A pitch deck is a presentation designed for investors. It’s usually around 15-20 slides, which should capture the attention from the get-go. It’s important that it’s not too lengthy as investors could start losing attention. It’s also important to make sure that it’s visually appealing, and that it has enough information, but not too much information. It’s a fine line to get right, but these tips can help you.
Your Pitch Deck
Investors usually expect a pitch deck to follow a certain format, and to look high-quality. Low-quality images, layouts, or even things like having a logo that doesn’t match the overall brand can put investors off. Avoid these mistakes, and follow the layout below.
1. Company Overview
The company overview slide is going to be the first slide after the cover slide. It should summarise your business. It needs to include bullet points on what problem your business solves, and where you’re based. It should also include your experience, and the experience of any other high-level management involved in your company. If you already have some clients, or sales, this should be included here as well.
This slide is where you clearly lay out the vision of your business. It needs to be short, snappy and concise. Your vision should be your long-term goal for your company.
3. Meet The Team
Investors like to ‘meet’ the team behind the company. In fact, some investors think that the team behind the brand is one of the most important factors when they decide whether or not to invest in a company. This slide should include:
- Professional photos of key team members
- Their job titles
- Short summary of their experience and expertise
- Names of any advisors, consultants, and board members
4. The Problem
In this slide, you need to define the problem that your business will solve. You need to be clear on what the problem is, why it’s an important problem, and who needs the problem solved. You should also include who your target customers are in this slide.
5. The Solution
This slide will set out what your solution is to the problem you defined in the previous slide. You need to include why your solution is better than the other solutions on the market, but you also need to avoid bad-mouthing your competition.
6. The Product
The product slide is where you show exactly what your product is and what it can do for your customers. It should answer questions that the investors may have about your product, such as its key features, why users care, what makes it different from competitors, and if any additional features are planned for the product. You’ll also need to include the major milestones of the product, such as reaching sales targets.
It’s really important to make sure that you have visuals, graphics, or videos in this slide. Without them, it could become very wordy, and boring for investors.
7. The Market Opportunity
This slide defines the market your business is in, shows the market size, and contains data to show that the market has space for your company to thrive.
8. The Customers
If you have customers, include them on this page. If your company is a B2B business, you could simply include their logos. If you are a B2C business, include customer numbers, or data on how many customers return to you.
9. The Technology
Investors are very interested in the technology of your business. This slide needs to include the basic technology of the company, intellectual property rights such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, and patents pending. You should also outline why your technology is superior, and why someone else won’t be able to do what you do.
10. The Competition
One of the things investors will want to know is who your competitors are. This slide should answer that, as well as why your company is different, and why it’s better. Again, you need to be sure that you aren’t disparaging your competitors, and you also need to be sure that you don’t underestimate them.
11. The Traction
Any business that has early traction is going to be a more appealing prospect for investors. You can include this slide, if you have real data on your company’s traction. Some businesses prefer to add this data in other slides, and leave this one out, so it’s personal preference. If you do include it, make sure you have genuine data on your metrics, testimonials, and how you can accelerate your figures.
12. The Business Model
This slide will answer questions such as how you plan to make money, how you’ll price your product, if and how you will retain customers, and how you’ll acquire customers and the cost of this.
13. The Marketing Plan
Potential investors will want to know how you plan to market your product. You need to include information on which marketing channels you’ll use, what success you’ve already had, your public relations strategy, and if you’ve had any early press.
14. The Financials
The financial slide will show the investors the current financial situation of the company. It should include future projections of the burn rate – cash loss while the company is getting established. Some financial slides will include a three to five-year financial projection, metrics on annual recurring revenue, total revenue, expenses, and key assumptions. Make sure that all your projections are reasonable, and realistic.
15. The Ask
One of the last slides will be the ‘ask’. This is the slide where you detail what it is you’re asking the investors for. You’ll need to include how much money you need, how long financing will last, why you need money, what milestones you’ll reach with investment, what key uses will be funded by investment, and if you have any existing investors.