Putting together a pitch deck can be intimidating at first, especially if you’ve never done it before.  I’ve reviewed hundreds of pitch decks from early-stage entrepreneurs and discovered that what’s missing isn’t necessarily the information, but rather how it’s presented. Finally, I believe that a good pitch deck:

  • tells a story in a logical sequence
  • demonstrates strong business model validation from experiments and
  • research data has a clear ask at the end that is justified by research

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Please keep in mind that your deck does not have to be in this order. Every startup has a distinct competitive advantage, and the format will vary depending on the stage. This is only for your convenience.

Slide 1: The Problem Statement

This is most likely one of the most important slides in your presentation. Because too many founders try too hard to sell their solutions without educating their potential investors on what the problem is. “pitch the problem, not the solution.”

In this slide, you must answer the following questions as simply and concisely as possible:

  • What exactly is the issue?
  • Is there any real problem? Do you have any primary or secondary research to back up your claims?
  • Who are you resolving this issue for?

Slide 2 – The Solution

Now that you’ve communicated to your investors that there is a major problem that needs to be solved, you can describe how you intend to solve it. The following are the questions you must answer:

  • What are some of the alternative solutions being used today?
  • What is your plan of action?
  • How is your solution superior to the alternatives?
  • Is there anything exclusivity?

Slide 3 – The Traction

Most investors are looking for validation of your solution by this slide. The truth is that most investors are uninterested in the finer points of your product. Their first thought is to determine whether your company is a good investment opportunity. You might want to respond:

  • How many customers or users do you have who pay?
  • How much money do you make each month or year?
  • How much are you growing each month?
  • Are you making money?
  • Do you have strategic alliances in place?
  • Do you have any key customer testimonials or an NPS score?

Note: Your traction metrics may differ depending on the type of business you run.

Slide 4 – The Product / Service

Remember how, in Slide 2, you highlighted all of the fantastic advantages that your solution provides? You want to give your investors a quick demo of your product and explain how it works without giving too many details away. With a few screen grabs of your product, keep the explanation simple and concise.

  • How does your product function?
  • How does it benefit your customers?

The “hook” is formed by slides 1-4. The sole purpose of these slides is to create the interest of investors in your startup.

Slide 5: Market Opportunity

A top-down market analysis will show your product’s market potential, a bottom-up market analysis will show a more realistic picture of what is actually achievable. Investors would want answers to the following questions on this slide:

  • How large are your TAM, SAM, and SOM? If your market is small and niche, discuss how you can become the big fish in a small pond.
  • Who are your early adopters and what is your ideal customer profile (ICP)?
  • What are your customers’ lifetime value and cost of customer acquisition?
  • What is your Churn Rate ?

Slide 6 – Competition

“What if Google enters your market with more resources, how do you defend it?”. There is no real answer until Google does on its own- they could fail miserably (Google +, Glass, Google Wave) or have huge success (Analytics, G-mail, AdWords).

What you could demonstrate is your confidence in adapting to the market and carving out your piece, as well as your current customer satisfaction and loyalty. Consider the following:

  • What is your position in the market?
  • How do you protect your market from competitors?
  • What is your secret ingredient? How will you outperform your competitors?

Slide 7: Business / Revenue Model

An entrepreneur’s true product is not a solution, but a working business model. The true job of an entrepreneur is to gradually de-risk that business model.

This slide should demonstrate how your business model works and how it has been validated with early adopters. The following are the key questions to answer:

  • How do you make a cash flow from the business?
  • How have experiments or case studies been used to validate this business model?

Slide 8: Market Entry Strategy

You want to tell your investors how you plan to obtain this market now that you’ve identified your target market and business model.

Your go-to-market strategy should have already been validated on a smaller scale, and the most effective customer acquisition channels should have been identified. You want to respond here:

  • How will you get your product into the hands of your customers?
  • Given your current resources, which channels will you prioritize? What steps have you taken to prove that these are the most effective channels?
  • What is your distribution strategy for competing products?

11 Steps to Create a Startup Pitch Deck to Attract Investors

Slide 9: Fundraise Ask + Financials

You must seek investment to support these ambitious startup ideas. This is the moment for which your entire deck has been preparing.

Investors should understand why your company is a good investment opportunity by now, and they may be wondering how much capital you will require to make this happen. You want to respond:

  • How much capital do you require to validate your business model further?
  • What is your runway and how much do you want to burn?
  • What is the capital usage breakdown? And usage timeline?
  • What is your CAC?

Slide 10 – Team  – People Behind the idea

This slide should introduce your team, your roles, and your previous experiences. Explain to the investors why your team is the best fit to carry out this idea.

  • Who is on your team, and what relevant skills and experiences do they have?
  • Where did you meet your co-founders, and what have you done in the past to demonstrate your ability to collaborate?
  • Who are your advisors, and why is their experience relevant to the problem you’re attempting to solve?

Slide 11: Vision Statement

The vision should be communicated as a high-level pitch or tagline in your title slide after the investors have been presented with all of the facts, data, and validation, and if the numbers are correct, they will want to know why you are so determined to make this successful.

Remember that at this stage, investors are betting on the possibility that you are the right person to solve this problem.

  • What is your goal?
  • What motivates you to pursue this goal?

About: Jordensky is a fintech startup co-founded by Chartered Accountants, helping startups and growing businesses streamline accounting, and taxes with an AI-enabled platform. When you work with Jordensky, you get a team of finance experts to take care of the tedious finance work so you can focus on growing your business. You can reach out at [email protected]

Author Bio

Qualification: CA in Practice
Company: Jordensky
Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Member Since: 15 Sep 2020 | Total Posts: 6
I am a CA and Partner at Jordensky.com. Jordensky powers the financial support for startups and growing businesses. We specialize in AI-enabled accounting, taxes, MIS, and CFO services. When you work with Jordensky, you get a team of finance experts who take the finance work off your plate– View Full Profile

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