How to Create a Great Investor Pitch Deck and Close the Deal

Investor Pitch Deck Presentation

If you’re a start-up, then you probably already heard the term “pitch deck.”

A pitch deck is a PowerPoint presentation and it’s intended to showcase your company’s product, opportunity, team to potential investors.

Pitch decks are your companies elevator pitch in a presentation. Often used to help convince investors to raise capital. Which is why it’s so crucial that your pitch deck clearly articulates your product, the problem you solve, and the opportunity for potential investors.

In this article, we’ll break down how to create a pitch deck built to help you close your next deal.

We’ll provide you with key content you’ll want to include in your slides along with extra tips to help you go the extra mile.

The 11 Key Slides For Creating A Winning Investor Pitch Deck

3 minutes and 44 seconds.

That’s how much time your average investors spend looking at a pitch deck according to a study by DocSend in partnership with Harvard Business professor, Tom Eisenmann.

So with such limited time, what slides should you present?, and more importantly, what should you put on those slides?

After analyzing over 20 of the best pitch decks, and scouring through dozens of articles by leading experts, we’ve identified 11 key slides that every successful start-up has included in their pitch deck.

Table of Content:

The 11 Key Slides For Creating A Winning Investor Pitch Deck 1

  1. Slide 1 – What’s The Problem You Solve?
  2. Slide 2 – Why You Have The Best Solution To This Problem (Your Product)
  3. Slide 3 – Traction, Signs of Growth & Metrics That Validate Your Solution
  4. Slide 4 – Showcase Your Product (Demo Time)
  5. The Transition From Getting Their Interest To Convincing Them
  6. Slide 5 – What Is The Actual Market Size? TAM, SAM, SOM
  7. Slide 6 – Your Competitive Edge & Analysis
  8. Slide 7 – How & Why Your Business Model Works
  9. Slide 8 – Your Go To Market Strategy (How You Plan To Capture The Market)
  10. Slide 9 – Ask For The Investment & Show Why You Need It
  11. Slide 10 – The Human Capital Behind The Product (The Team)
  12. Slide 11 – The Why – The Company Vision

Recap:  How To Convey Your Pitch Deck Into A Story

Pitch Deck Best Practices

Pitch Deck Things To Avoid

Common Startup Pitch Deck Questions

Slide 1 – What’s The Problem You Solve?

The most important slide in your deck is the problem you solve.  People only buy products for pleasure or to move away from pain. For investors to understand the solution you have (your product), they first need to understand the problem it solves.

In this slide, you’ll want to address the following questions as simple and succinct as possible.

  • What is the specific problem you are solving?
  • How have you validated this problem?  Can you cite your own research or possible 3rd party research and stats to back this up?
  • For whom are you solving this problem?

The goal of the slide is to paint the problem, the bigger the pain, the better.

Example:

Airbnb Pitch Deck Problem Definition Example Slide

AirBnB.com Pitch Deck, source: https://www.slideshare.net/PitchDeckCoach/airbnb-first-pitch-deck-editable

Slide 2 – Why You Have The Best Solution To This Problem (Your Product)

Now that you’ve communicated the problem, you can present the solution and how your product solves this problem.

In this part, you want to describe how you are going to solve this problem.

Fundamental questions to answer in this slide are the following:

  • What current alternative solutions are people using today to deal with this problem?  Why is this solution not ideal? what gaps does this solution has?
  • What is your solution to this problem?
  • What makes your solution better to the current alternatives?
  • Do you have anything proprietary and unique?

The goal of this slide is to answer the following question “How does your product solve this problem effectively?”

Make sure to highlight how your solution brings value to the customer.

Example:

Dwolla Pitch Deck PowerPoint Presentation Example Slide

Dwolla.com Pitch Deck Example – https://www.slideshare.net/webjoe/dwolla

Slide 3 – Traction, Signs of Growth & Metrics That Validate Your Solution

Once you’ve clearly demonstrated the problem and how your solution effectively solves it, they’ll want to see if your company is an excellent and sound investment.

The best way to do this is by showing them traction and signs of growth and validation.  Don’t make the mistake of boring them with the nitty-gritty details.

In this slide, you’ll want to answer the following questions.

  • Do you currently have paying customers? If so, how many?
  • How much revenue are you generating currently, or how much revenue do you plan to generate (monthly/annually)?
  • What are your current and projected growth look like?

Example:

MixPanel Pitch Deck PowerPoint Presentation Example

MixPanel Pitch Deck https://www.slideshare.net/metrics1/mixpanel-our-pitch-deck-that-we-used-to-raise-65m

Slide 4 – Showcase Your Product (Demo Time)

At this point, you’ve already educated on the solution and all the great benefits your product offers.

Now it’s time to give your investors something more tangible and do a quick demo of your product. You can use a video or a simple slide highlighting key features and product experience.

Answer the following key questions in your slide:

  • How does your product work?
  • How does it bring value to your customers?

Example:

Foursquare Pitch Deck PowerPoint Template

FourSquare First Pitch Deck, https://www.slideshare.net/alkarmi/foursquare-1stpitch2009

The Transition From Getting Their Interest To Convincing Them

Slides 1-4 are what is known as the “hook,” where the primary goal of these slides is to get investors interested.

The rest of the slides in your pitch are designed to help convince them that there is a real market potential and that your start-up is a sound and solid investment.

Looking For A Beautiful Premade Pitch Deck Template?  
Check Our Pitch Deck Templates From SlideModel.com Below

Slide 5 – What Is The Actual Market Size? TAM, SAM, SOM

Don’t make the rookie mistake of simply generalizing the market size. Investors will want to know you have carefully planned for growth and the best way to showcase this is to show more than just general market size.

It helps to display the following analysis when it comes to market size:

  • Total Available Market (TAM) – The total market demand for a particular product or service.
  • Serviceable Available Market (SAM) – The segment of the TAM targeted by your start-up which is within your geographical reach.
  • Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) – The portion of the SAM you can plan to capture.

TAM SAM SOM Model in PowerPoint

In this slide, you’ll want to provide a bottom-up market analysis that shows the market potential of your startup.  You’ll want to answer the following questions:

  • How is the size of your TAM, SAM, and SOM?  It’s ok if your market is niche and small. If that’s the case be sure to talk about how you plan on becoming a big player in that niche (big fish in a small pond)
  • What does your ideal customer avatar look like and who are your early adopters?
  • What is your cost per acquisition and lifetime value of a customer?

Example:

Airbnb Pitch Deck Presentation Example Slide

Airbnb Pitch Deck – Market Size Slide

Slide 6 – Your Competitor Analysis

This is where you show your due diligence in your competitor research and how you stack up against them in the market.

In this slide, you’ll want to answer these significant questions:

  • How do you position yourself in the market?
  • How do you defend your market against your competitors?
  • What is unique to your product that your competitors don’t have or don’t do?

Example:

Buffer Slide Pitch Deck Example

Example: Buffer Pitch Deck – Competitive Landscape Slide

Slide 7 – How & Why Your Business Model Works

In this slide, you want to show how your business model works and how it has been validated or how you plan to validate with your early adopters.

You’ll want to answer these key questions:

  • How do you make money?
  • How has this business model been validated through experiments or case studies?

Example:

Mint Business Model Slide for PowerPoint

Mint.com Pre-Launch Pitch Deck  https://www.slideshare.net/hnshah/mintcom-prelaunch-pitch-deck/9-Business_Model_User_Gather_User

Slide 8 – Your Go-To-Market Strategy (How You Plan To Capture The Market)

This is the slide where you clearly detail your plans for growth both concerning channels and partners. If investors were to give you the funding you are going to request, what is your plan of action for growing your customer base and product?

Here you want to answer:

  • How are you going to grow your customer base and get your product in their hands?
  • Which marketing channels are you going to use to grow?
  • Have you validated these channels? If so, which ones are the most effective?

Example:

Mapme Pitch Deck Presentation Template with Go to Market Slide

MapMe Pitch Deck – Go to Market Slide https://www.slideshare.net/benmaxime/mapme-deck


Mapme Raised 1MM with their bullets slide.
Imagine how much could you raise with a Visually Appealing  “Go To Market Strategy

Slide 9 – Ask For The Investment & Show Why You Need It

This is what the entire pitch deck has been building up to — the part where you ask for the funding.

In this slide, you’ll want to articulate why investors should invest with you, how much investment you are seeking, and what you plan on using this investment.

Here are some of the questions you’ll want to answer in this slide:

  • How much capital are you requesting in order to get your product to the next level?
  • What is the breakdown of how you are planning to use this capital? (What are you going to spend it on?)
  • Why is this a good investment for your potential investors?

Example:

Square Pitch Deck Presentation PowerPoint Example

Square Pitch Deck, https://www.slideshare.net/vishaltx/square-pitch-deck-23990068

Slide 10 – The Human Capital Behind The Product (The Team)

This is where you want to introduce your team to investors.

Be sure to highlight everyone’s role, past experience and how it’s relevant to this pitch deck. Your goal here is to show investors that your team is the best choice for executing this idea.

Answer the following questions such as:

  • Who does your team consist of and what previous roles and companies have they worked at?
  • Do you have advisors, if so who are they?
  • Do you have previous funding? (Be sure to highlight this to serve as social proof)

Example:

Buffer.com Pitch Deck Example – Team Slide: https://www.slideshare.net/AlexanderJarvis/buffer-pitch-deck

Slide 11 – The Why, The Company Vision

The company vision is typically included in the cover slide of your pitch deck in the form of a tagline.  What is your conviction to making this work; what is the driving force and vision for this product and it’s growth.

Investors are looking to see if you are the right person to solve the problem and a well-thought out vision helps communicate to them that you are.

Example Company Vision Slide – Company Vision PowerPoint Template

In a Company Vision slide, you’ll want to answer the following questions:

  • What is the mission statement for the company?
  • What drives the company and you to achieve this vision?

Examples:

  • Facebook: Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. We do this by giving people the power to share whatever they want and be connected to whoever they want, no matter where they are.
  • Stripe: Stripe is the best way to accept payments online and in mobile apps.  We handle billions of dollars every year for forward-thinking businesses around the world.
  • Uber: Transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone
  • Spotify: All the music you’ll ever need is right here. Your favorite artists, albums and readymade playlists for every moment
  • Pinterest: Help people discover things they love and inspire them to do those things in real life.

 

Pitch Deck Best Practices

  • Make sure to include this to your pitch deck cover: “Confidential and Proprietary. Copyright (c) by [Name of Company]. All Rights Reserved.” Place this at the bottom left corner of the slide.
  • Show proofs of the huge market opportunity to convince your prospects
  • Beat your audience boredom with simple yet amazing graphic designs and photos
  • It’s always professional to send your pitch deck to prospects in a PDF format. Don’t let them get it from online services such as Google Docs and Dropbox. Remember that you should please them. So make your presentation convenient to them.
  • If you can, have a product demo. It will help your audience know that you know what you are offering.
  • A brief and substantial yet remarkable story that reflects your passion in your business will help you capture your prospect’s interests.
  • Prove them you get your ideas done. Show them you’re having progress growth wise on your products, leads, and partners.
  • Having a soundbite is smart. The audience can easily remember who you are and what you offer like a famous brand.
  • Be consistent with your text sizes, colors, and headers from start to the end of your pitch deck. It’s one of the many ways to present professionally.

Pitch Deck Things To Avoid

  • Some recommend only 10 slides, but you may be needing a broader space for other highlights of your business. Feel free to add, but your pitch deck should be no more than 15-20 slides long.
  • You don’t want to give a dull atmosphere. Your slides shouldn’t be wordy.
  • Financial details are usually overwhelming. Don’t show your audience too much of it. You can always show it in a follow-up report.
  • Only highlight the most important details of your business that you think your investors need to know. Don’t present everything in your pitch deck.
  • Don’t use any highfalutin words or too many acronyms and jargons. It will never make you smart in the eyes of the investors.
  • Let the investors know that you are aware of the stiff competition. Don’t underestimate your competitors but don’t drag your business as well.
  • If you have the plan to reuse your pitch deck in some other dates, make sure you are industrious enough to modify old details like “dates” in the cover and metrics. If not, don’t include. It won’t give you a good impression when clients saw your outdated pitch deck.
  • Sometimes it’s better to present with plain texts than with poor layout and graphic designs. However, it’s your time to shine so don’t be slothful. Be resourceful and give your best effort.

Summarizing Your Pitch Deck Into A Powerful Story

Now that you have all the essential pieces to a great investor pitch deck, the last and final piece of the puzzle is being able to convey it an easy narrative that anyone can understand. And the best way to do this is to create a story around your pitch.

NOTE: The whole point of your presentation and pitch deck is to easily and quickly convey the story of your product. When presenting your pitch deck, however, make sure to use your slides to help tell your story and don’t read off of them.  Your pitch deck is a visual supplement as you help paint your products story narrative.

Common Startup Pitch Deck Questions (Q&A)

  • Q: How much time do I need to should I dedicate in creating this investor pitch deck?
    A: As much time as needed, your pitch deck should constantly evolve as your company does — it should be a direct reflection of your company business model and pitch.  Remember this is what you’re going to be used to help raise funding, so you don’t want to rush it.
  • Q: How important it is to present my team to these investors?
    A: Very important. What usually makes a break a start-up besides their great idea, is the execution.  The execution is reliant on the team, and investors will want to see that you have a team that can execute and brings experience. Ideas are just mere ideas until they’re fully put into action by your team who are hungry for success.
  • Q: Is there any other way to get funded aside from doing this investor pitch deck and present?
    A: Definitely, a pitch deck isn’t the only way to get funding, but it can easily help you convey your pitch without having to repeat yourself. Also, when approaching more seasoned firm, they usually expect you to have one.  However, keep in mind that when Facebook first launched, they used a media kit to raise funding although not a pitch deck, it served the same purpose.
  • Q: This is my first time delivering a pitch deck, any advice?
    A: Remember to focus on the story you are telling.  Make the pitch deck about the value you bring to the market — how your solution is unique and ultimately what the benefit to investors is.  Don’t make your pitch deck all about you and how much you love your product. Focus on delivering the message and the story you’re telling and be sure to practice it a few times with someone whom you can trust to give you reliable feedback.

Have a question you would like answered?  Let us know in the comments below!


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