A slide-by-slide list of the best deck structure
If you’re thinking of entering conversations about investment for your start-up, congratulations! This is the next step towards success. But before you can start those crucial conversations, you need a stellar pitch deck that will make the right investors sit up and pay attention.
At Ventuure we’ve worked with over 300 start-ups to support them in their journey to gain funding. Needless to say, we’ve seen and written a lot of pitch decks, and we know what potential investors are looking for. To help you get started, here are a few things you should know and some insights we’re happy to share.
What is a pitch deck?
A pitch deck is a presentation given to investors and potential clients to help them learn more about your business. Your purpose, your products and services, your trajectory, and your business plan are all key discussion points to aid your business in receiving funding from Venture Capitalist groups.
The best pitch decks focus on the real-world problem you are going to solve and contain precise information on each slide.
How to order an investor deck and what to include
There should be no more than 20 slides in a pitch deck, and there are ten slides every pitch deck should have appearing in this order:
Number 1: The Vision
A common mistake many start-ups make is forgetting the importance of creating a vision.
There are two main purposes for setting a vision for your company. Firstly, it helps frame the long-term strategy for where the company is headed following investment. Secondly, it motivates and aligns everyone in the meeting with the company’s trajectory.
A good vision statement will explain the company’s purpose – what you are doing, where you want to be in five or ten years, and who you are helping. This is why starting with a vision is a fantastic opener for pitch decks. It helps to convince the investment committee of your purpose and inspires them to believe in your vision just as much as you do.
Number 2: The Problem
Be specific in your problem statement. Oftentimes, start-ups fail to explore the size, severity, risk, and urgency of the problem they are solving. This causes their problem statement to become too generalised and unimpressive.
A strong problem statement encapsulates the real-world problems affecting the customers your service is for. It should be clearly identifiable and detailed enough to prove to investors that you understand the pains of the industry. Whether it is a ‘world on fire’ statement, or simply showing empathy towards the users of your product. We recommend framing the larger impact of these problems by providing real-life context.
Number 3: The Solution
To deliver a powerful one-two punch when presenting, the solution slide always follows the problem slide. The groundwork is set in the problem slide by outlining the severity and urgency of the pain of the customer. Then the solution acts as the superhero that swoops in to remove those pains.
Number 4: The Team
VCs want to know that their investment is in safe hands. Putting a spotlight on the brilliant and unique minds that motivate your customers and drive your start-up is imperative. Showing previous job experiences and the roles of your team members matters more than you think. According to a study by Docsend, the team slide is the second most viewed slide in a pitch deck with the average viewing time spent lasting 22.8 seconds. Interestingly, despite the team slide being of great interest to investors, many start-ups put it towards the end of their presentation. Don’t make the same mistake, put your team slide in position number four and you won’t test the patience of your potential investors.
Number 5: Value Proposition
A clear, precise, and compelling value proposition is key. It’s there to help investors understand what makes your start-up different from competitors. It also ensures you attract the correct prospects.
When writing a value proposition, consider what you offer, who you serve and what differentiates you from the competition. With these three points in mind, you can convince investors that you are the best solution in the market.
Number 6: Product
The product slide demonstrates exactly what product or service your business is selling to customers. Including a video tutorial, screenshots of the product, or performing a demo can help to explain how your solution works – especially if your product is highly technical. Our tip – approach live demos with caution and plenty of rehearsal, as you don’t want to have a technical hiccup during your presentation.
Number 7: Traction
The traction slide is an opportunity to show the growth of your business and the different organisations you have in the pipeline. Stating how many sales you have made or highlighting major goals your company has achieved shows that you will continue to generate revenue post-investment.
Number 8: Market Analysis
A detailed analysis of the primary and secondary markets that your start-up is associated with is paramount. It demonstrates a fundamental understanding of the floor and ceiling of your industry. Remember to include your Total Addressable Market (TAM), Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM), and Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM). As well as your Product-market Fit (PMF) to show the amount of revenue your company can win in each market, and each region.
Number 9: Competitor Analysis
Detailed competitor analysis is critical in demonstrating to investors that you understand the threats and key players in your industry. You must prepare to explain why you are better than your competitors on every front, and why the investor should focus on you and not the competition.
Competitor analysis is the third most viewed slide in a pitch deck, so it needs to be as rigorous and detailed as possible.
Number 10: Financials and go-to-market strategy (GTM)
Saving the best for last, a company’s financials slide is the most viewed slide out of any in a pitch deck. Investors want to know what your main expense drivers are and what your projections look like. They need to know cash flow, churn and burn rates, what you will do with their money, income statements and sales forecasts.
Winning investment is a challenging process. Knowing the correct informational hierarchy and structure for a pitch deck can start you off on the right foot. A blend of high-quality design, precise information and the content of your deck are also fundamentally important in raising funds for future growth.
If you need help writing the perfect investment deck, or you would like a team of experts on your side, contact Ventuure today.