A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is just a document to get you an interview for a job vacancy. A pitch deck is no different. It’s a document, usually, a slide pack produced to get you an appointment with an investor. During the appointment, you may have to use a slightly modified version of the pitch deck (the one with less text and more pictures).
So what does the perfect pitch deck looks like?
Guy Kawasaki Pitch Deck
In the mid 2000s, Guy Kawasaki was the go-to-guy for pitch decks. He came up with 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. Essentially putting down a marker of 10 slides delivered in 20 minutes using 30 point font.
Sequoia Pitch Deck
Following is taken directly from Sequoia:
- Company purpose. Define your company in a single declarative sentence.
- Problem Describe the pain of your customer. How is this addressed today and what are the shortcomings to current solutions.
- Solution Explain your eureka moment. Why is your value proposition unique and compelling? Why will it endure? And where does it go from here?
- Why now? The best companies almost always have a clear why now? Nature hates a vacuum—so why hasn’t your solution been built before now?
- Market potential. Identify your customer and your market. Some of the best companies invent their own markets.
- Competition/alternatives. Who are your direct and indirect competitors? Show that you have a plan to win.
- Business model. How do you intend to thrive?
- Team. Tell the story of your founders and key team members.
- Financials. If you have any, please include.
- Vision. If all goes well, what will you have built in five years?
Slidebean Pitch Deck
Techcelerate Pitch Deck
Our preference is that the pitch deck should not be more than 10 slides. Essentially, it should cover:
- Title page – Quickly introducing what the business is.
- The Problem – Identify the problem you have a deep understanding of
- Current Solutions – How is this problem solved by incumbents as well as new entrants
- Your Solution – How do you plan to solve the identified problem and why your approach is different and your solution better. Why would you be able to achieve traction faster?
- The Product – What does it looks like? Share the product road map in brief.
- The Opportunity or Market Size – How big is the problem and the opportunity it creates. Are you entering a growing market, niche market or declining market?
- The Team – Why are you the right team to execute the plan, achieve traction and build a significant business. If you have strong advisors and a weak team, do include Advisors.
- Revenue model, Traction and Unit Economies – What have you achieved so far and what are the unit economics. Would the business be profitable one day?
- Capital Need and current cap table – How much capital would you need, what would it be used for and what level of value would it create? If you have raised funding before, what was it used for and how much value have you created?
- Headline financials and strategy – Explain how you would achieve these figures. For goodness sake, don’t show unrealistic figures in the first year. First-time founders always get this slide wrong.
If your team is strong, you may want to have the team slide just after the title page. At this point forward, the investor knows that you have the team to execute.
The position of Slide 9 and 10 could be reversed. You can have an extra slide for contact details, or include this on the Title slide.
Above format is most appropriate for Pre-Seed and Seed investment. When it comes to Series A and beyond, the focus is on positioning, multiple products, financials, metrics and strategy. Basically, the road map to £100m+ annual revenues.
The quicker the investors understand your business, the higher the chance they would want to find out more. Remember, the pitch deck is just an instrument to introduce your business. Don’t try to overdo it!
However, thanks to great designs out there, investors now expect to see beautifully designed pitch decks. If your team has not got the skills even after leveraging tools out there, like Slidebean, you may need to hire a professional pitch deck designer.