What are the most important items to include in a pitch deck?
Your pitch deck won’t just make or break your chances of getting capital during your startup fundraising efforts. It can make all the difference in whether your startup gets the chance to launch and survive.
Everything else hinges on your deck. You can introduce yourself and talk a good game, only to completely lose credibility and interest when you unveil your deck. Or you can have a fantastic spiel, but never get the chance to speak and show your product if your deck isn’t up to scratch.
It’s not about how smart you are, how technically fabulous your product is, or sometimes even how beautiful your presentation is. You’ve got to have the most important information front and center in your slides if you want to win the money.
Your Contact Information
It may sound inconsequential, but just do it. Right on the first slide and pon the back cover slide should be your company name, and contact information.
A branded email address is smart. Your mobile phone number should be a must. You may also want to include your most active social handles.
You don’t want to win over an investor, and then have it all be for nothing because they can’t get in touch to wire you the money. It should be super simple for them to find and contact you. At least if you really want to get funded.
Especially for early-stage startups, funding is all about the team. The idea comes in a distant second. All of your ideas for marketing, exiting, and expanding and diversifying can almost be irrelevant at this stage.
It’s all about whether prospective investors like and believe in you enough to trust you with their money. Achieve this and they’ll throw money at you. Fail and none of the rest of your deck matters.
When you are wondering about what are the most important items to include in a pitch deck, remember to show how you’ve got buy-in from a world-class team who is the best in this space.
If you don’t have the cofounders to cover all of the facets of this business, round it out with key hires and advisors.
What big and urgent problem are you solving with this startup venture?
Even more important than showing a broken industry and where there is room to improve it, explain your why. Ideally this comes in story format.
You want them to be able to relate to the pain and what’s compelling you to do something about it. Even better if you can include why now is the best moment to do it. If you take a look at the pros and cons of angel investors you will understand the importance of this.
This strong why is also what gives them the confidence that you’ll stick in the game, figure it out and take good care of their money, no matter what you have to face.
Traction & Proof Of Concept
When you are thinking what are the most important items to include in a pitch deck keep in mind that ideas are cheap and plentiful. What makes the difference is those who are capable of and proving they can execute on them.
Is this still a fluffy nice dream in your head? Or can you show that you’ve tested, talked to customers, and gained some ground in this space?
How have you progressed the business? Have you generated any sales? What is the feedback from your customers?
How Big Is The Opportunity?
You’ve got to be thinking billions and trillions today.
If not, you can go get a six-figure job at Taco Bell, save your way to being a millionaire, sit back and collect benefits.
Investors need big wins. Even more so than you do. They want their bet on your business to be able to pay them a great multiple on their entire fund, even if all of their other portfolio investments flop miserably.
So, how big is the total market? How big will it be in 10 years from now? Realistically, what is your share and addressable market? Ask yourself those questions when wondering what are the most important items to include in a pitch deck.
Hopefully, you’ve already conveyed some of this well throughout your deck up to this point. What is unique about your startup and the way you are solving this problem?
It had better not be something they find on ten other websites!
Not everything has to be unique. They still need to be able to understand it and position it in their minds. Yet, you do truly need to shine in 1-3 areas and be able to maintain that competitive advantage for years.
Who is your competition? Who is your competition likely to be once you start showing some success in this space?
How is your startup and solution standing out as being better than these other options? If you can’t beat them, which of these competitors might be likely acquirers of your company?
Remember, competition isn’t a weakness. It’s a fact. The way you position yourself against those competitors is where you show your strength. Even including how much competitors has raised in recent rounds can help give you credibility and give investors the confidence to give you their money.
Use Of Funds
How do you plan to use any money you raise in this round?
Accepting capital comes with a lot of responsibility. Investors need to know that you know how to use the money well and generate great returns with it.
Is it going into an R&D money pit? Into building out the team? In your own pocket? Into scaling an already successful business model?
Hopefully, this piece gave you good insights on what are the most important items to include in a pitch deck. Remember that storytelling plays a key role in fundraising and you will need capital to scale things up. This is being able to capture the essence of the business in 15 to 20 slides. For a winning deck, 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.
You can download the full pitch deck template where these slides above were taken from by unlocking the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
ACCESS THE PITCH DECK TEMPLATE