What Is a Pitch Deck?
A “pitch deck” is a presentation designed to persuade potential investors to invest in your business idea. In the world of Venture Capital, a pitch deck is one of the key elements that will determine whether or not you get the funding you need.
Why Does a Pitch Deck Matter?
As an entrepreneur, the ability to create an effective pitch deck is essential to your success. Without a convincing presentation, you’ll fail to get the capital you need to grow your business. In fact, 90% of startups fail with the majority doing so due to financial issues. Therefore, a pitch deck matters because it’s your one and only shot to convince venture capitalists to give you the cash you need to stay afloat.
Two Types of Pitch Decks
When developing a pitch deck, keep in mind that you’ll first send the pitch deck via email to a partner to review. This first pitch deck is text-heavy and contains enough information that an investor could skim through it and understand your proposition without explanation. The second pitch deck will be presented before a group of investors in a boardroom and will be more visually oriented since you’ll be narrating the presentation.
8 Elements of a Winning Pitch Deck
1. Who Are You?
Ultimately, a pitch deck is a story that depicts the history of your company. Before proceeding with your proposition, tell investors a bit about the protagonist (yourself), what motivates them, and why they got involved in the industry in the first place.
2. Why Listen to You?
Investors are skeptical are by nature. Therefore, you need to establish yourself as an authority in the industry and prove why your opinion matters. Share your and your team’s expertise, experience, credentials, and past successes with your audience before moving forward.
3. The Big Problem
What currently unsolved problem does your business solve? Use hard facts and figures to make your case and demonstrate that there is a real need for your product or service. Fail to do this and the solution (your proposition) will appear underwhelming and unconvincing. Be sure to include quotes from industry leaders, statistics from recent research, and infographics in your pitch deck.
4. The Solution
This is the moment you’ve been anxiously waiting for. After setting the stage and creating a narrative, it’s time to present your product/service as the solution to the big problem. Address the problems you mentioned earlier and explain step by step how specific elements of your product/service solve them. Also, mention how competitors are trying to solve the problem and how their solution falls short when compared with that of your company.
5. How It Works
Use visual aids, such as videos, diagrams, and drawings to illustrate how your solution works. Short explainer videos or product demos are also great ways to showcase your proposition as efficiently as possible.
What kind of proof do you have that your product/service truly solves the big problem? Perform your own independent research and use findings from third party sources to prove that your business idea is the answer. Use data from surveys, focus groups, censuses, research papers, and more to back up your claim.
7. Paint a Picture of the Future
As you might guess, venture capitalists are primarily concerned with the future of their investments. Since it’s impossible to predict the future, however, financial data from the past and the present serve as good indicators of potential ROI. Utilize data from your own firm’s financials and industry trends to make projections for the future.
After presenting your case to investors, the final step is to ask for what you need. Do you merely need capital or do you also seek a partnership with the VC firm? In addition, let venture capitalists know how you’ll invest their money and how it will help your business reach the next level. This will then open the doors for the final step of the process: negotiation.
For startups, being able to prepare a persuasive pitch deck and present it to investors can make the difference between financial success or failure. However, creating a pitch deck isn’t as simple as putting together a powerpoint. Every claim you make needs to be backed up by real research, real financials, and real results.
Furthermore, additional preparations need to be made before approaching venture capitalists, such as refining your executive summary, documenting the sales process, building the pipeline, and much more.
At Apogee Accelerator Group, we not only prepare you for the big presentation but also introduce you to our best-of-breed partners and provide you with services in Marketing and Sales, Payroll, Accounting, HR, and Legal to help you reach the next series of funding.
To learn more about Apogee and our services, please visit our page.