Pitch Decks can often be simple, and it won’t trump the reality of your business.
If you have any “deal-makers”, emphasize them. What do we mean by “deal-makers”? These are the things that set your business apart. For example:
- A 1 of a kind team (think people with an existing brand, a huge following, or leaders in the space)
- IP (no one else can make your product)
- Proven talent (like Alex Blumberg when launching Gimlet Media)
- Real growth or powerful KPIs
- Top tier clients
Don’t lose sight of what makes you fundable, because you are trying to check off boxes on a list of pitch deck must-haves.
That said, we have generally seen the following items included in pitch decks:
If something sets your team apart, highlight it? Do you have one of a kind talent (as listed above)?
If there is any way to let investors know your team will stick together through thick and thin, let them know.
Proof of Concept
Have you run some MVP experiments? Even if you’re faking the backend, you can still use it to demonstrate interest. But, except for the smallest of rounds, this likely needs to be more than “we had some positive interest”.
Similar to the above, but if you’re further along you may have some raw data. If your data is great, it should speak for itself, but walk investors through what is compelling and why it is. Is it engagement? Revenue generated per user? Returning customers? Virality of content? Make it simple and clear, and get out of its way.
Product Explanation And Vision
Keep it short and simple. It’s Uber for X may be a boring description, but it’s clear and concise. This section may be combined with a description of the Problem and Solution.
Competitive Landscape & Competitive Advantage
You should be aware of who your competitors are and, what makes you different. Why can’t the incumbents just copy you and underprice you if you’re successful? (Do you have powerful and defendable IP?)
How will you make money? Can this business be profitable? You can be flexible and open to good ideas. But, investors may be worried if you haven’t thought about monetization. You should also be well versed as to the size of the market and market opportunity (we demonstrated an example calculation of the TAM and Market Size in the “Build A Quick Model” on startupcarta.com).