7 Rules for a Winning Startup Pitch Deck to meet Investor Expectations
This article is amongst the first in a series of articles on startup funding, startup culture, and investor pitch deck from our team here at Seven Startup Advisory.
At 7 startup, our team of consultants has years of experience in reviewing pitch decks from early-stage startup founders. For first-time entrepreneurs, it’s usually challenging to prepare their first startup pitch deck. In essence, the key components of a successful investor pitch deck that get funded are — clarity of content, compelling and easy to act on. A pitch deck must have a proper structure and be both complete & concise, enabling startup owners to transform a complex business idea into a straightforward investment opportunity.
Keep it Short — Potential investors have a vast number of investment opportunities presented to them. To capture their interest and save time, it’s essential that the startup pitch deck is short and concise. Avoid exceeding 20 words per slide. Keep it simple, a headline phrase and one-sentence caption. Slides are a visual guide for your audience, everyone in the room should grasp a slide the moment they glance at it.
BIG Vision — Having a compelling vision for where you want to take your business is important, but most first-time entrepreneurs think too small. Investors are continuously looking for innovative and disruptive business ideas. By including a big and compelling vision, you can entice the interest of potential investors.
Tell a Story — Building an effective startup pitch deck is a unique topic of conversation in the startup ecosystem. Like a building with walls, windows, and a foundation, your investor pitch deck must have a proper structure and its own unique characteristics. A pitch can fail if it’s not framed as a story. The problem you’ve identified should logically be solved by your product. Investors make a decision with both their head and heart, give them the “aha” moment.
The Problem — This is probably one of the most important slides in your pitch deck. Describe the high-level view of the market and the problem that exist and the megatrend you’re tapping into. It needs to be intriguing enough to get the attention of your audience while provoking a need to learn more. The reason why Dave McClure advocates, “pitch the problem, not the solution,” is because too many entrepreneurs try too hard to sell their solutions without educating their potential investors on what the problem is.
The Solution — While the problem is an important slide in your startup pitch deck, the solution is equally important. Deep-dive into your problem statement, market size, and competitive landscape slides, but keep it concise. Don’t bore investors during your product demo but do provide product context and a level of detail to onboard investors as willing users.
Unique GTM — The success of a disruptive business idea depends to a great extent upon the target market. Consequently, the Go-To-Market (GTM) slide in your investor pitch deck should be in-depth and ensure that potential investors have a comprehensible understanding of your target market. The GTM slide should describe one of two things: either your strategy around who you’re targeting and the momentum you’ve had to date.
Slides to Include — Creating an investor pitch deck can be an intimidating task, especially for first-time startup founders. In summary, these are the slides that should be a part of your startup pitch deck: The Company, The Problem/Hook, Competition, The Solution, The Demo/Use Cases, The Value Proposition, Traction/Revenue, The Business Model, Future Growth/Plans, The TAM/Market Size, The Team, The Ask/Use of Funds, Contact Information (Reiterate Traction)
Successful startups are known for their disruptive approach. At Seven Startup we help ambitious founders take-off. If you are serious about your pitch deck and getting funded, talk to one of our experts at Seven Startup Advisory. We help founders embed sales and investor psychology in your deck.
There’s no magic trick to landing an investor, follow our 7 rules to get funded!
Amit Khanna is the founder of www.7startup.vc and has 18 years of experience with Startups and the Enterprise with an MBA, focusing on Growth and Investments. Amit supports entrepreneurs with every aspect of their business including concept and product development, investor presentations, fundraising, and scaling up.