What is a pitch deck and/or investor pitch?
An investor pitch is a presentation of your business model that shows the potential for growth and viability. It is a summary of your business in 15-25 slides containing key information of your business idea.
Startups want to sell their product, and a pitch deck aids in presenting details in an organised and visually appealing manner to potential investors, clients, and partners.
To get investor buy-in during the earliest phases, you need to create a killer pitch deck.
Richard Harroch in his Article for Forbes magazine sets out very well the key slides which are necessary for a good pitch deck.
Key slides you should have in your investor pitch deck:
- Company Overview
- Mission/Vision of the Company
- The Problem
- The Solution
- Market Validation
- Market Size
- Competitive Advantages
- Business Model
- Customer Acquisition
- Management Team
- Financial Projection
- Current Status/Milestones
- Use of Funds
1. Company Overview
It is an overview of the most important points about your company. You can summarise it in several bullet points.
For example, here is what your “Company Overview” page could contain: A quick and easy way to understand your business, its products and services towards a potential investor.
A good Mission/Vision statement is a useful tool for a well-run business. It is the “why” of business strategy.
- It defines what the company does for its customers
- It defines what the company does for its employees
- It defines what the company does for its owners
The more concrete the story, the better. And keep that in mind for the actual mission statement wording: “The more concrete, the better.”
3. The Problem
The problem slide of your investor pitch deck or presentation is a key section of your investor deck. You really don’t have a business if you are not solving a problem. This slide gives you the opportunity to state the problem that exists.
It is always a great idea to make it as simple as possible.
One of the things you want to avoid, is having a wordy pitch deck, investors do not have the time to read every line, so you want to state the problem in one or two sentences.
And when you have several problems to state, it is best to use icons or text boxes to separate the different problems you are stating.
4. The Solution
In your investor pitch deck, having stated the problems that exist, the next slide gives you a perfect sequence to state the solution you are offering.
After stating the problem, it is advisable to use the same formula you used in stating the Problem, which is, to keep it short and simple using one or two sentences to state your main Solution point and if your Solution has different parts, make use of icons or text boxes to separate your Solution points if your Solution cannot be captured in one or two sentences.
Why now: The “Why now?” slide needs to focus on what is going on in your industry and society at large that makes the timing of your business so prescient. Try to include the “Answer” to “why now” on this section of your pitch deck.
5. Market Validation
When you look at AirBnB’s Investor Pitch Deck or Startup Pitch Deck, you would see that they have a market validation slide, while this slide is not a must-have, it is a good idea to have it in your startup pitch presentation or investor deck.
The market validation is where you put key market information to validate that your business solution really has a “market” or that it is viable.
This could be stating the number of products you have sold so far, or even putting profitable statistics of your competitors such as their annual revenue, products sold, etc.
6. Market Size
As a global standard, when stating your market size you want to have the previous performance and future expectation or projection of your market captured.
This would help the venture capitalist or angel investor that is going through your startup pitch deck; see the growth opportunity in your market.
Sometimes, there are entrepreneurs who do not like to admit that they have competitors; this is not a very good idea.
As a matter of fact, when you say you do not have competitors in your market, it shows two things:
- The business is not lucrative that is why others are not interested.
- The entrepreneur doesn’t know its market enough to know the competition.
- See, every business has competition; it could be direct or indirect. See more on the direct and indirect competition.
So, ensure you state your competition.
8. Competitive Advantages
After establishing the competition, the next thing is for you to state in your investor pitch deck is your unique advantages over the competition.
- Is your delivery time faster?
- Are you offering a better service at a lower price?
- Do you have better technology?
- You want to be very clear in stating the things that make your solution better than what already exists in the market.
9. Business Model
A key slide that startup investors pay attention to is your business model slide. This is the slide in your investor pitch deck, where they expect to see how you make money. So, use this slide to state your revenue model:
- Are you operating a subscription model or one-off payment?
- If you are selling a product, what is the unit selling price and how many quantities do you project to sell per month, year, etcetera?
Make sure that your business model slide will not leave a startup investor or venture capitalist wondering how you make money.
Don’t mix up business model with business plan.
10. Customer Acquisition
Think about it, if you have a good product, and you do not have customers or people buying your product, that would result in zero sales!
In this slide, you want to show in your investor pitch deck or presentation, how you would acquire customers or clients, what strategies do you intend to employ?
State it! Ensure that your customer acquisition plan is actionable; it doesn’t help to state strategies that you cannot execute.
11. Management Team
Interestingly, most investors would tell you that investors invest in people first before they invest in ideas!
So, if you have a solid team behind your business, be quick to state it, and more importantly, you want to show their credibility; why they are a good fit for your business.
This could be by stating their previous roles, and key achievements.
But one thing you do not want to do is to use long sentences in stating why they are credible, it is better to use bullet points in stating the different achievements for each team member.
This makes it easy for one to see the highlights of their achievements.
12. Financial Projection
So how much do you project to make?
Well, the financial projections slide is where you want to give your projections.
As a standard, a three- or five-years projection is ideal! instead of stating you would make some big bucks overnight, state your financial projections in a way that it accommodates your business growth.
So, it is expected that your total revenue for Year 2 should be greater than the revenue for Year 1.
Do not forget to state your revenue, expenses, and profit/loss in this section.
Obviously, there is an art to presenting all of this information in a way that shows your business as the most compelling money-spawning creation.
13. Current Status/Milestones
This is yet another very important slide investors want to see when you are pitching your idea or business to them. Through the years, I have seen businesses fail to raise funds because they could not state their traction, either while presenting it physically or on their deck.
If you have already made some progress with your business, this is the slide to state; it is simply answering questions such as:
- Where are you currently?
- What have you achieved so far?
So, let’s say you have your prototype, active customers, you are already making a profit, and things like that, this is the slide you want to state it!
So, after stating all these amazing points in your slides and you have captured your reader’s attention, this slide gives you the opportunity to state what you want.
If you are seeking equity investment, how much is it and what is the percentage equity that you are offering in return?
Make it very clear in your investor pitch deck what you want. Now is the time to state what you want in your investor pitch deck or startup pitch deck.
15. Use of Funds
It is important you note that the Use of Fund’s slide of your investor pitch deck can be merged with your ASK slide.
In this slide, you will want to articulate why investors should invest with you, how much investment you are seeking, and what you plan on using this investment.
Here are some of the questions you will want to answer in this slide:
- How much capital are you requesting in order to get your product to the next level?
- What is the breakdown of how you are planning to use this capital? (What are you going to spend it on?)
- Why is this a good investment for your potential investors?
Now that you have all the essential pieces to a great investor pitch deck, the last and final piece of the puzzle is being able to convey it in an easy narrative that anyone can understand. And the best way to do this is to create a story around your pitch.
We are more than happy to talk to you about your investment pitch deck. Feel free to call Cormac direct on +353 87 983 1656