How to prepare a pitch deck

VC, angel investors. Your start-up is at the stage where you set out to raise capital from investors. A pitch deck will be a key tool in your endeavors to raise funds. A pitch deck should impress upon the investors the potential of your idea. It should engage you in a conversation with you that subsequently transpires into an investment in your start up.

A pitch deck is a brief presentation used to facilitate the investors’ learning about your start up to solicit their investments. It provides the investor with an overview of the business plan to convince them to finance your start up. Though a pitch deck is essential to raise capital, its primary agenda is to trigger and hold interest in your company.

Your pitch deck in a meeting with potential investors, customers, partners, and co-founders, should pull them in – make them ask you for another meeting.

Components of a pitch deck

The pitch deck typically is intended to showcase the company’s products, technology, and team to invest through the following sections:

 

  • Value proposition : it is a quick one sentence overview of your start up and the value it delivers to the target customers. It could be a reference to another well-known company whose business model is similar to yours. For example, “We’re the Uber for Pets”

 

  1. The problem : it defines the problem your start up is addressing, including its scope. It could be in the form of realistic story-telling so the investors understand the business and its goals. For example, paying exorbitant credit card annual fees
  2. The solution: describe your ability to address the problem
  3. Target market and opportunity: it presents the size and segment of your customers with facts and figures
  4. Business model : it details your pricing strategy and payments. For example, a start up in the business of content, will reveal the advertisers as paying the bills instead of users
  5. Traction : it shows the sales or early adopters of your start up offering validating the solution’s effectiveness. For example, user engagement, traffic, users, and growth metrics
  6. Marketing and sales strategy : it outlines your marketing and sales plan
  7. Team : it showcases the talent that is and will be instrumental in building and growing your start up. It should highlight key team members in terms of their credentials and competency. For example, the accomplishments of members in such companies as Twitter, Google, Linkedin, Paypal
  8. Financials: it contains visuals depicting sales, total customers, total expenses, and profits. It should list the underlying assumptions made to arrive at your sales goals
  9. Competition: it describes your placement in the competitive landscape, USP, and your product’s differentiation
  10. Investment and use of funds . It should disclose existing investors on board
  11. Exit strategy: it should show your plan (to be IPO or merger) to give investors a return
  12. Partnerships : it showcases any strategic partnerships crucial to your success. For example,   intellectual property licensing from a university or a key distribution partner
  13. Demo and screenshots : Prototype or screenshots

A successful pitch deck should establish you and your start-up brand with the audience. It needs to be a testament to your understanding of the industry, business, and demand.