Welcome to Part I of our new blog series on How to Create a Pitch Deck for Investors. This series distills sections of an investor deck with pitch deck slide examples from Aleberry startups who have successfully raised capital from VCs, CVCs, PEs, and Angels.
Whether you are new to the startup game or an experienced founder, pitch decks & fundraising can seem tedious & confusing. We created these guides for startups bootstrapping or for curious future founders. The posts won't dive into the nitty gritty details of your specific use case, but they will give you a basic understanding before getting your fundraising strategy sorted or pitch deck designed.
Let's kickoff with Part I: An Overview & Investor Deck Outline!
What is a Pitch Deck?
Before we jump to the investor deck outline, let's chat about what a pitch deck is. A pitch deck is also known as a slide deck, an investor deck, or a presentation.
Every founder should have a minimum of 3 types of presentations: a pitch deck for demo days, an investor deck, and a technical or sales deck. You should also have various versions of these, depending on who you are pitching to. We like to start with one big Master Deck and adjust the slides accordingly.
For the purpose of this intro to fundraising series, we're going to use the terms "pitch deck" & "investor deck" somewhat interchangeably, and when discussing demo days, we'll label those "demo day decks". When an investor says "send me your deck" or "let's see your pitch deck", what they are referring to is actually an investor deck.
The purpose of a pitch deck is to sell (pitch) your idea, product, or company; explain your business model; and most importantly for investors - show how you plan on making (them) money.
In many cases, your pitch deck will be sent prior to a secured meeting with an investor. This process means you may need a bit more content on the slides than you would otherwise include at a demo day or an in-person pitch. It is not an excuse to clutter your slides! :)
Prepping Your Work Station
In the kitchen, it is important to prep your station before following that fancy Gordon Ramsay recipe. Do you have all the ingredients & tools? Cut, wash, measure everything and set aside.
The same applies to creating your pitch deck. Let's avoid Mr. Ramsay's wrath.
The following are ingredients you should already have:
- MVB: Minimally Viable Brand. A company name, a logo (does not need to be fancy because you will pivot), a domain + website, an email address at said domain (do not use @gmail, @yahoo, etc. for business purposes), a basic stationary set (business cards, thank you notes, etc.). If you don't have these, give us a shout! We can knock these items out quickly.
- IP Protection, Risk Mitigation, or any applicable legal & accounting foundation necessary. We work with a handful of attorneys & financial experts; feel free to send a note if you want a recommendation.
- PMF: Product Market Fit. Here's a quick summary on "what is product market fit". There are different ways to establish your PMF, depending on your industry / vertical. Feel free to reach out with questions!
- Business Plan. Putting together a business plan will force you to go through the exercise of thinking through most of your pitch deck content. This is incredibly important because you have to make both you & an investor money.
- Audience research. Whether it is a potential customer or an investor, always research who you are speaking to! Think through their personas, customer problems, and overall investor due diligence. Customize your deck accordingly.
Congratulations on getting all these tedious tasks completed! You've laid a great foundation. Grab a beer, pat yourself on the back & dive in.
Let's jump into creating your pitch deck.
One last prep step: Create a blank presentation file, and go through and create a slide per topic listed below. As you go through this series, you can jot down or paste applicable content in a very un-fancy un-organized bullet list / image slap-ons.
This messy file is what you will send to us before we kickoff! Don't worry - it's our job to take your genius mind and organize these thoughts, tell your story, and make it look pretty. If you feel overwhelmed, we can also sit down and do a deck brainstorm or audit session with you!
Multiple heads are generally better than one (unless you are dealing with Fluffy).
Pitch Deck Outline
Here are the topics your investor deck should cover. This pitch deck outline is a wireframe. Once we start working with founders, we customize it. Rules are there to help, but meant to be broken!
A general note that we will likely emphasize multiple times: You do not need to follow Guy Kawasaki's 10 slide rule or order! It's ok to have two solution slides, or move your competition into your problem, or even combine a few topics. It's all about telling your story & explaining how you plan on making money.
Enough jibjab, here's the outline:
- Cover (obviously)
- One-liner / Mission / Value Prop (intro into wtf am I about to talk to you about)
- Product + How It Works (also a good time to mention IP)
- Competitive Landscape + Competitive Advantage
- Market Opportunity (hopefully more than just your mum)
- GTM: Go-To-Market Strategy
- Team (incl. board, advisors)
- Traction (Where You've Been)
- Revenue Model + Financial Projects
- Milestones (Where You Are Going, Product Development, Growth Strategy etc.)
- Ask (financial & non-financial)
- Strong Close w/ Contact Info
- Appendix (aka the Junk Drawer or Show Your Math slides)
See you next time with a dive into Part II: Introductory Slides!