Pitch Deck

The holy grail of raising capital, the pitch deck is the most revered and feared aspect of describing your startup to someone you hope will invest in it. Whilst it may be nothing more complex than a set of slides describing the key factors about the business, getting those factors right, and presenting them to the intended audience causes Founders to worry, and often to spend thousands on external help to pull it together.

The length and focus will depend on the pitch. A 3-minute pitch competition at an accelerator will require a different deck to the 30-minute presentation to a VC. However, each will accompany a verbal presentation, so concentrate on facts, imagery and visual guides to help the listener understand. Keep slides neat and easily readable.

The Airbnb deck is commonly featured on ‘top lists’ for pitch decks and sets a standard for a clear progression of the story from problem to solution to the proposed business model. There’s a couple of things missing that investors typically like to see, there’s no team profile, and the ‘ask’ has been removed from the linked example.

Innovation Bay has this short guide to the typical components of a pitch deck on a slide-by-slide basis, from the point of view of a collection of VC’s.

It is expected that some of the figures may change as the business evolves, so a pitch deck format that is easily editable is advisable, although the version shared should always be a pdf. Having the pitch deck accessible via a link means that anyone accessing it always sees the latest version, but be cautious about changing too frequently, else the offer can’t be properly evaluated.

Everything in the pitch deck should be able to be backed up with evidence materials should you need to progress quickly into due diligence.