obviously, you need to specify the amount of money you need for your project, how you are going to use it, and how valuable it is for the growth and success of the company, so make this point clear. Show specific data about sales, clients, benefits, and expert insights. This information will make them realize that it is a good idea to invest in your company.
We have used the Retail Startup Pitch Deck presentation as an example of an explanation. Do you want to use it to present your startup? Just download it and customize it in a simple way!
We have provided you with the theory and what you need to know to create your startup presentation. To illustrate how it can be applied in real cases, we are going to show you some examples of startup presentation templates .
If the foundations of your startup are based on technology, this design will be the right one to present it or to announce the new product you are working on. It includes gradients in blue-green, almost reaching a purple tone, a shade very much associated with the technological world! Its geometric illustrations will also help to contextualize the theme of your startup and your presentation.
Music App Pitch Deck
With music, you can express everything that words can't. A project about a new music app is sure to be a hit! How about presenting it with this slideshow specifically created for a pitch deck about it? It has all the necessary sections to make investors go for your product. Take a look!
Video Game Pitch Deck
Video games are on the agenda of the day! And this template fits perfectly with this theme. It offers a very technological style, as shown by its gradient backgrounds. This slide is for the case study, one of the sections of a pitch deck. Show how your product is the solution to a need in the market!
Now it's time to make your pitch deck for your startup. You can find many templates in addition to the ones we have shown you, in our pitch deck section or in the special section dedicated to startups . Together, with your content and our templates, investors will undoubtedly choose your product.
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How to Add, Duplicate, Move, Delete or Hide Slides in Google Slides
When using a template to work on a presentation, you might want to create new slides, keeping the design included in the template. Or sometimes, you might prefer to duplicate an existing slide to reuse its elements, such as text boxes. In addition to this, you can perform other actions, such as deleting slides, moving or even hiding them so that they’re not visible during your presentation.In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to do all of this to turn any of our templates into your own presentation.
How to Add, Duplicate, Move, Delete or Hide Slides in PowerPoint
When working on a presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint, you will most likely perform actions such as creating new slides, changing their order, arranging them by theme, deleting unnecessary slides or even temporarily hiding slides. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to do all of this to turn any of our templates into your own presentation.
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Let’s take the most famous formula: E=mc^2, Einstein’s relativity equation. It wouldn’t be the same if it was E=mc2, right? Okay, yes, some people write it like that because it’s very famous and it won’t be misunderstood. But technically… It can! This is where the sophistication of superscript or subscript enters the room! Do you know how to write them in equations, copyright brands or even footnotes in your presentations? Let’s figure out how.
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11 Best Presentation Deck Templates for Startups in 2023
Written by: Orana Velarde
Startups are always on the lookout for new opportunities to share their ideas with the world. In order to do this, many rely on presentation decks as a way of showcasing what their startup is all about.
From pitch decks to find angel investors, to quarterly reports to share with the team, presentation deck templates are in high demand .
A boring and dull presentation will not just bore an audience , it will also kill a startup’s opportunities. It’s much better to show an idea creatively than just how everyone else has done it before.
For that reason, we’ve put together the 11 best presentation deck templates for startups. They are all available inside the Visme template library.
If you’re still using PowerPoint, it’s time to take a step back and try something new! But if for some reason you cannot, all these examples can easily be used as business pitch PowerPoint templates. Open one in Visme and download it as a PowerPoint file. We still believe you’ll have a better experience with Visme.
Here’s a short selection of 8 easy-to-edit presentation deck templates you can edit, share and download with Visme. View more templates below:
Pitch Deck Templates
The most common presentation decks for startups are pitch decks. These are a set of slides that introduce the company and incite investors to fund further growth.
In a pitch deck, a startup needs to showcase their idea and their vision in a way with inspires and incites action from the viewer.
These Visme pitch deck templates are inspired by real-life pitch decks used by startups which are now big companies. Try these business pitch PowerPoint templates for your next presentation deck design.
1. Presentation Deck Template Inspired by AirBnb’s Pitch Deck
The design for this presentation deck was inspired by one of AirBnb’s first pitch decks . It has been featured in many articles and roundups about the best pitch decks in startup history. The slides follow a minimal layout with a fun color combination.
The facts are displayed in short and sweet snippets, making the information easy to grasp and understand.
Customize this presentation deck template and make it your own! Edit and Download
2. Presentation Deck Template Inspired by WeWork’s Pitch Deck
The WeWork pitch deck which inspired this presentation deck template is easily one of the most amazing sets of slides you’ve ever seen. They go through every step of growth for the startup, from the original idea to how they plan to take over the world.
Use this presentation deck template if you need lots of slides to show off your startup’s amazing idea. It covers financial data, geographic data, growth charts and much more.
3. Presentation Deck Template Inspired by SEOMoz’s Pitch Deck
This professional-style presentation deck template was inspired by a SEOMoz’s pitch deck. The slides have a minimal look and feel to them but cover large amounts of data.
The charts and data widgets visualize all sorts of information about the startup’s growth and how they plan to scale up even higher.
Use this template if your startup is already established and you have lots of data to display. These slides are inspiring and can take your startup to the next level.
Report Presentation Deck Templates
Every company needs a report deck to show investors or their board of directors. When making presentations, startups can get as creative as possible with their report slides.
Below is a collection of the best presentation deck templates for reports, from annual reports to market trends reports .
4. Sales Report Presentation Deck Template
This Sales Report presentation deck template has just enough slides to showcase monthly and yearly sales percentages. The charts and data widgets can be duplicated to show other metrics unique to your startup.
With lots of white space, this sales report is easy to follow and will make a great impression during your meeting.
Start customizing this presentation template now!
- Add your own text, images and more
- Quickly change colors and fonts
- Add interactive buttons and animations
- Customize anything to fit your design and content needs
5. Market Trends Report Presentation Deck Template
Market trend studies are a key factor in getting to know your startup’s ideal client and how they consume products like yours. Showing your team about the market trend research will inspire them to work harder and better for a common goal.
This presentation deck template has 9 no-nonsense slides where you can easily show data and figures easy to use charts and data widgets.
6. Financial Report Deck Presentation Deck Template
Financial reports are essential when presenting your investors with the facts they want to know. A financial report deck can also double as a pitch deck or be part of a pitch deck. It concentrates solely on the company’s finances and the aspects related to it.
This financial report presentation deck template has 10 slides ready to be customized by your team to make them your own. This presentation deck will make your data beautiful .
7. Annual Report Presentation Deck Template
As soon as your first year is over, your startup needs an annual report .
Why not do it in a presentation format? It’s easier to share with your board of investors and future collaborators. You just need to send them a link of the finished slide deck and they can look at it on any device.
This presentation deck template has 10 beautifully designed slides with a hexagon design which you can color code according to your brand.
Take a cue from Mike in the Visme video team. He’ll help you create better report decks with these valuable tips.
Product Presentation Deck Templates
Product presentation templates are a unique style of presentation. Their sole purpose is to present your product to the world. This isn’t a financial report or a pitch deck but more of a showcase of what your product can do and how it’s performing in the market.
Here are some great presentation deck templates to showcase your products professionally.
8. Creative Product Presentation Deck Template
This creative product presentation deck template is a little different than a standard corporate style presentation. The shapes are round and freeing and easy on the eye.
Use this presentation deck if your product is unique in its niche and uses storytelling techniques to show off its assets.
This presentation deck has 10 templates with different tools to display your product’s features. Change to colors to fit your brand and share it with prospective clients with an easily accessible link.
9. Colorful Squares Business Pitch PowerPoint Template
Sometimes you need a minimal style presentation deck template. This colorful square design is perfect for that. It's simple, clean and to the point. It has 15 slides, but you don’t need to use them all. Show off your product seamlessly with this business pitch PowerPoint template.
Business Stats Presentation Deck Templates
Similar to a pitch deck, a business statistics presentation deck is an important resource for all startups. There are lots of different statistics that make up a business, ROI, and KPI among others .
These need to be presented in an orderly fashion that everyone can understand, from the marketing team to the high-level investors.
Here are the best business statistic presentation deck templates in the Visme template library.
10. Business Proposal Presentation Deck Template
Business proposals are all about data . This presentation deck has all the slides you need to present statistics for all areas of your company. The design style is minimal so that you can give it your own aesthetic.
The data widgets and graphs are easy to customize and can also be color-coded.
11. Statistics Presentation Deck Template
Presenting statistics doesn’t need to be boring and dry. With this presentation deck template, your stats will be easy to grasp by everyone in the meeting room. Your financial stats will look great in these slides, you just have to add your data to the charts.
Add your brand images to the cover to personalize the design and don’t forget to add your logo .
Frequently Asked Questions about Presentations for Startups and Businesses
What is a slide or presentation deck.
The slide deck or presentation deck is essentially the same but has different names. Both instances describe a collection of designed slides in a digital presentation format; organized to show a story from beginning to end .
Their ultimate purpose is to present information to an individual or a group about a specific subject, idea or project.
Why Is a Presentation Called a Deck?
To answer this question, we must go back in time. Before you could get on Google and search for business pitch PowerPoint templates, teachers and business people had other solutions for presenting ideas , topics, or research.
Before computers, slide decks and presentation decks were two different things, not interchangeable as they are today. The term “deck” comes from playing and/or tarot cards, as both are piled into decks. ‘Deck’ essentially means; a pile or collection of same-sized cards stacked together in an orderly fashion.
In advertising and marketing meeting rooms of the 50s and 60s, presentation decks were big and bulky cardboard designs on stands. These were used to visually accompany pitch speeches. When slide projectors came into the scene, the cardboard presentation decks made way for slide decks.
A slide deck in the 70s was a rectangular box with clear slides mounted on cardboard frames, kept in the order they were to be presented. The slide projector magnified the design onto a large white wall or projection screen.
With the introduction of PowerPoint, the presentation deck and slide deck became one digital sameness.
How Do You Make a Presentation Deck?
To make a presentation deck, you must take care of a few things. Here’s a rundown, all doable with Visme;
- Define a purpose and goal.
- Collect data and research to present.
- Write a clear outline.
- Mind map the presentation slides design.
- Find and brand presentation templates. Set it all up with your data, content and brand assets.
- Make it interactive .
- Share with your audience, and track performance.
Here’s a video that will help you design a presentation deck:
What Is a Deck vs Presentation?
There isn’t much difference between a deck and a presentation. Decks are a collection of slides used as a visual aid during presentations. On the other hand, a presentation can be done with or without slide decks.
For example, presentations can come in the form of audio, video, and other formats. Also, presentations can be pre-recorded and shared in different formats or done in-person.
Create Your Own Presentation Decks For Your Startup
Creating a good looking presentation is easy with Visme. All you need to do is choose a presentation deck template and insert your own content and data. With the integrated brand kit , anyone in your team can do it.
Teamwork has never been easier, now you can create presentations together at every level with Visme Teams. Give feedback and add comments easily in the Visme editor.
Get out of that PowerPoint rut and start creating better presentations with Visme.
Create beautiful presentations faster with Visme.
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About the Author
Orana is a multi-faceted creative. She is a content writer, artist, and designer. She travels the world with her family and is currently in Istanbul. Find out more about her work at oranavelarde.com
35+ Best Pitch Deck Examples from Successful Startups like Airbnb, Uber, Tesla + FREE Templates
15 best investor pitch deck examples from successful startups.
What is a pitch deck?
A pitch deck is usually a 10-20 slide presentation designed to give a short summary of your company, your business plan and your startup vision. It also serves very different purposes, from trying to get a meeting with a new investor, to presenting in front of a stage, and each one of them should follow a different structure.
A demo day presentation , for example, should be very visual and contain very little text. It’s going to be seen from afar and you’re going to do all the talking. On the other hand, a pitch presentation that you’re planning to email should be completely self-explanatory. It’s going to be seen on a laptop monitor, so small font is not so bad.
In these cases it’s also very useful to track your investor’s activity on the presentation, to figure out if they actually read the 100% of the slides; this can be critical when determining the frequency for follow up emails. In our case, it was key to raising our most recent round of funding. A number of pitch deck platforms offer this as a feature.
Related Article: 35 best pitch deck powerpoint templates
How to create a great pitch deck?
Your pitch deck is one of the most important tools in your arsenal. If you're pitching your startup idea or product, it's an opportunity to make a lasting impression on potential investors. And while there are many different types of decks out there, the best ones focus on three key points:
1. What problem do you solve?
2. How do you solve that problem?
3. Why should someone invest in you?
The presentation itself shouldn't take longer than 15 minutes, and it should be easy to follow along.
What should be in an Investor Pitch Deck?
When creating a pitch deck, it's important to remember that you only have a limited amount of time to capture your audience's attention and persuade them to invest in your company. Your deck should be concise and easy to understand, while still providing enough information to show that your business is worth investing in.
Some key things to include in your pitch deck are an overview of your business, information about your target market and competitors, your product or service, how you plan to make money, and a summary of your team. You should also have a section highlighting the risks and challenges associated with your business, as well as what sets you apart from the competition.
A number of authors, venture capitalists, startup founders and evangelists have created different versions of what they consider required elements to successful pitching presentations. Most of them agree on the following investor pitch deck outline requirements :
- Market Size
- Business Model
- Underlying Magic
- Marketing Plan
- Traction / Milestones
If you're looking for more specific advice on creating a pitch, Slidebean team can guide you through the whole process.
What is the purpose of a pitch deck?
A pitch deck is typically a presentation used by startups to provide potential investors with a brief overview of their business. The goal is to pique the investor's interest and get them interested in learning more about the business. The investor deck should include information about the company, its products and services, its target market, how it plans to make money, and the team behind it. It's important to make a strong case for why the investor should invest in your company.
A well-crafted slides can be an effective way to get funding for your startup.
How much does it cost to make a pitch deck?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the cost of making a pitch deck will vary depending on the level of detail and complexity involved. However, on average, you can expect to pay around $1,300-$4,000 for a high-quality investor deck. You can check Slidebean's prices here.
The Best 30+ Pitch Deck Examples, Templates & Tips:
If you made it here, you are probably looking for inspiration to create a pitch deck for your own startup. Yeah, you’ve come to the right place. Let me start by saying that this might not be the best approach to take when pitching investors: “Each investor deck should be tailored to the company’s strengths." Let's begin by covering some basics:
The story you tell about your idea, team and concept validation (yes, metrics!!) is what will ultimately determine if your deck is appealing or not. Still, getting some inspiration from previously successful startups is definitely a good place to start.
We have a video about how to create a pitch deck for investors.
- Airbnb Pitch Deck
- Uber Pitch Deck
- Facebook Pitch Deck
- Slidebean Pitch Deck
- Sequoia Capital Pitch Deck
- Investor Deck Template by 500 Startups
- Peloton Pitch Deck
- Buffer Pitch Deck
- Doordash Pitch Deck
- Tesla Pitch Deck
- Monthly Pitch Deck
- Youtube Pitch Deck
- Investment Proposal
- Business Plan Template
- Go To Market Strategy Template
- The Startup Pitch Deck Template
- Film Pitch Deck Template
- Guy Kawasaki Pitch Deck Template
- Ycombinator Pitch Deck Template
- Go to Market Strategy Template
- Brex Pitch Deck Template
- Sparkcharge Pitch Deck
- Loom Pitch Deck
- SuperHuman Pitch Deck
- Aircall Pitch Deck
- Linkedin Pitch Deck Template
- WeWork Pitch Deck Template
- Bioshock Game Pitch Deck
- Cryptocurrency pitch deck
Find more than 100+ templates here
1 - Airbnb Pitch Deck Template
The Airbnb Pitch Deck is one of the most searched references on the internet, probably because it’s a company so familiar to us all. As you will see, this is a classic 10 Slide Investor Deck template, most startups are using these days.
We’ve also taken the liberty of redesigning the original slides using Slidebean's Pitch Deck Templates , and wrote a full article about the process and a teardown of the original content. You can find that here:
USE AIRBNB TEMPLATE
This is the Original Airbnb Pitch Deck slide layout:
- Cover or title slide
- Market Validation
- Business Model <<< KILLER SLIDE!
- Market Adoption
- Competitive Advantages
- Users Testimonials
- Financial Model
The killer slide in this presentation is their business model slide because it lays out their revenue model in the simplest possible way. They make a 10% commission on each transaction, period.
Also, notice how simple the problem slide has been laid out on the presentation: 3 simple bullets are enough to portray the problem.
Even though we redesigned the original elevator pitch , the simplicity and the small amount of elements in each slide was inherent from the original deck. As we’ve mentioned before, less is more when talking about presentations.
2- Uber Pitch Deck Template
For the ninth anniversary of the founding of Uber, it's co-founder Garret Camp shared the first slides they created in late 2008. At the beginning, Uber was originally called UberCab, and it has evolved from a simple idea into a major platform that has improved the car service industry.
Here you have Uber's 25 slide deck! There's a lot to be learned from their first ever pitch:
USE UBER TEMPLATE
3- facebook pitch deck template.
It’s rather hard to imagine a world without Facebook today. But back in 2004, 21 year old Eduardo Saverin was just another entrepreneur trying to convince people to put money into a growing company called thefacebook.com , co-founded by him and his friend Mark Zuckerberg.
The story about how they founded one of the most successful companies in history was dramatically portrayed in the 2010 movie: The Social Network. Mark Zuckerberg himself has admitted that the movie, as many other biopics, is inaccurate in many aspects. But he also acknowledges that the movie gets a lot of details right.
One of them is that Eduardo did in fact go to New York in 2004 at the time when thefacebook.com was launched, to try and sell Facebook’s initial idea of ads to potential clients.
Facebook’s original pitch deck was basically a media kit containing the company’s value proposition, key metrics and Online Marketing Services .
At that time the company wasn’t making any money from The Facebook, so their presentation wasn’t based on revenue traction (actually they were still figuring out their business model overall). Instead, they bet on solid numbers such as their user engagement, customer base and growth metrics.
USE FACEBOOK TEMPLATE
Here's the Facebook Pitch deck outline:
- Killer opening quote
- Product Description
- Market size
- User Demographics
- User Engagement ✓
- Growth Metrics
- Killer closing quote
The biggest difference you’ll find from this presentation to an investor deck used today is that there’s no Problem Slide . Facebook was pretty much creating the necessity for college students to interact in the digital world. A created necessity that turned so real and massive soon enough it was obvious it would need to transcend colleges and universities in the US.
4- Slidebean Pitch Deck
Our slide deck at the 500 Startups demo day was the culmination of a 2 startup accelerator process, hours of rehearsal and dozens of adjustments thanks to the feedback from our mentors. Pitching on a Demo Day event is very different from pitching to an investor on a one-on-one meeting. I've blogged about it before:
Related Read: A complete guide to creating a pitch deck presentation
Furthermore, if we advertise Slidebean as a presentation builder , our presentations need to ROCK, which does put a lot of pressure for any demo day or on stage pitches we need to do.
Here's the latest version of our deck:
USE SLIDEBEAN TEMPLATE
Slidebean's Pitch Deck slide layout:
- Question for the audience
- Product slide
- Traction-1 << KILLER SLIDE RIGHT HERE!
- Product Demo
- Product-3 (Presentation Templates)
- Summary << KILLER SLIDE REMINDER!
Notice the BIG difference in the number of slides. Remember this is a demo day deck, so it is expected that somebody will be standing in front of the presentation.
Most slide deck format have very little text and only one or two large images, so you can sweep over the presentation much faster. If you look at the video , you'll notice that each slide stays on the screen just a few seconds.
5- Investor Deck Template by 500 Startups
12 slide investor pitch deck by 500 startups.
500 Startups is a leading global venture capital seed fund and startup accelerator headquartered in Silicon Valley with over $350M AUM.
This investor deck template is ideal for initial VCs and Angel Investors. If they ask to see your pitch deck , this is what you want to send. The outline of the investor deck mainly focuses on your startup's growth metrics and traction.
USE INVESTOR DECK TEMPLATE
6- sequoia capital pitch deck.
Since Sequoia Capital has quite the reputation for investments, it makes sense to take a page out of their book. This slide deck outline is perfect for companies that are getting ready to develop a pitch when seeking investors. Similar to a business plan, a pitch helps to answer potential questions that an investor will have before putting up their money in your business. This presentation slide deck has slides that build upon each other to create your overall pitch.
USE SEQUOIA TEMPLATE
Each slide of the pitch deck will help you walk your potential investors through the investment opportunity you’re offering them. The slides included in the Sequoia Capital Pitch Deck Template each have a specific purpose that leads them down the path of discovery into your pitch
- Problem: This slide is your opener. You’re presenting the problem that your target market has and works to set up your pitch.
- Solution: This slide follows up the problem by showing your solution to the previous slide’s problem.
- Why Now?: This slide is the perfect opportunity to discuss the market validation that exists.
- Market Size: Give your potential investors a chance to see what your share of the market can be once funded.
- Competition: The competition slide is where you can show your market research skills by showing what competitors currently exist in your market, and how your solution is a better fit for consumers.
- Product: Your product slide is where you get a chance to really get down to the meat and potatoes of the product you’re offering and what investors are putting their money into.
- Business Model: Most investors want to see a solid business model that will create returns for them.
- Team slide: This slide is your time to shine a light on all those behind the company.
- Board/Advisors: This one is an additional slide that can be useful for discussing others that play an essential role in the company and the potential for growth.
- Financial Model: This slide is helping to get the investor to see your current success before moving on to the final slide, fundraising where you’re giving the investor the ask of your pitch.
- Fundraising: Your final slide is almost like your call to action.
- The Sequoia Capital Deck can be changed to fit your particular needs, such as removing slides or revising the order of slides presented.
Related read : What is a pitch deck presentation
7 - Peloton Pitch Deck Template
Peloton broke the fitness industry with their stationary bike system which connects users and trainers via the internet.
The company, founded in 2012, has now a line of gym equipment and sells monthly subscriptions to enjoy live and on-demand classes. Their mission: "Peloton uses technology and design to connect the world through fitness, empowering people to be the best version of themselves anywhere, anytime". Do you have a business idea for this industry in mind? We recreated the pitch deck that Peloton used to obtain funding. Check it out!
USE PELOTON TEMPLATE
The slides that comprise this deck are:
- Target Consumer
- Consumer Promise
- Brand Values
- Who we are (2 slides)
- Brand Wheel (16 slides)
8 - Buffer Pitch Deck Template
This is the presentation deck Buffer used to raise $500,000 for their startup, as redesigned by Slidebean. The highlight of this deck is the traction slide, which the founders describe as the critical one for their success.
USE BUFFER TEMPLATE
This investor deck contains the following slides:
- Social trends quotes
- Social media question
- Queue your updates
- Business model
- Social media landscape
- The effect of buffering
- A sharing standard (2 slides)
9 - Doordash Pitch Deck Template
DoorDash is one of the most well-known food delivery companies in the United States right now. Back in January 2020, they made the country's largest third-party delivery system. Yet, as a startup, they've come to that out of pure hard work and well-aligned perfectionism, it seems.
Doordash is also looking to reduce food waste through Project DASH, by the way. In Xu's own words : "At DoorDash, we have one goal: to get whatever people need in their hands as efficiently as possible."
The Doordash investor deck is an excellent example of a pitch using traction to backup your business.
USE DOORDASH TEMPLATE
10 - tesla pitch deck template.
Tesla is a constant surge of news. From the electric car for masses with accessible price points to the newest model being launched in 2021, Tesla Motors’ latest insights over the past few days include being ready to join the S&P 500 at S&P Dow Jones. Reserved for leaders in top industries, this is an exclusive market-cap-weighted index in the stock market. But what did a company like Tesla do when it came down to starting financials? Let’s take a look at Tesla’s pitch deck, shall we? And we’ll also share insight on our revamped Tesla deck template with you.
USE TESLA TEMPLATE
11 - monthly pitch deck template.
The average small business has 42 SaaS tools and spends ~$200K/yr. The problem is, there's no centralized overview of this stack. Founders see themselves often checking that a tool is indeed being used by all the seats they are paying for. When attempting to find a platform to organize this, we saw a lot of them were focused on businesses larger than 100 employees. These are not known brands; they are companies that operate mostly on outbound sales.
But these small businesses, like us, at Slidebean, have a problem. The average company under 100 employees has 3.6 duplicate apps, 2.6 orphaned subscriptions, and an average of 17 platforms per employee. And this is, of course, continuing to grow.
So how can we solve this for small businesses, where there's an absolute focus on optimizing expenses. With Monthly (Renamed as Recurring) , we can connect to their accounting software and to their emails to collect invoices, we can measure user activity using SSO and their Gsuite logs- but most importantly, we can offer Smart recommendations. This is the investor deck:
USE MONTHLY TEMPLATE
This pitch deck contains the following slides:
- The Monthly app
- The problem
- The solution
- Target customer
- Business model
- Go-to-market plans
- Rollout plan
Recommended video: How to pitch new ideas to investors?
12- Youtube Pitch Deck Template
Youtube’s pitch deck was used in 2005 when it had less than 10,000 users. It was actually quite straightforward. They used an elementary version of a 10 slide pitch deck to go up in front of Sequoia Capital for fundraising. Still, the company was able to raise $3.5 M in that Series A round November of that year. This cost around 30% of the stakes in the company.
USE YOUTUBE TEMPLATE
13- investment proposal template.
An investment proposal is the driving tool during a meeting with potential investors. It’s a presentation that covers critical company information and metrics, hoping to get investors interested in funding a company, product, or project.
USE INVESTMENT TEMPLATE
14- business plan template.
The Business Plan is a crucial step in starting your own business because it represents the goals you want to achieve and outlines how they will be accomplished.
The Business Plan is a formal, written statement of the goals that your new venture plans to achieve. It's also an overview of how it will do so- these might be things like marketing strategies or costs for production equipment you plan on renting out when necessary (there are many activities involved in running any type businesses). There can vary depending upon what industry one belongs too but this particular presentation template can be used as one way to create your own business plan, or if you want something more formal and detailed than what's possible with just words on paper - it might provide some helpful insight into how other people approach their planning process!
USE BUSINESS PLAN TEMPLATE
15- go to market strategy template.
The go-to market strategy is a plan that details how an organization will place its products in the market to reach maximum penetration and profitability. It includes all functions of business, from launching new items or campaigns down through tracking results after they're released - it's very detailed. What is your go-to market strategy? This template will help you summarize it in an engaging way!
USE GO TO MARKET TEMPLATE
16- the startup pitch deck template.
What you should include in your pitch deck is a question that entrepreneurs have been asking themselves for years. There isn't an accepted set of contents, but there's some common ground among VCs and angel investors as to what they expect see when looking at pitches (and in which order). The new template we created distilled from benchmarking dozens venture backed startups takes this into account so all candidates will be clearer on where their strengths lie!
USE STARTUP PITCH DECK TEMPLATE
17- film pitch deck template.
This powerpoint template will help you to plan out your finances for the film. It includes pre-made slides that are customized with different funding plans, investors and production staff available so all it takes is simply plugging in numbers or choosing from one of our suggested options!
USE FILM PITCH DECK TEMPLATE
18- guy kawasaki pitch deck template.
Guy Kawasaki is a well-known Silicon Valley startup guru. He is the author several books and was one of the original Apple employees. So when he releases a template for creating a pitch deck, people listen. The template is based on his experience as an entrepreneur and investor, so it's worth taking a look at if you're looking to raise money for your startup. His 10 pitch deck slides have been an inspiration to many, and his 20-minute presentation format will help you get your point across with efficiency.
USE GUY KAWASAKI TEMPLATE
19- ycombinator pitch deck template.
YCombinator came out with a pitch deck template that's not very aesthetically pleasing. We get it, they wanted to give you the “blank canvas” so your company branding could shine through but maybe went too far by giving this blank slate such an ugly appearance! In any case we've taken matters into our own hands and made some style changes for better aesthetics as well as more functionality. We hope these help.
USE YCOMBINATOR TEMPLATE
20 - go to market strategy template.
A go-to market strategy is the key to success for any company. This detailed plan will help you reach maximum profit from your product as it's being sold, and if used correctly can get approval on even difficult projects! Our free template provides all of these tools that allow one presenting their plans easily without sounding too repetitive or formal
USE GTM TEMPLATE
21- brex pitch deck template.
Brex is a startup that has come to the market with an innovative corporate card for technology companies. They recently allowed investors and potential clients access their Series B pitch deck, so we took advantage of this opportunity by redesigning all slides in order better showcase Brex's progress thus far.
USE BREX PITCH DECK
22- sparkcharge pitch deck.
Sparcharge is a startup that raised $7 million in seed funding, and Slidebean was responsible for writing and designing their pitch deck. The deck was very successful in conveying the company's value proposition and vision, and it helped them to secure funding from top venture capitalists. The design of the deck was clean and professional, and it made use of strong visuals to help tell the company's story. The slides were also easy to navigate, which made it easy for investors to understand the information presented. Overall, the pitch deck was an important part of Sparcharge's success in raising funding , and it served as a great example of the power of a well-designed presentation.
Check these Slides
23 - loom pitch deck.
You've probably heard of Loom, the company that is shaking up the way we make communicate. With their simple and easy-to-use platform record quick videos to update your team and cut down meetings by 29% (according to their website). As part of an experiment, our Pitch Deck Design Team create a deck based on what we know, or they've shared. This was the final result:
Check Loom's Slides here
24- superhuman pitch deck.
The pitch deck design team at our company is always experimenting with new ways to create slide decks that are both informative and visually appealing. Recently, they have been focusing on creating that are based on what they know or have been shared with them. This allows them to create more customized and relevant designs that can better address the needs of our clients.
Superhuman inbox is a superhero app that comes with all sorts of cool features. It looks gorgeous and blazingly fast, so you can get your work done in no time. Since we like the app, we challenge our team to design the slides for them and here's the result:
25- Aircall Pitch Deck
A well-designed pitch deck can help an entrepreneur communicate their story in a clear and concise way and can be a key tool in securing funding. However, designing a pitch deck can be a challenge, as it requires distilling complex information into bite-sized chunks and conveying it in an engaging way. That's why we decided to redesign Aircall's pitch deck as an example. We wanted to show how a pitch deck can be both informative and visually appealing. Here's the result from our design challenge:
26- TheStartup Pitch Deck Template by Slidebean
Crafting a stellar pitch deck is no easy feat. To make sure your startup gets the attention it deserves, Slidebean has developed an amazing template for you to tailor and refine! We'll work side-by-side with you so that nothing stands in between your business goals and success - check out our new presentation guide today!
Get this Template
27- linkedin pitch deck.
LinkedIn has skyrocketed to success, becoming the largest professional social networking site in the world with a vast population of users growing daily. But before LinkedIn became this global phenomenon and leader for online connections, they had to pitch their vision of an online platform connecting professionals worldwide - which later led them into meeting Greylock partners! Reid Hoffman even publicly released his series B pitch deck including advice on how it should be constructed so that other aspiring entrepreneurs would have insight as well. With such incredible ambition pushing its idea forward, no one can bet against what's next from this revolutionary network.
Get this template
28- wework pitch deck template.
WeWork fuels entrepreneurial spirit and corporate success with powerful real estate solutions. Founded in 2010, it has since blossomed into a buzzing global community transforming the way companies do business by providing physical spaces that nurture productivity, well-being, efficiency and growth - all backed up by an impressive $1 billion funding valuation of $10 billion!
How to design a pitch deck for investors?
A pitch deck is an important tool when pitching investors. It helps you present your business idea clearly and concisely, so they understand exactly why their investment will be profitable.
The first step is to create a list of all the things that need to be included in your pitch deck. For example, you may want to include:
- A clear description of your product/service
- An overview of your company's mission statement
- Your target market
- The benefits your product offers
- How much money you expect to raise
- Why your startup is unique
- What are your plans for growth
Once you have created this list, you can begin designing your pitch deck. You'll need to choose a template that best suits your needs. We offer over 100+ different pitch deck templates that can be used as inspiration.
Slidebean Pitch deck design service
At Slidebean, we know that a pitch deck is essential for any startup looking to raise funding. That's why we offer a pitch deck design service that will help you get the most out of your presentation. Our team of designers will work with you to create a custom deck that is both visually stunning and informative.
We'll make sure that your deck tells your story in the most compelling way possible, and we'll help you to stand out from the crowd. With our pitch deck design service, you'll be able to make the best possible impression on potential investors. Contact us t oday to learn more about how we can help you take your startup to the next level.
Pitch Deck Presentation Service
Slidebean provides a premium service for startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and creatives who want to make better presentations. Our team of experts designs amazing slide decks every week. We want your audience to understand what you do and why you do it. If you want to start a new project, you can do it here: Slidebean Presentation Design Service
Besides the pitch deck examples we shared here, we have created, curated and redesigned several investor deck and set them as templates on our platform. Our presentation templates provide a fill-in-the-blank outline that can kick start your presentation workflow. Create a pitch deck that gets you funded. Browse templates from the most successful startups on the planet. Check them all here.
Get 100+ Templates
Year 2021 is passing by quickly, eh? Yet, we’re still in a good time to consider what industries are blooming in the startup world. So we’ve drawn a list of the 14 best innovative startup ideas for you.
Pitching to investors can be a daunting task for entrepreneurs, especially when you're trying to secure funding for your startup. But with the right approach, you can make a compelling case for your business and increase your chances of getting the funding you need. In this article, we'll take a look at some tips and best practices for pitching to investors.
This is a functional model you can use to create your own formulas and project your potential business growth. Instructions on how to use it are on the front page.
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- Learning Guides
How to Make Great Pitch Decks (Startup Presentation Guide)
Pitch decks are used to present your fresh business idea to potential investors in person. It's you in front of a roomful of successful business people.
It's not easy. The startup environment is more crowded and competitive than ever. It's on your shoulders to make your new company stand out.
Your pitch deck might well be the most important presentation you ever deliver. You need to plan a story that's clear and compelling, design a great pitch deck, and present with impact in a high stress situation.
Before you jump in to the tutorials below, browse through our ga-analytics#sendElementsClickEvent">best PowerPoint pitch deck templates on Envato Elements, or ga-analytics#sendMarketClickEvent">great ppt startup deck designs on GraphicRiver for helpful design resources.
How to Make Great (Startup) Pitch Deck Presentations
In this guide, you'll learn how make a great pitch deck. In these tutorials, learn what slides to include in your deck, how to quickly design great pitch deck, and a ton of tips on how to win over investors with your presentation.
Pull up a chair. It's time to dig into this helpful material:
The 10+ PPT Slides Every Investor (Startup) Pitch Deck Needs
10 Presentation Design Tips + Video (To Make the Best Pitch Deck in 2022)
29 Best Pitch Deck PowerPoint PPT Templates: For Business Plan Presentations
22 best free pitch deck templates for powerpoint (startup ppt downloads 2023).
20+ Best Keynote Pitch Deck Templates (Business Plan Presentation Designs 2023)
How to Make Winning Pitch Decks in 2022 With PPt Templates (+Video)
How to Make Great Startup Pitch Deck Presentations in Apple Keynote
23 Best Startup Pitch Deck Examples: Famous in Tech (For 2022)
How to Craft a VC-Ready Pitch Deck
How to Create the Perfect Pitch Deck Presentation Design
What Is a Pitch Deck? (Startup Business Presentations for Investors in 2019)
12 Startup Pitch Deck Examples [+ Template]
Startup pitch decks are the key to securing funds for growing your business. Study these successful pitch decks and use our template to help your startup grow.
A great startup pitch deck is an integral part of launching a business. This deck is presented to prospective investors to convince them to invest and help you grow your startup . The trick to having the best pitch deck possible is to include enough information to explain your goals and methodology without losing your audience’s interest.
Pitch decks are usually in PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, or Google Slides to make them easier to present to potential investors. However, the deck can also have an alternative format like a Word document or even a video. For inspiration, let’s go through some successful startup pitch deck examples and discuss what they got right.
Pitch Deck Basics
There are some overarching characteristics that make for a great pitch deck. While we’ll go through what a deck typically includes and some relevant business pitch examples, you can pick and choose certain elements as long as your startup pitch deck has the following basic qualities:
- Design-forward: Customers expect a better experience with your product and that’s achieved through better UX and graphic design. Show your team’s design chops with thoughtful deck design and mock-ups.
- Comprehensive: Be prepared to answer any questions from potential investors. Your slides should cover enough so if they check back for reminders after the presentation, they’ll find the most important information.
- Engaging: A startup pitch deck inevitably includes some boring elements. Your job is to keep it exciting and break up information-heavy slides with features like illustrations and block quotes.
- Straightforward: It’s easy to get caught up with sharing every detail, but it’s more important that your potential investors understand your pitch. For more complicated slides and ideas, pare down your pitch to make it easier to understand.
1. Problem Slide
Your pitch deck should open with a key problem — this is the whole justification for your business and why consumers will find it valuable. A common structure for this slide is to bullet pain points and create a story your potential investors can relate to.
The problem slide is the basis for your presentation. Creating a relatable story makes for an engaging presentation that’s easy to follow and understand.
Why it works : Although it’s not the most visually engaging, Uber’s business pitch example clearly explains how Uber solves key issues with traditional cabs. Uber’s deck is broken down into multiple slides to deliver all the necessary information without overwhelming the audience.
2. Solution slide
After presenting the problem, you should follow up directly with a solution. An effective solution slide structure covers current industry solutions and identifies the gaps your startup fills. This slide has a general overview of any proprietary technology, covers basic product features, and includes relevant interface mock-ups to show investors what your product will do for consumers.
Why it works : Intercom’s solution slide is simple but effective. While some extra design could elevate this slide, the bullet points are easy to understand and effectively explain Intercom’s unique selling proposition (USP) in the SaaS market.
3. Market validation slide
Market validation is especially important to investors because it shows proof that there are people who will purchase your product. This slide should include any relevant statistics for current sales if your startup has launched or competitors’ sales if it hasn’t. Don’t forget to cover basic information about your target market, their purchasing power, and their habits in your industry. This slide is especially important if your prospective investors aren’t familiar with your product or industry.
Why it work s: At 37 pages, LinkedIn’s pitch deck is longer than we’d recommend. But what it lacks in brevity it makes up for with powerful market validation using clear data from top competitors. It also breaks down barriers to growth and revenue for these competitors and shows how LinkedIn would improve their models.
4. Market size slide
Market size goes hand in hand with market validation. Once you’ve confirmed your target market has enough purchasing power, you need to justify your product’s longevity.
Focus on continued sales. The two most common elements to ensure your startup brings in long-term revenue are:
- A very large market
- A business model built for continuous purchases (e.g., subscription models)
Why it works: Facebook is the poster child for successful startups. Its market size slides effectively communicate how Facebook’s initial launches succeeded and justify further growth. The slides with market statistics about college students also explain clearly how Facebook will create revenue.
5. Product slide
The product slide is your chance to nail your pitch and sell your vision to investors. This slide should center your value proposition. A popular strategy for this section is to pose a few questions about your industry and show how your product is the answer. Take the time to craft this slide carefully, polishing it up from the copy to design details.
Why it works: Dropbox’s product slides are effective because they show how Dropbox truly innovates over other file sharing services. They justify why now is the time to launch and why consumers will choose Dropbox over competitors.
6. Business model slide
The business model slide covers how the startup will run and launch its product for sustainable growth. This section can compare your startup to other businesses or use internal data if the product has launched.
Why it works : While some of these slides can look busy, Moz’s business model was ahead of its time by calling out why organic marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) have untapped potential. This deck does a good job of explaining the business model to investors who might not be SEO savvy.
But wait...there's more!
7. market adoption slide.
It’s important to show some proof that your target market has interest in purchasing your product, especially if there are other competitors in the market. This is a lot easier if your product has already launched because you can include sales data. If your startup is pre-launch, showing potential market adoption can be tricky. In this case, you can use social proof from similar competitors. If you do this, it’s also important to note how your product differs from these competitors, especially if you can resolve a customer’s complaint. If possible, include case studies in the market adoption slide. These show proof that you can use investments to increase the reach of your startup.
Why it works : Buffer’s market adoption slides show social proof through key statistics outlining Buffer’s success so far. With an extremely high profit margin and growth rate for their user base, Buffer shows off why their product will offer a larger ROI for potential investors.
8. Competition slide
Many investors look at your competition to help contextualize your startup. If an investor has little or no experience in your vertical, showing competitors they’re familiar with gives them real examples of success. This slide should cover the following topics related to your competition:
- Revenue data
- What competitors do well
- What competitors don’t do well
- How your startup bridges product gaps
Why it works : Mint’s competitor slides are effective because they show current competitors along with future projections for these competitors. This slide effectively shows how Mint creates more value for customers over time and uses competitors as inspiration in their defensive strategy.
9. Team slide
A team slide helps investors get to know the minds behind your startup. Include information about founders, leadership, and top existing investors to show why your team is qualified to launch this startup. Any evidence of past successes with your leadership, consultants, or investors is important to include, as it shows new investors that you have relevant experience to launch your startup. If there’s any relevant history about your startup, such as a higher ROI than expected for a former investor, be sure to include this in your pitch deck.
Why it works : While Contently’s team slide has a lot of information, it’s all relevant to potential investors. In addition to founders and investors, Contently includes top employees, proprietary technology, advisors, and the amount they’ve raised so far. This, along with their financial model slide, show potential investors that Contently will make good use of their investment and even make them some profit.
10. Press slide
The press section of your startup pitch deck is a great opportunity to show off any buzz and get your investors excited about your business. Focus on positive reviews or attention related to your product. Stay away from negative press unless you can show you’ve changed those negative opinions. Make sure to keep these slides focused and succinct. It’s easy to get caught up in showing off product buzz, but press slides should always demonstrate potential for a more widespread product adoption.
Why it works : Snapchat was in a unique position at the time this deck was created, as its press slide has strong social proof. Snapchat calls out popular users, including press and media sources, that are already using the app. The wide variety of users, including household names like MTV, shows how Snapchat is a well-known social media platform.
11. Testimonial slide
Testimonials give investors insight into what existing customers really think about your product. Testimonials can also shed light on the public perception of your product, especially compared to competitors.
Seventy-two percent of consumers only take action after reading positive reviews. You can use this logic with your potential investors, too.
Positive testimonials show that your customers have brand loyalty and that users are satisfied with the product and customer service. This section of the startup pitch deck is only possible for startups that have launched their product.
Why it works : Not every pitch deck includes testimonials, especially if the startup hasn’t launched, but it makes sense to include feedback for Airbnb. Showcasing new users makes this slide simple yet effective. It could also benefit from including average Airbnb ratings for stronger evidence of positive reception.
12. Financial model slide
The financial model slide shows how your product creates revenue. For example, if your product is a subscription-based service, has premium features, or other horizontal integration, you’ll explain that model on these slides. Potential investors should walk away from your presentation knowing exactly how your startup creates revenue and understand any plans to ensure a steady stream of income.
Why it works : Shopify offers a great pitch deck example of when breaking some pitch norms can work in your favor. Although it’s nearly 30 slides, the entire deck is informative and engaging. The financial model slides work well because they show how Shopify and its past investors turned a profit. Not only do they explain their current financial model, but Shopify also covers their plans for future growth to reassure investors they’ll make a profit, too.
What should you avoid putting in a startup pitch deck?
The best pitch deck is completely tailored to your startup. While there’s no hard-and-fast rule about what you shouldn’t include, make sure everything you’re presenting is relevant to potential investors.
How do I present my startup pitch deck to investors?
It’s almost always better to present a pitch deck live to investors. Designate one member of your leadership team, ideally a founder, to present your deck to investors.
Following a script can come across as disingenuous, but using notes is OK, so get lots of practice in before you present to investors.
What should a startup pitch deck include?
A typical startup pitch deck template includes the following slides:
- Market validation
- Market size
- Business model
- Market adoption
- Financial model
However, every pitch deck is different, so your final pitch might skip some of these topics or use multiple slides to expand on certain sections.
Built to scale with HubSpot for Startups
It takes some time to put together a startup pitch deck that works, but once you’ve nailed your presentation, you can reuse it for multiple pitches with just a few tweaks to update any data or statistics. HubSpot for Startups helps you track marketing and sales data to make this process easier. New investors can rest easy knowing you’ve got the support of HubSpot’s powerful CRM at your fingertips.
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30 Legendary Startup Pitch Decks and What You Can Learn From Them [+10 Free Templates]
A startup pitch deck is a brief presentation that provides investors with an overview of your new business and/or startup idea through presentation slides.
It usually focused on showcasing your product, sharing your business model, giving a look into your monetization strategy, and introducing your team.
A startup pitch deck is an essential fundraising tool for successful startups, whether you’re looking to raise funding from $50,000, $500,000 or $50 million. However, an investor pitch deck is just one of the best pitch decks and examples we will share below.
Despite the brevity of the successful startup pitch decks, which usually run for 10 slides or less, creating a pitch deck that wins investment is not an easy task.
What Does a Successful Startup Pitch Deck Cover?
A great pitch deck covers key points through visuals and bullet points and usually has a competition slide, a problem slide, and a solution slide to explain your offering and the market.
Additionally, a business model slide and a team slide (if your business is developed enough to present these) can turn a good deck into a great startup pitch deck.
Don’t forget, a simple pitch deck is a good pitch deck—and you’re about to learn how to nail it.
In This Legendary Startup Pitch Deck Article You Will Find:
- Examples of 30 successful pitch decks
- Takeaways that you can apply when creating your own startup pitch deck
- Editable templates of 10 pitch decks that you can use for free
Looking for a winning pitch deck template ASAP to present in front of potential investors? Try our free template created in collaboration with HighSpark – an agency that has helped more than 500 startups raise cumulatively over $80 million in funding.
Here is the list of 30 of the best startup pitch deck examples that we will go through:
- ZenPayRoll (Now Gusto)
- Shape Integrated Software
- Ooomf (now Crew)
- Sequoia Capital
These startup pitch deck examples were created by top brands in tech. At the time, they were all small startups (seed stage companies) looking to raise money or venture capital through potential investors and grow their businesses. Sound familiar?!
We hope that their business idea and investor pitch decks will inspire you (and of course, potential investors).
If you are more of a visual learner than a reader type, you can watch a video summary of the first 10 startup pitch deck examples mentioned in this blog post:
Alternatively, if you’re ready to create your own pitch deck, we’ve added some startup pitch deck examples and pitch deck templates to the bottom of this article. You can go straight to them by clicking here . Or get access to Piktochart’s online design tool by signing up for a free account and choosing a presentation template to get started easily.
From behemoths like Facebook and YouTube to superstars like Buffer, together these startups have raised millions of dollars and are now worth billions!
It’s time to see how they did it.
30 Legendary Startup Pitch Deck Examples
1. facebook pitch deck.
Here’s a fun fact: Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist, and entrepreneur, was the first outside investor in Facebook back in 2004. That’s when Mark Zuckerberg first set out to turn his dorm room project into a lasting business. Zuckerberg received $500,000 from Peter Thiel.
Facebook’s pitch deck was more of a media kit of sorts. It was containing the company’s value proposition, key metrics, and marketing services that were used to sell ads to potential clients.
Favorite takeaway : The focus of the startup pitch deck was based on solid numbers such as user engagement, traffic, and growth trajectory.
2. Airbnb pitch deck
Airbnb is a platform that allows people to list, find, and rent lodging.
This company is one of the greatest startup success stories of our time.
The now famous Airbnb pitch deck has become one of the best pitch decks for inspiring entrepreneurs around the world.
Favorite takeaway: The intro. It’s all about hooking your audience. You need to describe your business using as few words as possible. Imagine telling a 5-year-old what your business is about. If you can’t do that, it’s time to put some time into nailing it down.
3. Buffer pitch deck
Buffer is a social media scheduling platform that helps you schedule content for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
The almighty startup pitch deck that helped Buffer to raise half a million dollars gained popularity by becoming one of the first pitch decks openly shared online. The founder decided to put it up to help other startups to raise funds.
Favorite takeaway: Similar to Facebook, the deck was based on solid numbers from Buffer’s users (e.g., 800 users, $150,000 annual revenue run rate, etc.)
4. Square pitch deck
Square is a company that allows merchants to accept mobile credit card payments via a dongle.
Favorite takeaway : Social proof! It doesn’t hurt to promote the management team if they’ve been with Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, PayPal, and more. It shows that your management team’s experience is an armor to the company. This detailed startup pitch deck outlines Square’s business model and a simple financial model that portrays its annual revenue and five-year growth rate.
5. LinkedIn pitch deck
Founded in 2002, LinkedIn is the top business-oriented social networking platform.
The company’s pitch talks a great deal about company values, the power of networking, and how it’s different from other social networks out there.
Favorite takeaway : The deck also provides an extensive analogy to showcase to investors what LinkedIn is. For example, it talks about “Web 1.0” vs. “Web 2.0”: Alta Vista was “Search 1.0”, and Google was “Search 2.0”. The deck talks about how LinkedIn is “Networking for Businesses 2.0”.
6. Mint pitch deck
Mint is a personal financial services tool that helps people track their spending and find ways to save money.
This startup pitch deck example was used in a competition and was never used for raising money, but it’s still a powerful deck that startups can learn from.
Favorite takeaway : This simple deck provides a clear value proposition to customers and investors. The creators of this deck also understood that one of the key concerns of an investor is the exit mechanism of his or her investments. I love how the deck highlights a number of exit strategy options.
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7. MapMe pitch deck
MapMe allows users to create universally accessible (i.e., on smartphones, tablets, and computers) maps of anywhere they want with no coding required.
This startup deck was used to raise $1 million in seed funding.
Social proof almost always works. The deck showed that the startup had over 20,000 unique visitors, 18,000 monthly alerts, and12 minutes average sessions on the site.
Favorite takeaway : The pitch deck has fewer than 13 slides but provides investors with knowledge of the traction the site got going viral on social media and its go-to-market strategy.
8. LaunchRock pitch deck
LaunchRock allows users to create landing pages and quickly get their startups known through social media, even before the launch of their full site.
Favorite takeaway : As a more creatively designed pitch deck example, this pitch deck had only 15 slides but showed how the product works and the different ways it can be used. They also utilize an analogy similar to what LinkedIn had in their decks.
9. Mixpanel pitch deck
Mixpanel is an advanced analytics platform for mobile and the web. They not only measure page views but also analyze the actions people take. This is the series-B startup pitch deck for Mixpanel that helped them raise over $65 million.
Favorite takeaway : This pitch deck example started off with a problem: people guessing their analytics. It followed up by providing its solution to that problem and, ultimately, its competitive advantage. One of the best pitch decks, this is a great example of showing the problem and solution.
10. Moz pitch deck
Moz started out as an SEO company but has pivoted to support marketers across all inbound marketing strategies.
This is the series-B startup pitch deck for Moz which they used to raise over $18 million. If you’re an established startup, this is a great example of an investor pitch deck, and you can follow this guide. The pitch deck is packed with information about the company since it was founded five years prior to this pitch.
Favorite takeaway : Because the company had already been in operation for five years, they were able to present an accurate estimated revenue, revenue run rate, average customer lifetime value, cost of paid acquisition, etc.
11. Buzzfeed pitch deck
We all have a love-and-hate relationship with Buzzfeed, don’t we? I’m sure you’ve stumbled on their pages or watched their videos before. As of today, BuzzFeed has managed to raise over $240 million in investor capital (another great example of an investor pitch deck).
Favorite takeaway : SOCIAL PROOF! It doesn’t hurt to start a pitch deck with big numbers the company has, like the millions of users visiting the website on a monthly basis and quotations from large organizations such as CNN.
12. YouTube pitch deck
YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006 for $1.6 billion. Like Facebook, this company doesn’t require any introduction. Unfortunately, this is not the original deck. This is YouTube’s pitch deck to Sequoia Capital (one of the most established VC investors who’s often regarded as one of the industry’s best), which was released through a legal proceeding.
Favorite takeaway : The company wanted to be the primary outlet for video content, and it succeeded in doing just that. It goes to show that if you know what your product can do, are able to show its potential, and build on the momentum gained through early investments to create that, then you can achieve its potential. If you’re aiming to build an investor pitch deck to land a VC like Sequoia Capital, this presentation slide deck is a great template for you!
13. Manpacks pitch deck
Manpacks is a platform that delivers men’s essentials such as underwear, razors, grooming, and other products.
The company raised $500,000 with this pitch deck.
Favorite takeaway : This deck stands out! They clearly understand who they are, and they stayed that way throughout the entire presentation. The startup pitch deck is filled with a fun tone that helps explain the product well.
14. Foursquare pitch deck
Foursquare is a mobile platform that helps you find the best places to go in your area.
Favorite takeaway : This pitch deck does a great job using screenshots of social proof that the app already has from its users sharing tweets of them being the ‘mayor’ of a particular area.
15. Flowtab pitch deck
Flowtab was an app that allowed people to order drinks quickly at a crowded bar. Despite shutting down, the founders still made an effort to help other startups.
Favorite takeaway : Simplicity. This pitch deck example does well explaining critical information like the problem, the solution, their business model, and traction. You can’t really go wrong with this pitch deck.
16. Dwolla pitch deck
Dwolla is a payment solution that allows users to send, receive, and request funds from other users. This 18-slide startup pitch deck landed the company $16.5 million.
Favorite takeaway : Most startups are founded because of a problem they faced, but not many people tell their story well through their pitch decks. In their slide deck, Dwolla shared a great story of how the founder paid $50,000 a year in credit card fees and then created a solution for never doing it again.
17. ZenPayRoll (Now Gusto) pitch deck
Gusto (previously ZenPayroll) is a cloud-based solution tool for small businesses to pay employees.
The company raised $6 million with this pitch deck.
Favorite takeaway : This isn’t just a startup pitch deck. It is a template that you can use and replicate easily by filling in the blanks.
18. Bliss pitch deck
Bliss provides metrics for coders and allows them to collaborate easily.
The company raised over $400,000 using Angel List.
Favorite takeaway : The pitch deck was well composed with a clear understanding of the product and the investors they were pitching to. This is one of the best pitch decks to use if you know your target market.
19. Adpushup pitch deck
Adpushup allows companies to maximize ad revenues through advanced A/B testing. They raised more than $632,000 in investments.
Favorite takeaway : This slide deck proves that going back to the basics works. This pitch deck has basic principles like a great introduction, an outline of problems, potential solutions, market opportunities, products, case studies, milestones, traction, and a future plan.
20. Wealthsimple pitch deck
Wealthsimple is Canada’s first online investment manager. They raised more than $2 million in seed funding with this slide deck.
Favorite takeaway : The startup pitch deck is sweet and short but effective. Our favorite part is the transformation of the industry, which is laid out in a table format.
21. AppVirality pitch deck
AppVirality allows app developers to grow their platforms using growth method techniques proven by other startups.
Favorite takeaway : Our favorite takeaway is how the flow of the pitch deck goes through the problem, the proven solution, and how it works within their app to their target market in multiple slides.
22. Shape Integrated Software pitch deck
Shape Integrated Software is budget management software that helps PPC analysts manage various budgets across different channels.
Favorite takeaway : When you have the traction to back your startup, use it. Shape clearly took advantage of it and presented it clearly in their pitch deck.
23. Podozi pitch deck
Podozi is an online e-commerce platform based in Nigeria.
Favorite takeaway : Most startup pitch decks work well when they’re short and sweet, in multiple slides, like Podozi’s. The best takeaway is the working partnership with large brands that this platform already has.
24. Fittr pitch deck
Fittr is a platform that designs custom workouts tailored to equipment, access, time management, and goals.
Favorite takeaway : As a user of this platform, we love the investment goals and the purpose of what the company is planning to use it for.
25. Swipes pitch deck
Swipes is a task manager app to help its users increase their productivity.
Favorite takeaway : One of their pages used social proof of quotations from The Next Web and Lifehacker. You can’t go wrong with that.
26. Canvas pitch deck
Canvas replaces paper-based processes with affordable and easy-to-use mobile apps and forms. They raised $9 million with these decks.
Favorite takeaway : Instead of saying what they do, the second slide in their pitch deck shows how their startup helps businesses. No words are needed.
27. Ooomf (now Crew) pitch deck
Crew (formerly Ooomf & then PickCrew) is a freelancer marketplace that connects mobile and web developers with projects or work. This deck was used to raise over $2 million dollars.
Favorite takeaway : Well-designed with an easy-to-understand flow.
28. Cubeit pitch deck
Cubeit is a mobile application that allows users to aggregate content from anywhere. Cubeit used this 13-slide deck to raise seed funding before they even had a finished product.
Favorite takeaway : A strong introduction will get investors to pay attention. Their deck starts out with a clear message, which was that “owning more devices doesn’t make your life easier”. I can’t help but pay attention to how this company will help.
29. Castle pitch deck
Castle was a startup that let rental owners put their properties on autopilot. This was the deck Castle used to raise $270,000 for their startup.
Favorite takeaway : Great design and easy to digest.
30. Sequoia Capital pitch deck
Sequoia Capital is one of the leading investment firms in Silicon Valley. This deck is a template they recommend following.
Favorite takeaway : It’s like having the keys to the kingdom. You don’t have to guess what this investment giant is looking for. They tell you straight away.
Summary of Pitch Deck Template Takeaways
To sum up, a strong startup pitch deck not only serves to reinforce your brand to the target audience or investors, but shows your business plan and unique offering through the slides presented; using a problem slide, a solution slide, and a traction slide including concise bullet points.
The best startup pitch deck also shows off your company’s personality, through the inclusion of a team slide or similar in the next few slides, to be presented after your business plan is clearly outlined.
Look at the takeaways from these startup pitch decks as a guide to help you in your quest to raise funds and venture capital for your own startup for an investment round.
Here are some of the key takeaways from our pitch deck examples:
- Pitch decks don’t have to be formal or beautiful.
- A great pitch deck will provide an impactful intro or slogan.
- Keep your deck short (less than 20 pages).
- Use analogies to back up the points that you’re making.
After going through so many startup pitch deck examples, we recommend that to make your pitch presentation stand out you should:
- Start with a strong intro/vision.
- Show problems and offer solutions.
- Identify market opportunities.
- Showcase products/services clearly.
- Digest your business model
- Highlight financials
- Add social proof/case studies.
- Differentiate from competition.
- Show an experienced management team.
If you’re looking for additional information, DocSend shared lessons they got learning from 200 startups who raised $360 million from their first pitch deck.
10 Pitch Deck Templates for You to Try
The following pitch decks are free templates available in Piktochart that you can use. This makes it easy to work on your slides without having to worry about design. We took care of that for you. If you don’t have an account yet, just sign up for a free Piktochart account here and then click on one of the templates below. To learn how the online pitch deck creator works, watch this on-demand demo .
1. Investment Pitch Deck Template With HighSpark
2. Finance Pitch Deck Template
3. Business Pitch Deck Template
4. Startup Pitch Deck Examples
5. Tech Pitch Deck Examples
6. Business Keynote Template
7. Product Pitch Deck Template
8. Product Pitch Deck Template
9. App Product Presentation Template
10. Product Website Pitch Deck Template
Ready to create your own pitch deck?
Sign up for a free Piktochart account and edit a template right away.
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Home » Blog » Presentation Resources » Startup Pitch deck: the ultimate guide to create a brilliant startup pitch presentation
Startup Pitch deck: the ultimate guide to create a brilliant startup pitch presentation
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The timer starts now.
It’s you and thousands of other people for the next five minutes.
You have your startup pitch deck presentation and a few minutes to convince your investors that your startup idea is worth their time and money.
Of course, you are one out of tens of other entrepreneurs who pitched before you and tens of others who will pitch after you.
It is worthless saying that investors are always the same for all startups, therefore only a very few highly selected startups will be funded.
If you have ever watched a startup pitch competition, you will know the difference between entrepreneurs, who seem to be convinced they’re pitching the ‘next big thing’, and investors, who are easily bored of the startup pitch presentations , which all look the same.
Your mistake is to assume that if you have a 60-minute meeting, you get 60-minutes’ worth of attention.
In fact, the typical attention span in an hour-long meeting goes something like this:
You have very few chances to catch investors’ attention and pass on the right message.
If you have an average startup pitch deck presentation, you will lower your chances even more.
In order to get it right, you will need:
- Great presentation skills
- Great contents
- An outstanding startup pitch presentation
The startup pitch presentation is often a very short slide deck but it is the main reason for good results.
The startup pitch presentation is meant to be a unique call to action for the investors.
Therefore, you cannot afford to make it wrong.
You need your startup pitch presentation to be the most appealing and amazing presentation of the day so that it will stick in investors’ minds.
But how do you create an outstanding startup pitch presentation?
A presentation is a well-balanced mix of relevant contents and a great design.
You need to have something interesting to say and you need to be able to communicate it in an appealing way.
Table of Contents
Creating a startup pitch deck – what to include in a pitch?
Pitching your startup to investors is an art.
If you join accelerators/incubators or you consult any VC, you will receive a slightly different version of startup pitch deck examples to use as best practice.
If you analyze them well, you will be always able to spot commonalities.
Is there a correct way to structure a startup pitch deck?
I believe that you can find a best practice structure for almost any pitch deck.
I collected some of the best startup pitch decks ( Airbnb) available on the internet and I put their structures one next to one another for easy contrast.
Investors pitch deck examples (see figure below):
Some of them might not be a complete startup pitch deck examples ready for presentation, but there is still enough material to discover interesting insights.
Let’s highlight commonalities between the best startup pitch decks.
Some sections clearly prevail over the others.
You can immediately notice the opening combination of Problem/Solution and the high presence of the Team section.
Those are 3 pillars of startup pitch presentation.
If you think for a second, you’ll see that it is reasonable.
With the first 2 sections you introduce the problem you are focusing on, the solution how you want to solve it and the people that will solve it.
The team section is as important as the others: ideas are important but people make the difference.
You need to have the right people to make and idea come to life. We’ll get deeper into detail about the team section.
Moreover, introducing the pitch with the combination Problem/Solution makes the basics for a powerful storytelling.
In order to have the most meaningful set of data as possible, I will add the recommended startup pitch presentation structure to the analysis with several leading influencers in the startup world.
Even though this second analysis shows less fragmented flows, it’s fascinating how much we can find in common between influencer and startup structures.
In the influencer analysis the presentation opening stands out to be different because of a specific section: the elevator pitch.
It seems that influencers recommend entrepreneurs to clarify what they are after in the very first slide.
After that they stress the importance of Problem/Solution sections.
Combining the results of the analysis we can easily come up with a best practice summary structure of every startup pitch deck.
I’m not giving you one more startup pitch structure to add to the list of all the ones available online.
I’m giving you a startup pitch structure that condensates hundreds of successful pitches, hence you can consider it the ultimate communication structure for your pitch presentation.
How is a startup pitch presentation structured then?
Here it is the summary you should be following:
- Market Size
- Go to Market
- Financial Projection
Let’s go through the main sections, if you want a detailed analysis of all the sections you can consider the get my latest book – Startup Pitch Presentation – Create a brilliant startup pitch and win investor’s funding.
Let’s go and explore the main sections, ready?
Problem / Solution
All the pitch decks, from real startups and from influencers, have at least one dedicated slide for both: the problem and the solution. You can often find the Problem/Solution slides in the first part of the presentation.The problem describes how relevant the issue is for which people (how many people have that specific problem). The ‘problem’ slide states what the startup stands for. The ‘solution’ is the way the startup proposes to solve the mentioned problem.
This is a crucial section of every startup pitch deck because it gives the venture a reason to exist. Who would want to fund a startup that does not solve a relevant problem? Who would fund a startup that doesn’t have the best solution to a specific problem?
Steve Blank refers to this stage as the “Customer Discovery”, where you need to achieve Problem/Solution fit. Steve states this is the first step:
- Customer Discovery – Achieve Problem/Solution Fit
- Customer Validation – Achieve Product/Market Fit
- Customer Creation – Drive Demand
- Company Building – Scale the Company
Aribnb starts the pitch clearly stating the problem and the solution they provide:
I really love that they are extremely straight forward, but their design is really poor.
At his TED speech, “The future of early cancer detection”, Jorge Soto gives an outstanding demonstration on how to hook the audience with a relevant problem. In the first one and a half minutes of speech, he starts with an easy-to-follow story, and then reveals scary statistics based on which third of the audience will be diagnosed with some type of cancer.
Trust me, he definitely got the audience’s attention. In my opinion, the slide could have looked like:
You could even suggest the solution to intrigue your audience and to make them curious. The video about Digital Nomads from oDesk.com (formerly Upwork.com) includes a beautiful example of that:
The video follows the perfect storytelling structure as it describes the problem first and makes it real. Then there is a transition part where a possible solution is imagined and finally the story goes through the solution stating that it will absolutely be the future.
The basics of storytelling teach you that every good story begins with a description of:
- What it is today
- What it could be tomorrow
Learn how to leverage storytelling in your presentations: Forget slides, tell stories!
The problem/solution part should be the beginning of every startup pitch deck. If you are able to hook the audience with a relevant problem and you can convince them that you have the best solution to it, you have already completed 90% of your work.
Suggested structure – Problem
- Define the pain (EG. 1M people die each month because of cancer)
- Why is it painful for people?
- How many people have this problem?Prove this is a problem (EG. We already have 20k users using our platform)
Suggested structure – Solution
- What do we offer?
- How do we solve the problem
- Why is this the best way?
Creating a startup pitch deck – Market Opportunity
Most of the analyzed start pitch decks include the market potential for the proposed solution. The purpose of every business idea is to build a sustainable business over the specific solution. Therefore, you need to have enough room to develop the business and to acquire new customers. One might be wondering: is there a market for your idea? How big is it? This problem arises when you need to show the estimated figures, as rough estimates can be hard to trust. This section can often be forgotten or skipped because it’s hard to estimate, but it is absolutely crucial to support the potential of your idea.
The following slide, from the official pitch deck of Airbnb, shows the funnel from the potential market to the penetrated market:
Beginning with the total population, you can narrow down your market to be more specific:
Potential market: People interested in buying the product
Available market: People in the potential market who have enough money to buy the product
Qualified available market: People in the available market who legally are permitted to buy the product
Target market: People in the available market that you can serve
Penetrated market: People in the target market who purchased the product
You do not need to go through each level in your startup pitch deck, but having the complete path can help you to focus on the right ones.
Always include a slide to describe how many people could potentially adopt your solution, because it gives the investors an idea of the potential of your idea in quantitative terms. Refer to reliable sources if you can to support the figures.
- Target Audience: Who is your client?
- Market size and growth rate (estimates): How big it is today and how big it is estimated to be tomorrow?
When I launched my startup ( https://ekoodo.com ) and I began pitching investors, I was totally scared about mentioning I had competitors locally and worldwide. With time and experience, I learned that having competitors is a good thing because it simply shows that there is a market for what you are doing.
The trick is:
Better to be a small player in a valuable market than the unique one in a market that does not even exist.
To succeed in a valuable market, you need to be excellent at execution. Most people believe that developing the technology is always the hardest part. The truth is that execution really makes the difference. Do these names tell you something?
Do they tell you something now?
Google was not the first search engine out there, it was the one that exceeded in execution. The same example could be given for the famous social networks:
Finally, be aware of your competition. You do not want to be asked about a competitor you do not know during a pitch presentation. This would show you are not even able to research your industry.
Don’t be scared to show your competitors. List the most relevant information, leverage their results to show that you have a great idea, and differentiate your idea with a positioning matrix:
Another example of competition matrix comes from the Linkedin series B startup pitch deck:
You need to tell investors that your startup acts in the same market as your competitors, but you need to convince them that your positioning is different. Tell them more about your killer execution strategy, why it is special and why it will succeed where the other did not. Finally, convince them you can really make it happen.
- Main competitors, entry barriers, main market dynamics, important competitive factors (competition chart)
- Competitive positioning (kind of product/service, price, clients, channels)
This part answers the question, “How do we make money?” The business model slide is always present in the recommended influencer’s startup pitch deck structures, and is always present in real pitch decks. If you are asking for money from investors, you need to give more money back in the future. This is the basic of every investment. Therefore, it is very important to show investors your ability to make money out of your project. If you have a proven business model that works already, you can also show results achieved so far, like they do in WeWork:
Generally speaking I’d prefer you not to show tables in your PowerPoint pitch. However, if you really need to, then at least work smartly embedding storytelling in the communication sequence. If you want to learn how to do so check the guide I wrote about how to presenting data in PowerPoint
This is a must-have slide. Always include the business model section to show investors how you make money. My recommendation is to make it as simple as possible so they can immediately understand your money machine. Linkedin, for example, lists the 3 business model in a clear and direct way.
- How do we make money?
A bad team with a brilliant idea will go nowhere. A brilliant team with a bad idea can always make it work.
In the startup world, team is everything. If you do not have a killer team to showcase, then you’d probably better quit the venture as it will never be funded and it will likely never work. If you take a look at the influencer’s recommendations, everybody includes a slide named “team”. Show the faces of your teammates, show the hierarchy of your organization, and show relevant roles and past experiences of each member. Demonstrate that the team covers the minimum requirements to succeed. You need to convince investors that you built a team based on careful requirement-skill matching analysis.
If you want to build an e-Commerce startup, you’d better demonstrate that you have a coder in your company. Go into detail and show everybody with his own specific skill: User Experience Designer, User Interface designer, a backend and a frontend developer.
Let us inspire by the two team slides from Linkedin and Buffer (two of the pitch decks part of our analysis). You can see they give you information about why a person should be part of the team. In the Linkedin slide, they justify the presence of each team member based on past experiences, while in Buffer’s one, they tell you what each team member has achieved so far in the company.
A nice tip to include in your Startup pitch presentation is to insert a slide to describe your team. Be sure the slide gives all the information about why each team member was chosen to be part of the company. Moreover, I suggest you include a small nice picture of each team member in order to make the pitch feel more personal.
- Name, qualification (+ picture)
- Relevant experiences (no more than 2 lines)
- Directors and Advisors
This section seems to be missing in most of the analyzed presentations from real pitches. You can find it instead in the recommended pitch structures from influencers. This might happen because, as it is a sensitive part, it might have been removed from the pitch decks available on the internet not to disclose information about the company valuation.
I believe this is a crucial part that you can’t miss in your pitch deck. This part is the final call to action to your investors. It’s like the “so what” at the end of the meeting. This part is the reason why you are pitching investors and this will give youthe chance to quantify your request. You do not want to finish your presentation and be asked by the investors, “Okay, interesting story. So, why have you pitched us?”
Make it crystal clear how much you seek to raise and be ready to discuss how much of the company you are ready to give over for it. Remember that showing a big number to the investors might scare them, so contextualize it. Show funding allocation and tell investors how you will spend their money:
Funding allocation will give investors a general understanding of what they are paying for. Based on their experience, they might agree or disagree, but you can discuss a more accurate feedback about a specific part of the full budget.
- How much do we need?
- How will we allocate the funds?
Creating a pitch deck – Design & Communication
Design does not mean making slides look better. Rather, it is the concept of combining elements to achieve a better communication.
Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose. Charles Eames
Design is the concept of combining elements to achieve a better communication.
G. Reynolds said:
Design is about people creating solutions that help or improve the lives of other people.
Artists follow their impulse and create whatever they need to express. Designers follow their user’s needs and work in business environments to solve problems from the user’s standpoint.
When you pitch investors, you have very few minutes to convince them to fund your venture, so you absolutely need to hit them with your message. That is why Presentation Design is widely used in the startup world, because that small pitch deck is often worth millions of dollars.
Below is an example of startup pitch deck I developed for my startup.
Creating a startup pitch deck – Who can make a well designed startup pitch presentation?
Entrepreneurs often have all the disordered information, but they do not know what to say first and how to display information in an effective way. On the other hand, graphic designers are very good with digital graphics so they can make custom appealing designs for your presentations, but they will deal with it as though they are making the layout of a book or designing flyers. The Presentation designer is somebody who has the business skills to understand and reshape the information in the most effective architecture. He can also make a beautiful design, to create the effective, appealing startup pitch presentation to hit investors with a message that will stick in their minds forever.
Conclusion – it’s time to create your startup pitch deck presentation
We analyzed many sources of information, spanning from real pitches of famous ventures to recommendations of leading influencers. Based on the analysis and on my personal experience of hundreds of startup pitch decks designed for my clients around the world, I would recommend the following startup pitch presentation structure:
- Elevator pitch
- Market size
- Business Model
- Go to market
- Financial projection
- CTA Funding request
I put all the information together in a free pitch deck template that I named the Investor Pitch Canvas .
The Canvas includes all the information you need to include in your startup pitch presentation to stand out in front of your investors. Stop waiting, begin creating your killer pitch deck now!
How to use the Investor Pitch Canvas ?
Learn all you need to know on how to effectively pitch your investors through my latest book – Startup Pitch Presentation – Create a brilliant startup pitch and win investor’s funding.
The ultimate startup pitch structure to present your idea and get funded
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Maurizio La Cava
Comments on Startup Pitch deck: the ultimate guide to create a brilliant startup pitch presentation
Maurizio, you did a great job in putting this all together. 🙂
Thank you Kamil for contributing with your experience!
Thanks for that commonalities highlight! It’s great 🙂
Thank Piotr, I’m glad you appreciate that!
You really make it seem so easy along with your presentation but I in finding this topic to be really something which I feel I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very large for me.
I’m having a look forward for your subsequent put up, I’ll attempt to get the hang of it!
Hi Robby, it’s my job to simplify the topic and to help the others understanding my work. I’m glad you appreciate it.
Maurizio, as always fantastic stuff! I love how you share your knowledge in an easy to understand way. I look forward to your next post!
Hi Yusuf, thanks for appreciating my work! I’ll be happy to share the new post with you as soon as it will be ready 🙂 Keep in touch.
A comprehensive guide, well-structured and enriched with practical examples from scientifically analized success cases. Great job Maurizio!
Hi Alessandro, thanks for reading and for your great comments you sent me in pvt! I will surely take care of them for the next blog post.
This was actually pretty well done. Good job!
Hi Alexander, it’s wonderful you appreciated my job!
Great guide Maurizio! It is very detailed and well written. In particularly, I appreciated the precise of structure organization and the clarity of the content. This model is useful especially for freelancers who want to do business proposals to their clients and offer their services as well as start-ups… You did an excellent job and this quality content shows that you are a great presentation designer. I think that learning from the best is the best way to grow up quickly, so I will share this post willingly on all my social channels.
Yeah I agree, great job Maurizio! Shared on my social channels as well.
Thank you girls! That’s highly appreciated. Keep in touch.
Surely one of the best article I’ve ever read about the pitch desk! I appreciated the structure of this article which allows you to undestand in an easy way the topic!
Thank you for your comment!
This is very great! You covered most all the things that investors want to look at
Hi Rabbi, I’m proud to hear that from a VC like Fenox Venture! Thank you 🙂
I love this site. It’s an great read.
You are welcome
I think that the author covered all possible points! Maurizio, you have done a wonderful job! Keep it up! We follow your blog!
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Who’s Maurizio La Cava?
Presentation Strategist, Founder of the Lean Presentation Design Methodology, Professor of Presentation Strategies, Public speaker, CEO at MLC Presentation Design Consulting . Author of: Lean Presentation Design and Startup Pitch, Startup Pitch Strategist at Polihub.
"Every presentation represents the unique opportunity to share your ideas and persuade an audience to act on them"
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The 11 Slides You Need to Have in Your Pitch Deck for 2022
If you’re raising money for your business, having an impressive pitch deck is a key component in your fundraising toolkit. A great pitch deck gets potential investors excited about your idea and engages them in a conversation about your business, hopefully leading to an investment.
In this article, I’m going to give you the formula for what you should include in your own pitch deck.
I’m leveraging the knowledge I’ve gained from listening to hundreds—if not thousands— of elevator speeches and pitch presentations . I’ve seen all different kinds of pitch decks and presentation styles and found that there’s a simple formula that just works.
I’ve also built my own and presented to major Silicon Valley VC firms over the years and have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t.
What is a pitch deck?
A pitch deck, also known as a slide deck or start-up deck, is a presentation that provides a brief but informative overview of your business. It should cover the key points of your business plan, the products and services you provide, high-level financial projections, and funding needs. Your pitch deck should work well on its own as a visual document, but it will primarily be used as a tool to tell the story of your business.
What is the purpose of a pitch deck?
This may sound counterintuitive, but the goal of your pitch deck is not to raise money. What? I know that doesn’t sound right, but the real goal of your pitch deck is to get to the next meeting.
Remember, your pitch deck and pitch presentation are probably some of the first things that an investor will see to learn more about your company. And because investments rarely are made after just one meeting, your goal is to spark interest in your company. You want investors to ask for more after they hear your pitch and not just show you to the door.
So, while a solid pitch deck is critical to raising money, the key goal of the deck is to get to the next step—another meeting and a request for more information.
What to include in your pitch deck
While every business is different, I’ve found that the following format works for most businesses and is most likely to generate interest from potential investors.To get started, download our free pitch deck template , and read on for insight into the importance of the following 11 slides as you develop your own deck.
1. Vision and value proposition
This is a quick one-sentence overview of your business and the value that you provide to your customers. Keep it short and simple. A great way to think about this slide is to imagine it as a short tweet—describe your business in 140 characters or less in a way your parents would understand.
It’s common for tech companies to make their value proposition a comparison to another well-known company. For example, you see many pitches that start with things like:
“We’re the Uber for Pets”
“We’re the Netflix for Video Games”
This can work, but be careful to make sure your comparison makes sense and you’re not just using a high profile company like Uber to signify growth potential. Your business model has to truly be similar to the company you are referencing.
2. The problem
If you aren’t solving some problem in the world, you are going to have a long uphill climb with your business.
Use this slide to talk about the problem you are solving and who has the problem. You can talk about the current solutions in the market, but don’t spend too much time on the competitive landscape on this slide—you’ll have a chance to do that later on.
Ideally, try and tell a relatable story when you are defining the problem. The more you can make the problem as real as possible, the more your investors will understand your business and your goals.
3. Target market and opportunity
Use this slide to expand on who your ideal customer is and how many of them there are. What is the total market size and how do you position your company in the market? If you can find the data , investors will want to know how much people or businesses currently spend in the market to get a sense of the total market size. This is where you tell the story about the scope and scale of the problem you are solving.
If it makes sense for your business, you’ll want to divide your market into segments that you will address with different types of marketing and perhaps different types of product offerings.
Be careful with this slide, though. It’s tempting to try and define your market to be as large as possible. Instead, investors will want to see that you have a very specific and reachable market. The more specific you are, the more realistic your pitch will be.
4. The solution
Finally, you get to dive into describing your product or service. Describe how customers use your product and how it addresses the problems that you outlined on slide two.
You’ll be tempted to move this slide closer to the beginning of your pitch deck, but try and resist the temptation. This is classic storytelling where you build up the problem and describe how bad it is for lots of people. Now your product or service is coming to the rescue to help solve that problem.
Most entrepreneurs are very focused on their product when instead they need to be focused on their customers and the problems those customers face. Try and keep your pitch deck focused with this format and you’ll tell a better story.
If possible, use pictures and stories when you describe your solution. Showing is nearly always better than telling.
5. Revenue model or business model
Now that you’ve described your product or service, you need to talk about how it makes money . What do you charge and who pays the bills? For some businesses (content sites, for example), advertisers pay the bills instead of users, so it’s important to flesh out the details here.
You can also reference the competitive landscape here and discuss how your pricing fits into the larger market. Are you a premium, high-price offering, or a budget offering that undercuts existing solutions on the market?
6. Traction and validation/roadmap
If you already have sales or early adopters using your product, talk about that here. Investors want to see that you have proven some aspect of your business model as that reduces risk, so any proof you have that validates that your solution works to solve the problem you have identified is extremely powerful.
You can also use this slide to talk about your milestones. What major goals have you achieved so far and what are the major next steps you plan on taking? A product or company roadmap that outlines key milestones is helpful here.
7. Marketing and sales strategy
How are you planning on getting customers’ attention and what will your sales process look like? Use this slide to outline your marketing and sales plan. You’ll want to detail the key tactics that you intend to use to get your product in front of prospective customers.
Finding and winning customers can sometimes be the biggest challenge for a startup, so it’s important to show that you have a solid grasp of how you will reach your target market and what sales channels you plan on using.
If your marketing and sales process is different than your competitors, it’s important to highlight that here.
Why are you and your team the right people to build and grow this 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.
Even if you don’t have a complete team yet, identify the key positions that you still need to fill and why those positions are critical to company growth.
Investors will expect to see your financials : sales forecast , income statement (also called profit and loss statement), and cash flow forecast for at least three years.
But, for your pitch deck, you shouldn’t have in-depth spreadsheets that will be difficult to read and consume in a presentation format. Limit yourself to charts that show sales, total customers, total expenses, and profits.
You should be prepared to discuss the underlying assumptions that you’ve made to arrive at your sales goals and what your key expense drivers are.
Remember to try and be realistic. Investors see “hockey stick” projections all the time and will mentally be cutting your projections in half. If you can explain your growth based on traction you already have or compared to a similar company in a related industry, that is extremely useful.
Every business has competition in one form or another . Even if you are opening up an entirely new market, your potential customers are using alternative solutions to solve their problems today.
Describe how you fit into the competitive landscape and how you’re different than the competitors and alternatives that are on the market today. What key advantages do you have over the competition or is there some “secret sauce” that you have and others don’t?
The key here is explaining how you are different than the other players in the market and why customers will choose you.
11. Investment and use of funds
Finally, it’s time to actually ask for the money. That’s why you’re doing this pitch deck, right? I know—I said that this pitch deck isn’t about actually getting funded. That’s still true, but your potential investors do need to know how much money you are looking for.
More importantly, you need to be able to explain why you need the amount of money you are asking for and how you plan on using the money. Investors will want to know how their money is being used and how it is going to help you achieve the goals you are setting out for your business.
If you already have some investors on board, now is when you should be talking about those other investors and why they chose to invest.
Other slides you might include in your pitch deck
While you do want to keep your pitch deck short, sometimes you may need or want to include a few extra slides that help explain your business. You likely won’t utilize them when you present, but it can be a great resource for investors to review after the fact.
Here are a few additional slides that are often found in investor presentations.
If you are raising money from investors, you’ll need to show them how you plan on giving them a return. You do this in the form of an “ exit strategy ” slide that outlines who your potential acquirers might be if you manage to grow your company and be successful. Having an IPO and going public is a viable option for some high-growth startups, while other businesses are more likely to be bought by larger players in your market.
Some businesses have key strategic partnerships that are critical to their success. This can often be in the form of intellectual property licensing from a university or a key distribution partner who will be taking your product to market. If your success relies on these types of partnerships, it’s important to showcase them.
Demo and screenshots
If you have a prototype of your product, screenshots of your online service, or any other “show and tell” opportunities, it’s great to include a placeholder slide in your deck where you will actually show your potential investors how your product works and what it does.
Keeping your pitch deck as short and succinct as possible is critical. Remember, your goal isn’t to provide investors with all the information they need to make an investment decision. Its primary purpose is to tell a story, build excitement, and help get that all-important request for additional information and a follow-up meeting.
In addition to your pitch deck, you should have more detailed, additional information that you can provide if requested. Preparing these additional documents can also help ensure that you don’t try and fill your presentation with too much overwhelming information.
Tips to make your pitch successful
Here are a few tips to make your presentation as successful as possible:
Keep your pitch simple
All entrepreneurs spend countless hours “in the weeds” thinking about every last detail about their business. But, for an investor pitch, less information is better than too much. You want your slides to be simple, convey high-level ideas, and leave room for questions. Simple and straightforward presentations always do better than detailed presentations full of bullets.
Skip the bullets
Speaking of bullets, skip them. Slides full of bullet points are boring and don’t help tell a story. Try and use large fonts and limit the number of words on each slide. Use images wherever possible to help tell your story and build an emotional attachment to your ideas.
Tell a story
Don’t just talk about the facts. Instead, focus on grabbing interest and getting your audience excited . Your deck doesn’t need to be the complete guide to your business. It just needs to generate interest so you can move on to the next step.
One of the best ways to do that is to tell stories about how your customers use your product, how they currently experience problems that need to be solved, and how your company will make the lives of your customers better. The more you can tell stories that investors can relate to, the more you’ll be able to build excitement for your company.
Keep your presentation short
Make sure you have plenty of time for questions, demos, and discussion about your business idea. If you have a one-hour meeting, aim for your presentation to take 20 to 30 minutes.
Don’t overstate the market opportunity
Instead of top-down forecasts where you “only need to get one percent of a huge market” to be successful, focus on bottom-up forecasts where you detail your expectations for how you’re going to acquire customers.
If you already have data on how an early version of your product is selling, use those numbers to help drive the rest of your forecast.
Ask for the money
Yes, it’s a slide in the presentation deck above, but entrepreneurs sometimes forget to ask for the money. When you ask, it’s very important to be able to intelligently discuss how the money will be used. Your detailed financial forecasts should also take an influx of cash into account.
Keep your deck current
Fundraising takes time. You’ll likely pitch your company many, many times before you get an investment. As legend has it, Pandora pitched more than 300 VC firms before getting investment.
Assuming you’re working to build your company while you pitch to raise money, make sure that you keep your deck up-to-date with your latest progress, roadmaps, and so on. There’s nothing worse than presenting an out-of-date deck to potential investors.
Send your deck as a PDF
You’ll almost always be asked to either send your slides ahead of time to investors or to leave a copy behind. If this happens, don’t send Powerpoint or Keynote files. Instead, send a PDF. This means that anyone who looks at the deck will see it as you intended with your chosen fonts and styles.
Make sure your deck stands alone without your presentation
Your pitch deck will always be better when you present it, but it should ideally be able to tell some of your story without you being there to tell it. Investors might want to flip through the deck again after you’re done with your presentation and it needs to have enough content that the deck can stand alone and communicate some of your core ideas.
Documents to have prepared after you pitch to investors
Developing your pitch deck is only the start of your business planning journey. You’ll want to follow-up on a successful investor pitch with the necessary planning documentation to support your presentation. The following are just a few documents that you should have prepared to send after you pitch.
An executive summary sometimes called a summary memo, is a two-to-three-page overview of your business. It’s a document that investors can share with their partners and others in their firm to provide an overview of your business. Your executive summary should cover what’s in your pitch deck but in written form.
If you are starting a tech company or medical company, you may be asked to provide some additional detail on your technology. Investors in these types of companies will often want to vet your technical claims with an expert, so providing more detailed documentation, diagrams, workflows, and so on might be important.
Detailed financial models
Any investor that’s seriously interested in your business will want to see detailed financial forecasts for at least the next three years so they can get an understanding of the underlying assumptions that are driving your forecasts.
Investors will want to see your plans for hiring and employee-related expenses, R&D expenses, manufacturing costs, marketing expenses, and so on. Be prepared to provide a detailed sales forecast, profit and loss forecast, and cash flow forecast . A balance sheet is also often required. Whenever possible, visually represent your data with graphics . It’s proven to be more effective.
Detailed market research
You may be asked to provide more details on your target market and the market research you’ve done to date. This isn’t always the case, but if you have the information it’s a good idea to be ready to present it in some format. Again, this data shouldn’t be part of your initial pitch deck, but instead should be ready if it’s asked for.
Start developing your pitch deck
Ready to get started? Download our free pitch deck presentation templates and start working on your pitch in either PowerPoint or Keynote .
You can also find plenty of additional advice in our Elevator Pitch Guide . You’ll learn how to deliver an impactful elevator speech and find all the resources you need to perfect your pitch.
Hear more pitching tips with Peter and Jonathan on the tenth episode of The Bcast, Bplans official podcast:
Click here to subscribe to The Bcast on iTunes »
Noah is currently the COO at Palo Alto Software, makers of the online business plan app LivePlan. You can follow Noah on Twitter .
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How to Pitch a Startup – 17 Things You Need To Know
How do you pitch a startup .
Your startup pitch is everything and knowing how to pitch a startup is essential to your success. It doesn’t matter how innovative, well thought-out or potentially profitable your product idea is–if you can’t attract investors to your startup , your business will face serious difficulty scaling up and achieving wide-spread success. Of course, raising capital presents a unique set of challenges that many startups struggle with. Your prospective investors aren’t going to just take your word that your business is going flourish; you need to demonstrate to them that investing in your startup is likely to provide them with a good return on their investment.
Successfully attracting capital requires putting together a strong, compelling pitch that convinces investors to back your startup (rather than the other 100 businesses also seeking their capital). As the competition for investors’ attention continues to grow, here are 17 key tips to follow in order to maximize your chance of winning over investors when pitching your startup.
1. Keep your startup pitch simple
Perhaps the single most important thing to remember when pitching your startup is that investors are inundated with investment proposals. Startup activity has continued to increase above pre-recession levels, meaning that investors have their pick of opportunities in which to invest their capital. That means that you need to clearly and quickly outline your business idea and your plan to offer investors a return on their investment.
Start out with a brief explanation of your business idea that immediately conveys your vision and purpose. Explain the problem that your startup is attempting to solve and why your business offers the solution. Outline how your business plans to generate revenue. Above all, avoid getting bogged down in details that distract from your message.
2. Manage the timing of your startup pitch
Optimizing the time you’re given to present your business pitch is critical. Little else frustrates investors more than a pitch that goes too long; at the same time, you don’t want to waste the time you have by running short. Whether you set the time-frame for your pitch or your prospective investor does, stay within the time allotted and pace your presentation so that you aren’t stuck rushing at the end.
- Optimize your timing during the actual pitch so that you don’t run over, or worse, flounder and run out of things to say in the opening minutes.
- Remember slides are a tool for you to use, but shouldn’t be a crutch. In other words, never read directly from the slide and don’t spend more than three minutes on any one slide.
- Move at a steady pace without rushing. You want to engage with your audience without overburdening them with facts or leaving them with too much time to think about anything other than your presentation. If your audience is daydreaming, it is a good sign that you are going too slowly.
- Leave time for questions. A great pitch recognizes that a conversation is needed if a person is going to invest in your startup. After all, just as you excitedly talk about your startup to anyone who will listen, so too do you want your future investors to feel that excitement.
3. Tell your startup story
It’s easy to get bogged down in facts, figures, and spreadsheets when making a pitch, but this information will almost always fail to capture your investors’ attention. Rather than approaching the opportunity as a sales pitch, use the occasion to tell your investors the story behind your business. This storytelling method will make your pitch much more memorable and engaging to your audience–and if your investor does need hard information, they can always ask you for it.
Telling a story is as simple as:
- Being expressive and animated while still maintaining a level of professionalism.
- Reading the room. Know when to tell a joke and when to take things down a more serious path. Either direction can lead you to the same destination, but only one will resonate with your audience.
- Subtly integrating data as the support structures for your startup’s story.
- Creating something that is memorable and uniquely singular to your startup.
4. Stay focused
In telling your story, however, don’t lose sight of the focus of your pitch. Respecting your investors’ valuable time should always be in the front of your mind. When developing your pitch, make sure that its core elements are clearly developed and emphasized to avoid getting lost in irrelevant tangents.
5. Convey the unique value of your startup’s product or service
One key component of winning investors is showing them why your product or service is different from anything else available on the market. It’s not enough that your startup can solve a problem; it needs to be able to solve a specific problem in a way that no other business can match, and you need to be able to demonstrate that in your pitch. Highlighting any patents or licenses that your product has or any significant purchase orders or distribution deals can help support your claims.
6. Let potential investors experience your product first-hand
Another effective way to show investors the distinctive features of your product is to let them see it and experience it first-hand. Pictures or screenshots of your product can help make it more tangible for investors, but if possible, letting your audience actually handle the product or try out a live demo can increase your impact.
7. Be clear on who your target audience is and why
As much as investors want to know what your product is, they also need to understand who will be using your product. Using information about your target market to paint a picture of your ideal customer will help convince investors that there’s enough of a demand for your startup’s product to justify their involvement.
Whether your startup focuses on a service or a product, one thing is certain, if you want to make money then you need to have a target audience. Use demographic data and psychographic features to pinpoint your target audience. Explain why these individuals are your target audience. Use relevant data points to back up your claims and show the profitability of targeting the specific group.
8. Know your numbers
In telling your startup’s story, you will still need to speak to the key figures that investors are interested in: how much money your startup needs to raise, what your current overhead is, the point you need to reach to be profitable, and what your timetable for achieving profitability is. While including too many numbers in your pitch can take away from your focus, making sure that your presentation includes a few critical figures will allow you to demonstrate that you are prepared and understand what’s relevant for your business and its industry.
9. Be prepared to support any claims
Always keep in mind that any assertions you make in your presentation–regarding your target customers, financial projections, marketing strategy, or anything else–need to have adequate support. Being unable to intelligently back up any claims you make will undermine your attempts to convince investors that you understand your business and that you’ll be able to provide them with a return on their investment.
10. Be passionate and enthusiastic about your startup opportunity
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how well-crafted and professional your pitch is: if you aren’t passionate and enthusiastic about your business, your investors won’t be either. Get out of your comfort zone and look to increase your natural energy level while presenting. This doesn’t mean that you should fake enthusiasm, but letting your passion for your startup shine will help convince investors that you’ll have the drive to overcome any setbacks that your business faces.
11. Make sure you have a strong close
Remember to keep the end in mind as you are telling your startup’s story. The conclusion of your startup pitch should contain a brief, clear summary of your argument as to why investors should put their money in your startup. Again, as you work on your pitch’s pacing, be certain not to get stuck rushing through the end so that you don’t lose this key opportunity to bring all the elements of your pitch together.
12. Present a solid startup pitch deck
Your startup’s pitch deck will act as a visual reference during your presentation, helping you highlight key points that you want your prospective investors to pay close attention to. Incorporating graphics such as charts and graphs can help you present complex data in a simple and engaging manner. Keep in mind, however, that your pitch deck is there to enhance your presentation–not replace it. Avoid slides that are too text-heavy as they can distract from your message.
Download our free, editable startup pitch deck here.
Creating a startup pitch deck can be made easier when you implement the following tactics:
- Follow the 10 / 20 / 30 rule. Your pitch deck should be no more than 10 slides long, it shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes (or the prescribed time allowed for the pitch), and it should be typed in at least 30 point font.
- Start with an elevator pitch slide that boils your startup and its vision down to one or two sentences.
- Include a demo to engage with potential investors.
- Talk about market opportunity. Focus on the general market opportunity, the specifics of the target market, and your ideal customer.
- Talk about how your startup does (or will) make money. Potential investors are numbers people; they want to see concrete proof that your startup has the potential to generate a positive ROI.
- Include graphical elements that condense your data into digestible and eye-catching charts, graphics, or photos.
13. Understand how to market your startup’s social value
Many startups today have an important social cause at their core, and the power of giving back can be a powerful impetus for investors. However, while promoting social good is important in 2019, take care in how you present your startup’s social mission to investors. Tying your business too closely to a divisive social cause has the potential to alienate certain investors.
But don’t underestimate the power of giving back. We live in an age where giving back is incredibly important in both a personal and professional setting. These days, many startups embrace the power of social good by establishing connections with important social or community causes. Before you simply select a trending social cause or even one that is dear to your heart, it is important that you consider this; there should be a direct correlation between your product or service and the cause that you are supporting. TOMS and Warby Parker are prime examples of companies that have given back since day one to causes that are directly associated with their products. The former donates a pair of shoes to underprivileged children for every pair purchased, while the latter donates a pair of glasses for every pair sold.
14. Build a strong support team
Particularly if your startup has not yet had time to establish a clear successful track record, the strength of the experience and background of your startup’s employees is a key part of convincing investors that you’ll be able to carry out your business plan–especially if your team has prior experience working together on past successful projects. Highlight the successes of your support team and how their individual track records will help bolster your business’ own success.
15. Dress professionally
It may not be completely fair, but how you present yourself will influence how investors perceive your startup. The most polished presentation can be undermined by a sloppy, ill-fitting suit. A relatively small investment made in a new suit can go a long way to establishing your credibility in front of investors and helping you secure the capital your startup needs.
16. Practice, practice, practice
No matter how well you think you know your business, practicing your presentation and getting feedback from those you trust is an important step in ensuring your pitch is as convincing as it can be. Your goal should be to commit your pitch (including any key figures) to memory so that you can maintain a connection with your listeners rather than needing to constantly reference note cards. Be certain to have peers and colleagues ask questions as you practice; you may find that you’ve failed to address a key concern that investors are likely to have.
17. Hire a professional to help you refine your startup pitch and presentation
You may be an expert in your particular business area, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll naturally know how best to pitch your startup to investors. While you certainly need to create the core business idea yourself, hiring a professional to fine-tune your pitch can help you better convey your business to others. For example, a good graphic designer can help you make your pitch deck more organized and visually engaging, helping you communicate more effectively with your prospective investors, and a professional speech coach can help you deliver an award-winning (or funding) performance.
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