Pitch deck outline: What to include to get funded? Your next fundraising round can bring in the capital that could mean giving up the idea or making it a reality.
Pitch deck overview: Information to include to get funded?
What information would you include for investors? That’s one of the most critical questions entrepreneurs face.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Your next fundraising round could bring in seven, eight, or nine figures. Important capital that could mean all the difference between having to give up on your idea or making it a reality.
Bringing in this money is going to heavily rely on your pitch deck. Everything can ride on how effective your deck is. Here are the slides you need and what to put on them to make your startup fundable.
The Cover Slide
You only get one chance at making a first impression. This makes the cover your most important slide. If this slide isn’t good no one will swipe to view the rest.
This is the slide for your startup’s company name, logo, and contact information. Set it all up with a good tagline or slogan too – an essential for a pitch deck outline.
The Problem Slide
To get funded you need a strong problem to solve. Be crisp, clear, and simple about the one main problem you are solving. Show the pain associated with it.
The Solution Slide
How is your startup going to solve this big problem? What’s the big vision and strategy to help people out of this painful problem?
How big is this market? How much is it projected to grow over the next few years? What is your potential share of this market? Your numbers are ideally at least in the billions of dollars range. Take your time here, this is one of the most important data points for investors.
Every startup has competition. If you don’t see the competition, then you haven’t done your research or aren’t thinking far enough out. Competition isn’t a bad thing. Show who they are and position your startup against them for your benefit.
Ready for some detailed information on a pitch deck outline. Check out this video that I have put together.
Competitive Advantages Slide
What advantages does your startup have over potential competitors? What are your strengths? How would you identify the one thing that you can keep excelling at to stay out ahead of them and build value?
The Product Slide
What is the product you are creating to solve this problem? Use images to show prototypes, screenshots of it, or how it is commonly used in real-life settings.
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Who are your ideal customers? What type of customers are they? Are you a B2C, B2B, or enterprise startup? What are your target customer avatar and their use cases?
What feedback have you’ve already solicited and received from potential customers, and actual users who have paid for your product? What reviews have you accumulated?
What traction have you gained so far? Focus on one specific metric. What progress have you obtained? How have you been able to maintain that growth? This may be displayed as customers acquired, sales units, revenues, or profits.
The Business Model Slide
Put simply, what is your business model? How do you secure customers, serve them, and make real money?
If you include a financials slide, know that your investors will spend the most time on this one slide. If you’ve already started a business, show what your numbers look like. What are your customer acquisition numbers, sales, revenues, profits, and profit margins?
Financial Forecast Slide
Even if you are an early-stage pre-revenue startup you can and need to forecast financials. How many customers are you going to bring in? How many do you need to break even? What are your goals for sales volume, revenues, and profits? Your pitch deck outline must include these details.
Other Investors Slide
What other investors have you brought in during previous funding rounds? Which investors have committed to this round or even to lead this round?
Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
The Team Slide
Along with your cover slide and financials slide, this is one of the top three most important slides in your pitch deck. Your team is even more important to investors than your startup idea for forecasts. They want to know you are committed, capable and coachable. Include a headshot and one or two-line bio for each cofounder.
Use Of Funds Slide
How much are you asking for? Why is this money needed? What will you do with the money to invest it for the best returns? When figuring out a pitch deck outline, make sure you have this key information.
What upcoming milestones are on your goals list? Which will this round of funding enable you to achieve? When do you expect to be able to reach them? Don’t be too aggressive here. It is more important you prove that you can do what you say than to overpromise.
Thank investors for their time viewing your pitch deck. Repeat your contact information again so that they can get in touch right away if they are interested in funding your round, or have questions. Make your contact details obvious and easy.
Your whole business idea, vision, and future can all ride on the effectiveness of your pitch deck. These are the most important slides to include in your outline, and what to put on them. Put it together, and get feedback from an experienced advisor before you rush to publish it and start presenting live.
Don’t skimp on the pitch deck. Respect the value it can offer. Consider that if you have a 20-page pitch deck, and you are asking to raise $20M, then each page is worth at least $1M.
A pitch deck outline: what to include? We have some additional tips you can use. Check out the Inner Circle for more fundraising training and a free pitch deck template you can use. It’s a good starting point to learn how to nail the pitch deck narrative.
You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.
FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THE VIDEO:
Hi, everyone. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about the pitch deck outline. Before we get started, make sure that you hit that subscribe button, and this way, you will never miss out on any of the videos that we roll out every week. If you’re looking to raise money, you’re going to need very powerful slides. You’re going to need to really capture the essence of your story in some slides so that you can really captivate the attention and the excitement from those investors that you’re looking to target. In today’s video, we’re going to be breaking it down for you on how you’re packaging it, how you’re positioning it, and how to make it happen when you’re putting your story in front of investors. So with that being said, let’s get into it.
The cover slide. The cover slide is more than just putting your logo or putting your contact information at the front and center. That’s what most founders do. You need to understand that the cover slide is essentially like what the movies are. Before going to the movies, you’ve watched a trailer, or maybe your significant other got familiar with what the movie was about, and then you go to the movies because you’re playing it safe.
It’s basically the same thing with the cover slide. It’s essentially establishing and setting up the expectations so that the investor gets an idea of what they’re about to review because remember that on average, investors spend 2 minutes and 41 seconds per presentation. So here, what you want to do is right away set the expectation for what they’re about to review, and then they can continue going, but they know what they’re about to encounter.
Again, the cover slide is like the trailer, and the way that you want to position it is by putting very powerful visuals that essentially, right away, just by looking it, the investor is going to get an understanding of what you’re doing with your business. You can combine that with a logo, with a nice tag line. For example, a tag line like Uber’s, “Everyone’s private driver,” is a really great tag line. So, something that you can play with. Again, you would put your contact information and then putting that, so they get the idea of what you’re doing.
Then you go into the problem slide. The problem slide is essentially what you’re tackling. Think about a world where your company doesn’t exist. Think about that day where you really started incubating that frustration because there was a gap that you saw in the market, and you were thinking about something that you could do about it. But again, it’s all about the problem, and the problem is always one. It’s not going to be two; it’s not going to be three. It’s always one problem that you encounter, and it needs to be a problem that perhaps the investor can relate to. So it needs to be something that they either experience themselves or maybe a family member, but it needs to be something that they can relate to. Here, what you want to do is maybe you want to put a problem statement, combined with a really powerful visual showcasing that problem, the frustration that is causing the problem, so that they can capture what you’re trying to tackle.
Then is the solution slide. On the solution slide is what you’re bringing to market – what you’re doing with your business and how you’re covering that problem that you’ve identified, and it needs to come across with a really nice solution statement. It could be a variation of the visual that you’re using on the cover, but something that right away they get and understand, like on one hand, what is that problem you’re looking to cover, which is the previous slide. But now, with the solutions slide, how you’re essentially covering that problem. That’s, in essence, what you want to do on the solution slide, and again, use very powerful statements and don’t overcomplicate it. Just really make it simple and down and straight to the point.
Then you want to tackle the market size. The market size needs to be really big, and we’re talking here about at least one billion or more because, remember, that the market is going to potentially limit the returns that the investor is able to capture out of their investment. That’s why you can have a great team operating in a really small market, but having a mediocre team in a super big market – they’re always going to go for a mediocre team in a super big market. So, always go after big markets because there’s no ceiling. The sky is going to be the limit. So, try to showcase how big this is. You want to put the market size; you want to put the compounding annual growth rates so that they see you’re not at the peak and that the project and the market are growing over the course of time, and that is exactly what is going to get people excited.
On the competition slide, don’t try to hide logos. Maybe you want to put in a diagram where you’re putting yourself at the top-right in a very powerful way because that’s always where the eye is going to go. But always avoid not putting some of your competitors because maybe they’re going to not make you look so good, or maybe you forgot some of them. Then people are going to think that either your hiding something from them or that you have not done your research on the market. Again, always, always, always try to capture the landscape, and put yourself in the top-right, and then put everyone else scattered all across the board. And perhaps you want to use an X-axis and a Y-axis, where essentially you are talking about your strengths that also played to the weaknesses of your own competitors.
Right after you’ve showcased the competition, and people have an understanding of who your competitors are, you want to include here the competitive advantage. On the competitive advantage slide, you want to list all those competitive advantages, maybe in bullet points with some nice, good-looking icons next to it to make it more visually appealing. But here, what you’re in essence doing is breaking it down as to why you have an edge over some of those existing players that are already in the market. This is your chance to really beef-up and follow-up on the previous slide on the way that you were differentiating yourself from the Y-axis and the X-axis. This is a way to close it on a high note so that people know what separates you from the rest.
On the product slide, you want to showcase some nice things about it. You want to put the product or the service in action. You want to talk about some of what your customers say that is so great about it. If you’re in-person, maybe you want to remove the slide, and what you do is, you can actually give them the product or show them the product, a demo of it so that they can see it; they can feel it; it’s more tangible rather than just putting it up on the screen. If you’re not in person, then, obviously, you’ve got to include it in the deck, and you’re going to be sending it across in the deck. But try to put the product or the service in the best light possible, in action, so that they get an understanding of what it is about.
Then there are the target customers. Who are you going after? Who are these people? What are the age brackets? What is the gender? Where do you find them? What are their interests? Maybe there are some quotes that you can allocate from some of those customers. But, essentially here, you want to break it down so that the investor gets a clear understanding that you know your customer. I can’t stress enough how many times I’ve seen the typical founder that goes into the office of a venture capital firm to see if they can invest in their business, and they’re just playing on their phones. They’re not paying attention, and all of a sudden, when the founder talks about their customer, you would see people putting their phones down, really listening, and that’s why you’re telling the world, telling those investors that you understand your customer inside and out is critical because, at that point, they’re going to be like, “They have done their research. They know who they’re serving.” That’s going to get them really excited to invest in your business.
The traction slide is super important. Here, if you are in the early stage and you don’t know what to include, maybe there are some other aspects that you can insert. You can even go week-by-week rather than going month-by-month or year-by-year. Here, you can talk about the number of customers, number of repeat customers, their revenues, something. You’ve got to use metric that it’s going to ultimately define the health of your business, and that’s something that’s going to tell the investors that there is growth happening.
It’s funny how, in many instances, there are investors that you would ask, “How would you define traction?” And they don’t even know how to define traction. Traction is ultimately a KPI, a metric that is showing evidence that there is clear growth and that the business is heading in the right direction. So there’s always something that you can grab and include, but you want to show progress, which is what it’s all about.
Then, on the business model slide, keep it simple. Here, you want to showcase how you’re making money. Is it a subscription on a monthly basis? Is it a one-time purchase? Is it a setup fee? How are you making the money? Break it down here, so the investor understands where those revenues are coming from? What are those ways in which you’re monetizing those customers so that they can model it out on their end and then see and project? Like, do some numbers on the back of an envelope kind of thing. But here, break it down how you’re planning or how you are now monetizing your customers.
Then, on the financial slides, I always see founders making the mistake of grabbing a screenshot from their financial model and dumping it into the pitch deck. You can actually take a look at the pitch deck template below, which is a template that founders are using all over the world to raise millions. I’ve basically put in there as a template a really beautiful way of showing nice graphs that you’ve extracted from the model that you can place there so that people can right away see and do the analysis on how you are growing different metrics and different numbers.
You do not want to just put a screenshot. You need to hand-hold the investor, and the best way to do it is by breaking it down in three or four slides, the financials, and that’s one thing that investors are going to appreciate because remember, there are studies that have followed pitch decks, the way that investors invest their time with pitch decks.
On average, they spend about 2 minutes and 41 seconds, and it is proven that the slide that the investor spends the most amount of time on is the one pertaining to the financials. So, here, you want to nail it. You want to go with your best foot forward, and that’s why you don’t want to just take a screenshot. You want to really create those beautiful graphs and model it out for the investors, so they get excited when they understand your numbers, how that money is coming in, how that money is going out. That’s going to be essential.
Then you’re going to go into the other investor slides. Maybe you want to talk in this slide about who else has invested, how much money you’ve been able to raise. Maybe you put some logos of some of those venture funds or private equity firms or whoever invested in your firm. You can include that as a way of social proof, meaning some logos are going to help them understand that “There are already some other people involved in this business, credible sources. I know some of them; I should call them up to see what they think about this company.” It always acts as social proof. This is a slide that you want to keep.
Then you’re going to go into the team slide. The team slide is your opportunity to shine and tell that investor why you have the right people in the right seats. Here, you can throw some logos of companies that your team has worked for. My recommendation is that you keep it simple. You keep it to the leadership team rather than including all your employees because, the thing is that you need to be able and you need to be in a position to put your hands on the fire and know that every single individual that you’re going to be putting in the slide is going to be sticking around, at least for the next six months. Because fundraising is about removing concerns, not adding more concerns.
If you have people that are leaving in the middle of your round, and then all of a sudden, they’re going to be like, “Where is this person?” “Oh, that person left.” “What about this person?” “No, that person left.” Then they’re going to think, “There’s something wrong with this business. I’m not investing. I’m out.” So you want to remove those barriers. With that being said, only include the leadership team, the people that are going to be sticking around. And show in there some of the previous experience to tell the investor that you are having the right people seated on the right seats of the bus, and that eventually, you’re going to find that path toward success.
Then you want to talk about the amount that you’re raising. Here, you can talk about a range, perhaps from X to Y, rather than just throwing the specific amount because this way, you’re making the net a little bit wider rather than just going by – let’s say if you’re raising 2 million, to the people that are investing 2 million and down, here if you were to say between 2 to 4 million, you’re capturing every single one in-between. So you’re making it a little bit broad. This is a good way to cast a wider net and be able to get more people and more meaningful conversations going.
Then you’re going to have the use of funds slide. In the use of funds slide, essentially, what the investor wants is to get an understanding of where you’re planning to deploy the capital. Typically, here what we’re looking at is marketing, development; it could be recruiting; it could be office. It’s the typical ones that you would see. I would not recommend going too much into detail as to what percentage you’re going to be allocating that money because the investor may disagree with you. So keep it high-level, and you’re going to be making that be part of the conversation with the investor to get a line as to where the money and how much should be spent on each one of those categories. Obviously, your financial model is going to contain that level of detail, but I think, here, just keep it high-level.
Then you can include the road map slide or the milestone slide. Here, what you’re talking about is the product and what you’re doing about it, certain milestones that you’re going to be accomplishing over the course of whatever amount of time; maybe Q1 of this year or Q2 of that year. But provide that roadmap, that path of how you’re thinking about the execution, perhaps for the next 18 to 24 months. This is going to give them assurance, and the investor is going to be able to understand that you have a clear journey that you’ve already outlined to follow and make things happen.
Then is the closing slide. On the closing slide is the thank you, the contact information, maybe a picture of the team smiling, posing, so they get that personalized level, and I think that’s going to come across in a way in which they’re going to see that there are actual human beings behind this business.
So, with that being said, I would love to hear on the comment section what you’re up to. Make sure that you hit a Like on this video and subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss out on all the videos that we’re rolling out every week. And also, if you’re raising capital and you need any help, feel free to shoot me a note at email@example.com. Thank you so much for watching.