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  • Writer's pictureWinfrid Jonathan

Get your Pitch Deck right the first time

Updated: Aug 24, 2023


If you're an entrepreneur with a great idea for a product or service, you'll need to create a pitch deck to persuade potential investors to give you money.


Your pitch deck should be clear and simple, with compelling visuals that will keep investors engaged with your presentation. Some key things to keep in mind when creating your pitch deck include using the right tone of voice, focusing on your unique selling proposition, and having a clear call to action at the end.

This is an outline of the slides that you should include, based on my experience, in your presentation if you're looking to raise capital from investors.

The first couple of slides to include in your pitch deck are ones that introduce the problem. The problem is best articulated with a case study which illustrates the problem concisely. Then you need to show how your product solves the problem.

There should be market analysis and/or survey data that illustrates how many people are experiencing the problem.

Next, you'll want to talk about your solution in more detail and how it fits into the larger picture of solving this problem, backing up what has been illustrated in the case study.

The next couple of slides will be dedicated to your product, and any traction that you may have already achieved. You'll also need to talk about your team and how they are uniquely suited to building this product. Investors are investing in the team’s ability to execute on the promised results outlined in your presentation.

Finally, you'll want to discuss your competition and where you see yourself fitting within the market landscape.

At the end of your pitch deck, you should include some slides that focus on the financials of your company, and what an investor is expected to get. This could include details about how much money you are looking to raise and what kind of valuation you are looking for.

Overall, a pitch deck should be around 25 pages with the key to be concise and clear in communicating your vision for the product and why investors should invest in it.

The Problem

When you're creating a pitch deck for your product or service, it's important to highlight the pain points that your product resolves. Focus on the main problem you will solve – don’t overwhelm the investor with too much information on too many problems you are attempting to solve. This can be done most concisely with a couple of case study slides at various strategic points in the pitch deck. A case study is a short story, and it is easier for potential investors to relate to a case study.

The Solution

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for creating a successful start-up, but there are a few essential ingredients that are necessary for any business. A great solution, which is 10x better than existing solutions to an existing problem, is one of them.

The solution needs to be concise and clear, especially if you are a tech start-up. This should be captured in the case study slides but also in the solution description slide.

Investors will also want to see that your solution is scalable - meaning it can increase its total output under an increased load when resources are added.

Timing is everything in business and being at the right time in history is what really matters. Being too early or too late to market can be the main cause of failure for start-ups so you will need to explain why your solution makes sense right now.


Market Size

When you're looking to attract investors for your online product, it's important to show them the market potential, based on the problem you have outlined. Market size is one of the key determinates that will drive the potential return an investor can make.

A market that is under US$1B may not be as attractive to an investor looking for a hyper growth business, because they are on the hunt for investment opportunities that may provide a 10x return in a horizon of 5 to 7 years.

Additionally, it's important to include information about your target market, supplying detailed demographic and geographic data where you can. This will help confirm the potential for success.

Ultimately investors look for companies that will not only transform or disrupt their industry but have the potential to fundamentally reshape the way consumers interact with a market. If your product or service will do this, then highlight this potential by including in your pitch deck a graph that outlines the market growth in the past and the future potential growth for the market given the disruption your product will cause. This will help investors quantify the upside and potential ROI (return on investment) on their investment.

It is important to include the reference source of research papers and credible industry sources that you used to evaluate market size. This effectively shows the research you have done into the market potential of your business and improve your credibility with investors.

Competition

When you're creating a pitch deck to attract investors, it's important to include information about your competitors. Usually, a diagram will help show investors how you compare to them and where you land with your value proposition. You want to clearly differentiate yourself from your competitors so that investors get what makes your company so unique.

Another slide that you may want to consider including is one that describes how much capital each competitor has already raised in the past and at what valuation. This helps in providing some reference points for investors on how the market is valuing your competition.

Team

When you're pitching your start-up to potential investors, the most important slide to have in your deck is the Team Slide. This is where you introduce the members of your leadership team (ideally cofounders) and list their achievements.

Investors are investing in you and your team of skilled individuals’ ability to execute on your mission and vision. That in my opinion is the key determinate for investors.

So be sure to highlight what makes your team unique and why they are the best people for the job. Don’t be afraid of outlining mistakes and what you have learnt from mistakes. No one is perfect and experience from mistakes can be invaluable.

For first time founders, they are investing in your passion, your hunger for success, and your education but they are taking a risk on the mistakes you will make during the early days of the start-up. So be prepared to explain how you will mitigate this risk.

Financial projections

One of the most important things investors will want to see is the financial projections. Investors will want to know how your business is doing and where it's headed in the future. They'll also want to make sure that your business is grounded and has a realistic plan for growth. Your financials are an important part of that, so make sure you're prepared with educated and researched projections.

The pitch deck should include a summary of your financials. Investors will want to see your overall revenue and expenses, as well as projections for the future. You don't need to go into too much detail in your pitch deck, just give them a snapshot of where your business is at and where it's headed.

Be prepared to show them your financials in a spreadsheet format. They may ask to see them after reviewing your pitch deck. So, make sure you have everything ready to go before you start pitching.


The Investor

When raising money for your start-up, it is important to be strategic when putting together your pitch deck. Don't include a specific amount that you are looking to raise - instead, aim for a range between $3 million and $5 million. This will make your pitch more attractive to potential investors, as they may have limitations on the amount that they can invest.

In addition to specifying a range for the amount being raised, it's also important to show how your company is valued relative to your competitors. You can use competitor valuation information to make projections, based on your financials, of the value of your company and what the return on investment could be for potential investors.


Conclusion

When creating a pitch deck to attract investors, it's important to be clear, concise, and focused on the most important information that will convince investors of your potential for success and ability to generate an attractive rate of return on investment. The pitch deck should be around 25 pages.

It's also critical to demonstrate a strong understanding of your market and the competition, as well as have a solid plan for reaching your target audience and achieving profitability. Doing this will help you make a compelling case for potential investors and can help pave the way to securing the funding you need to take your ideas to the next level. Remember, just because you build a 10x solution doesn’t mean your customers will come.

Finally, don't forget to include your contact information in your pitch deck, as well as links to any social media accounts you may have. This will provide social proof and help interested investors learn more about your company. Also, if you have a minimal viable product be prepared to share it with potential investors, and remember to offer to share it, so they can see firsthand how your solution works.

If you're serious about raising money it will be helpful to get feedback from someone with experience in raising capital. They can give you some valuable insights on how to improve your pitch deck. With the right preparation, a strong pitch deck, and some solid business savvy, you can successfully raise the capital you need to grow your business.

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