CHAPTER 2

Elements

You have a very short amount of time to make a first impression. If you've got a long rambling slide deck… you're done.
- Naval Ravikant, Co-Founder of AngelList
It is important to understand your audience and deliver a pitch that meets their expectations. Some investors will want information on market size and opportunity; others will appreciate customer acquisition data and milestones. To address this, most startups have a basic pitch deck template that includes the essential slides – business model, problem, solution and team – with additional deck slides added to meet the needs of individual investors.

The best pitch decks use less than 20 slides. The order each slide appears in your presentation is your choice, but most ventures will place their team pages at the beginning or end of the pitch deck. However, experts like Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn) recommend that you open your pitch with the investment thesis and leave the team page until the end.

To help you understand each pitch deck element, we will be pitching some existing and fictional companies to you. Each slide you see has been created with the Pitch Deck Template help. To see detailed overview of the slide simply click on the image.

Essential Slides

While every pitch deck is unique, there are ten slides that should feature in every investor pitch.

Title Slide

The title slide is your first and last impression. It will be displayed behind you while you introduce yourself and could be used as a backdrop when you thank your audience for their time, so it is likely to be the most viewed slide in your pitch. Title slides must be eye-catching and memorable, keep the design simple and make sure it includes your logo.
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The best examples of title slides are engaging and straightforward. They deliver a visual overview of the business model and use a catchy tagline to state the mission of the company. While not essential, we always recommend including a date on your title slide as well, since this makes it easier to identify different versions of your pitch deck.

Summary/Overview

The summary slide provides a brief outline of your business. It should detail the problem you see and your solution.
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This is a very short slide that is designed to make investors curious about your business. Don't be afraid to make big claims; investors want to see that you are passionate and invested in bringing your idea to life. Keep it simple, explain what your business does in 30 words or less.

The Problem

This is one of the most important slides in your deck. It shows investors how relevant your product is and provides a glimpse into your market. You need your audience to agree with this slide, so keep the design simple and tell them a story while they're looking at it. A tale about a person who benefits from using your product will highlight its relevance.
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If your business doesn't solve a problem – many restaurants and consumer goods shops won't – then you may want to swap the problem deck slide for the opportunity slide instead.

The Solution

By now, your investors should understand the significance of the problem. They should be invested in the idea of helping you fix it, so the solution you present must be innovative, exciting and memorable.
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If you have a prototype, now is the time to show it off. If you are pitching a concept, include videos, pictures and illustrations. Encourage investors to ask questions and make sure your audience fully understands your solution. If investors in one pitch struggle to understand the concept, be sure to adjust the slide so that it is clearer for your next pitch.

The Business Model

The business model deck slide describes to investors how you will make money. This slide doesn't need to include detailed data and financial forecasts, but it should show that you have used revenue, earnings and profit projections to help shape your business model.
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The best examples of these slides are not data-heavy. They use simple statistics like revenue or market share to highlight how profitable the business could be. The slides themselves will lack detailed facts and figures, but be prepared for investors to ask about the statistics and calculations you used to produce them and make sure you know these answers ahead of your pitch.

The Market/The Opportunity (Why Now)

The opportunity and market slides provide similar information, and you are unlikely to need both in the same pitch. The opportunity slide describes how your business will operate within your industry, the market slide describes the current market.
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Both can be used to explain why now is the best time to launch and might include market trends, the size of the market and growth potential. The purpose of these slides is to demonstrate that your business has a future and that you know the market and opportunities better than anyone else.

Customer Acquisition (Go To Market)

Think of this slide as a description of your 'go-to' market. This is where you explain who your customers are and how well you know them. Describe your market, advertising channels, and location. Don't forget to show investors how many potential customers you are targeting.
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Some founders will use this slide to demonstrate the size or value of the potential market; others might include the costs associated with customer acquisition. The important thing to remember is that the best examples can be read and understood in three seconds or less. Maps, diagrams and headline statistics all work well and grab your audience's attention.

Competition

The purpose of this deck slide is to demonstrate that you know your industry and can provide an honest assessment of how your company fits into that industry. Include information on other businesses and services that will be competing for the same customers. Don't ignore major competitors to make your business look stronger, instead, focus on your strengths and highlight your competitive advantages. Investors want to see that you have considered every potential obstacle and have a plan to overcome it.
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Keeping a competition slide simple can be difficult, especially if you have many competitors. Plotting the key features of your product on an x and y-axis and using it to compare your services with those offered by your competitors is a tested format.

The Team

The team slide provides an introduction to each of the key team members. Investors want to see relevant skills and experience; they need to have confidence in your team and your ability to make the venture a success. Keep bios short and to the point (you can always provide an accompanying document with longer introductions) and highlight any key skills that are essential to the business.
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Some of the best examples of team deck slides are short. They include professional headshots of the main team members and brief introductions – sometimes as simple as three or four key pieces of information i.e. name, position, and biggest professional achievement. Don't be afraid to be creative with this slide; it needs to make an impression.

The Ask

This slide is about defining what you need from investors and what you will provide in return. Data oriented pitches might include acquisition targets, plans for initial public offerings and details about how the company can be sold. A concept pitch deck is more likely to focus on the business and how you will use investments to drive growth.
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Whatever style you chose, the ask slide should clearly state what size and type of investment you are looking for and what that investment will deliver (i.e. the milestones you can achieve with it or the resources it will buy). Remember that money isn't the only contribution your audience can make to your startup. Advice, friendship, and expertise are just as critical to making your business a success.

Optional Slides

When deciding which slides are essential to your pitch deck, consider whether you are pitching data or a concept. A concept pitch is best suited to a new and innovative product; you are pitching a vision of the future and your plan to make it a reality. These decks might include additional slides such as the vision, mission, and product.

If you are on your second or third seeding round, or are pitching a business model that already has data to support it, then a data pitch could be more appropriate. This gives investors the opportunity to judge your business based on the strength of the available data and will include additional slides such as financials and traction.

Contact

Strictly speaking, the contact slide is optional. Many of the best pitch deck examples don't include one and instead choose to put an email address on the summary slide or in the footer of other deck slides.
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While investors will already have your contact information, it may not be readily available to every member of the investment team. If an executive is looking over your pitch deck after your meeting, a contact slide makes it easy for them to ask questions and seek additional information. We recommend including at least two forms of contact information (for example, an email address and a phone number) on the contact slide. This is also the perfect place to showcase any social media accounts the business has.

The Product

The product slide is very similar to the solution slide and can be helpful for further explaining your product, particularly if you don't yet have a prototype.
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Use this slide to describe your product in more detail but don't repeat information from the solution slide. Instead, focus on manufacturing timetables, supplier relationships, variations in the product (i.e. size or color) and any patents you own or have pending on the design. These features all add value to your business and demonstrate that your product is viable and competitive.

Traction

The traction slide exists to tell investors how successful you already are. Its purpose is to make them feel like your idea will succeed with or without their backing. This is the part of the pitch deck where you show that your assumptions about the market are correct and demonstrate how efficient your team already is.
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Milestones

A milestone slide celebrates your most important achievements. It shows investors that you are already creating momentum and driving your business forward.
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For those in the early stages of developing their startup, the milestone slide can be used to provide a road map, showing investors and your staff what the next step is. This is an easy way to plan ahead and shows how you intend to make your venture a success.

Financials

Financials normally include a balance sheet, income, and cash flow statements. Around 58% of pitch decks include a financials slide, which is of more interest to investors if you have launched or have already conducted a seeding round. Businesses just starting out are not usually expected to display financials.
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Financial deck slides do not take a standard form. Some startups will use them to showcase how much they raised during their first seeding round or to list potential buyers for an exit strategy. Others might skip this slide altogether and include an income statement on their traction slide instead, highlighting their venture's success so far.

Exit Strategy

Some companies never recover from the loss of a founding CEO and investors want to know how you plan to ensure your business can survive without you. The exit strategy slide details plans for exit options such as acquisition or IPO, and might include a list of potential buyers.
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The Mission

The mission statement is a short, simple slide at the beginning or end of the pitch deck that explains why your company exists. At the prototype stage, the mission slide provides direction for you and your team. During a seeding round, it provides investors with insight into the idea that is driving your venture forward.
mission slide pitch deck template

The Vision

A vision slide is a great addition to any concept pitch. It describes the world your product will help to create or your long-term plan for your business. It shows investors that you have a firm idea of how the business will grow.
vision slide pitch deck template

Partnerships

It takes more than money to launch a startup, investors want to see who is involved in the project. The partnership slide is not a common slide, but it can be very valuable.
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Include information on any industry experts you are consulting with, as well as strategic relationships with contractors or suppliers that might lower your overheads or help you break into new markets. If you already have backers invested, or have backers from previous successful funding rounds, then include this information as well. If you are associated with a prestigious accelerator program, then now would be the time to showcase that relationship.

The important thing with this deck slide is to only include partners that offer a strategic benefit; including every family member who has invested will draw focus from the more powerful partners who will drive your success and impress investors. Don't forget to check with your partners – particularly financial backers – that they are happy for you to publicize their involvement.
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Table of Content
Chapter 2
Elements
Chapter 3
Story
Chapter 4
Design
Chapter 5
Delivery
Chapter 7
Investors
Chapter 8
Action Plan