You’ve more than likely heard of pitch decks for startups before. As a startup founder, starting a new business is an exciting prospect. Any good entrepreneur will do their due diligence and discover that there are obstacles to face along the way, one of them is fundraising. While you may have an excellent business plan, you will require funding to execute them well. Startup founders often turn to potential investors to fund their ideas, and they do this by presenting a pitch deck. In this article, I cover everything you need to know about pitch decks for startup founders.
What Are Pitch Decks for Startups?
A pitch deck (or investor Pitch Deck) is a presentation that provides a detailed and informative overview of your business. It should essentially cover your product and/or services, business plan and strategies, financial forecasts and most importantly, funding. It is a visual projection of your business and its journey. A pitch deck is ultimately the tool you will use to essentially pitch your business model to investors.
Why Does Your Business Need a Pitch Deck?
A pitch deck is the best way to set a good first impression to prospective investors- it gives you a chance to grab their attention and tell them why it is a good idea for them to invest in you and your business idea.
Pitch decks for startups should, at a minimum, include the following information.
- introduce a problem that you have identified,
- explain how your business has the solution to the issue,
- why you are different to your competitors in the market,
- what your customer base is going to look like,
- and what it will take for these goals to be met.
A venture capitalist or Angel investor will be willing to give their time and resources to a company that they are genuinely interested in and can resonate with. A well-made pitch deck presentation is bound to impress investors. This does not only mean that your pitch deck design should be consistent with your brand, but the contents within your presentation should cover everything that an investor will like to know about your company. Check out how you can strongly appeal to investors with your Pitch Deck.
Common Pitch Deck Mistakes by Startup Founders
It is crucial that your pitch deck meets the standards of the venture capitalists that you plan to approach. Startup founders may often overlook the little details that later deny them the ability of receiving funds from their investors. While an investment Pitch Deck does not completely determine the success of your meeting with your investor, it does play a very big role. Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid when designing your pitch deck.
Wrong Pitch Deck Format
Successful startups pay attention to the details. You need to ensure that your pitch deck includes all the vital information about your business and what it has to offer in the following order:
- Company Overview
- Mission/Vision of the Company
- The Team
- The Problem
- The Solution
- The Market Opportunity
- The Product
- The Customers
- The Technology
- The Competition
- Business Model
- The Marketing Plan
- The Ask
No Company Progress
While you do approach an investor to ask for funds to carry out strategic plans for your business, investors want to see what you have done so far to assess the potential for growth and opportunities in your business, rather than simply investing in an abstract idea. This section is called the “traction” in your pitch deck. It includes information such as:
- Early customers or pilot programs
- Revenues or other key financial metrics
- Strategic partnerships
- Press and PR
- Progress on product development
Boring Pitch Deck
Your goal is to capture the interest and curiosity of your investor. In order to do this, you must ensure that your pitch deck is informative enough to cover all grounds, but short enough to avoid boring your audience. Consider building your presentation with 15-20 slides, no more, no less. For example, if you are discussing the growth metric of your business, try making it into a visual instead of text to make better use of space in your slides.
To add to this point, your pitch deck should display professionalism and sophistication. Here are some pitch deck design mistakes you should pay attention to:
- Poor layout
- Low-quality graphics
- Inconsistent font sizes throughout the pages
- Poor titles for each slide
- Inconsistent header title style throughout the slides
- An outdated date on the cover of the pitch deck
- Messy or confusing charts
While it is important to maintain originality and individuality within your pitch deck presentations, it is important to look at the right pitch deck examples for inspiration.
The Numbers Don’t Add Up
It is very important to be realistic with your business forecasts, as well as have done your research about the target market you are penetrating in order to ensure that your investors don’t think you are naïve or unprepared. For example, claiming that you do not have any competitors will only reflect on your lack of preparedness and impracticality as a startup founder.
Why Perfect Pitch Decks for Startups are Important
Raising capital for your business is important and can pose a challenge to some founders, even experienced ones. A perfect pitch deck proves to be a fundamental tool to attract the right investors to your business, and it makes everything a little easier once you’ve gotten an OK from them. In order to do this, your pitch deck should be flawless and should be prepared to answer any questions investors might have about your business. Therefore, with a perfect pitch deck, you’ll be well on your way to winning your investor’s heart. Be sure to check our our Pitch Deck Review page to see if we could be of any help.
Amit has 18 years of experience in the industry and an MBA. He supports entrepreneurs with every aspect of their business including concept and product development, investor presentations, and fundraising. Amit & 7startup assist startups in the pre due-diligence process and help connect them to our vast network of investors. Reach out to us today and see if we’re a fit!