What to list under solution in a pitch deck? How do you convey your solution to investors in a pitch deck?
For most entrepreneurs, the solution is the big focus of their pitch decks. So, getting this slide right can be paramount to your startup’s success.
Even beyond pitching startup investors, an effective pitch deck is instrumental for attracting and securing the best advisors, recruiting the best talent to work for you, enrolling great cofounders, and more.
So, how do you get your solution slide right, and create one that converts your audience?
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
What Is The Solution In A Pitch Deck?
The solution in your pitch deck is the big idea of how you plan to solve the big problem you first introduce to your audience.
Note that this differs from your actual specific products, and is more of a holistic explanation of your venture than squeezing in as many features as you can fit on a pitch deck slide.
It is also worth mentioning that while you want to nail every slide in your pitch deck, and the solution you want investors to back does matter, there are other slides that can be even more important, and which directly tie into why they should invest in your solution. Such as your problem, team, traction, and market size slides.
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.
How To Describe The Solution In Your Pitch Deck
The solution slide is about the third or fourth slide in your pitch deck presentation.
As with all pitch decks and slides, the key to success here is really simplicity and clarity.
Your audience should be able to immediately grasp your idea, and it should make sense to them.
Use large fonts, in a simple style, in a color that is well contrasted with the background of your slide. Viewers should be able to read and digest your text quickly. Even on their mobile phone, or from the back of a room when presenting on a screen. Even if they forgot their glasses.
Use one main headline to explain your solution. This may be followed up with up to three bullet points to add clarity to the solution you are bringing to the world. This should help you figure out what to list under solution in a pitch deck.
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Top Mistakes Made With The Solution Slide In A Pitch Deck
Slides that are too busy, complicated, and contain too much text are still likely among the top mistakes made here.
This is not the place to display your amazing technical genius in a complex way. You need those who are not deeply technical but have the money to fund your company, and who are business experts to get it and get excited about this opportunity.
You also have to really get the solution yourself, and be able to explain it clearly when pitching investors live, alongside your deck.
This is not the place for a long list of features. Or your future product roadmap. This will only tell investors that you are incapable of focusing, and are hung up on your tech versus what it does for your customers.
Be sure that what you present is well-researched. As well as that you are either actually coming up with something unique, or which more importantly has a strong competitive advantage.
The Solution Versus Problem In Your Pitch Deck
The solution is the answer to the big problem which your company is tackling, and you want investors to invest in helping you solve it.
The truth is that your individual products, business model, and how you deliver may all change. Your problem will not.
In turn, your solution may also be slightly more ambiguous. Especially as an early-stage startup, you may still be finding your fit in the market, the right product, and the business model. Even when you’ve nailed your initial foothold in this space, your company is likely to grow and diversify and expand into new things.
The Solution Versus Product In Your Pitch Deck
As already mentioned, your solution is not necessarily your specific product. Or at least one specific product model or service option.
Later on, in your pitch deck, you will have a slide dedicated to your product or products.
Your product is a means of providing your solution. You may ultimately have many products or variations of it.
For example, your solution to the big problem of pollution may be offering clean and renewable energy alternatives which are affordable and accessible.
To enable this, or as a way to do this, your products may include electric vehicles, solar roof panels, and alternate transportation methods.
Solutions, Vision & Mission Statements
As you can probably tell so far, there are a lot of similarities between your solution, and your vision and mission statements.
Your vision is how you see the world when your company is successful in creating and providing this solution.
Your mission is the purpose of your company. It is why it exists.
In fact, you may weave all three of these things together for a powerful solution slide.
Where Does The Solution Slide Go In Your Pitch Deck?
Where does this slide belong in your startup’s pitch deck?
The solution slide goes right toward the beginning of your pitch deck. This is true no matter what stage your startup is at, which funding round this is for your company, and how many slides you end up with in your pitch deck.
You begin with your cover slide. Then the problem slide. Followed by the solution slide. This is followed by your market size and competition slides.
You may choose to insert an additional slide before your problem. Which would be a pitch deck summary slide. A quick bullet point list of the highlights of your deck and investment opportunity.
Other Slides Relevant To Your Solution In Your Pitch Deck
As mentioned above, several other of your pitch deck slides are directly intertwined and relevant to your solution slide. Keep them in mind when working out what to list under solution in a pitch deck.
Let’s take a look at some of these slides and how they interact with your solution and the flow of your pitch from introduction to converting investors.
The Market Size Slide
This slide which immediately follows your solution, clarifies the space you are operating in.
It shows the total size of this market. Which is incredibly important to startup investors. They need huge markets to generate the huge returns they are out for, and require to offset the risk of many of their investments failing.
Your visual on this slide then depicts how much of this industry your startup aims to be able to serve and win in the future. Followed by which segment of this market you are laser-focused on making progress in to gain a foothold right now.
It is all about how many people need your solution. How many can you serve, and who will you begin serving and testing your ideas with first?
The Competition Slide
This slide is about who else is operating in this market. Best demonstrated with another visual.
This is a very strategic slide. One on which you will use logos of other notable companies that validate both the problem and solution you are pitching investors on.
Done well, this slide will back up your argument that this is worth working on, other smart investors are getting in, there are great results to be found, and perhaps a big exit as well.
Contrary to the common misconception that this slide is about showing the threats to your business and its investment, it is actually about positioning and adding value.
The Competitive Advantage Slide
The following slide is used to convey to investors why your startup is the one to bet on in this space.
You may use a graph, or a few bullet points to differentiate your startup and solution from others. Including large incumbents and any other entrepreneurs who try to follow you.
Your team and connections may be a major asset that others don’t have. You may be much further along in an industry that is hard and expensive to crack into. You may have protected IP with tangible value.
What is it that will propel your solution, and keep you ahead of others working on this problem? How does this protect investor capital, and increase the odds of great returns for them?
The Traction Slide
Your traction slide shows how much progress your company has already made in getting customers to buy into this solution.
Depending on which metric you are displaying, this may show how many customers have bought in, how fast it is spreading, how much they are willing to pay for it, and how profitable your company is in solving this problem.
Customers & Engagement
On this slide, you will further describe exactly who your intended customers are for your solution. As well as how they have responded so far. How sticky is your solution, and how close are you to product-market fit or scaling?
Use a few bullet points to expand on your other slides here.
Knowing what to include in the solution slide is only of the critical elements. If you need detailed information about how to create a pitch deck, check out this video I have created.
The Product Slide
Use a great image of your actual product in action. Complement this with a couple of key bullet points, so that your audience is clear on what the product is, and it’s one big benefit for your customers.
The Business Model Slide
Your business model slide can be in the form of a visual chart or a few bullet points. Sum up the cycle of your business. How are you creating the solution, selling it, and putting money back in the bank?
The Financials & Forecast Slides
Your existing financials will show what success you’ve had in providing this solution so far. As well as how well you’ve managed your resources.
Your financial projections will show the results you hope to achieve with this round of capital. It shows how many more customers you expect to serve, at what prices, and the value that will create for investors in the company.
The Amount Being Raised & Investors Slide
Here you show how much is needed to solve this problem. Either in terms of figuring out the solution, or scaling it to be delivered to as many customers as possible. Depending on the stage your startup is at right now.
By including logos of current and past investors, you show who else believes in this solution.
The Use Of Funds Slide
In a few bullet points or a simple visual, show how you will be investing these funds to solve the problem.
Wherever you include your next milestone objectives shows exactly what this money should accomplish in reducing risk and increasing value for investors.
The Team & Advisors Slides
Use powerful bios to impress on investors and other viewers how well-equipped and experienced your team is at solving this and building a big business like the one you are telling them you can.
Getting your solution slide right in your pitch deck is important. Many confuse it with their product slide or over-complicate it.
Be sure you also understand how your other slides work together to back up your solution, the need for it, and the value to be derived from providing it. Understanding these details is the first step to working out what to list under solution in a pitch deck.
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