Everything You Need to Know About Startup Pitch Decks

Small business owners know that the reality of small business ownership is anything but glamorous. It is in fact a lot of long days of rolled-up sleeves and dirty hands.

While most entrepreneurs understand the need to commit to the hard work moving forward, many owners are not prepared for the necessary drive to learn. Startups often enter the field because of what they know, like the new idea or process. They are often immediately surprised by what they need to learn in order to achieve success. Creating and presenting pitch decks are one of the most fundamental things any startup must grasp before getting started.     

Creating a Pitch Deck     

For startups who need to raise money in order to continue building, having a great investor pitch is a top concern. Everything you need for success, from hiring the right staff to creating products, costs money. Of course, even after your people and products are in place, you need money for marketing to get the customers. But how can you get the money you need to get started before any clients hand over the first dollar?    

Many hard-working individuals inherently dislike having to ask people for money. That can make the initial funding stages uncomfortable for many would-be business owners. How can you convince people to give you money when all you have is an idea? More importantly, how can you successfully incorporate the regular task of asking for money into your routine?  The bottom line is that you need to create an effective fundraising process, complete with abundant information and professionalism.    

Having a startup pitch presentation enables you to use a standardized set of talking points that can be delivered under any circumstances. By making a standard startup presentation ppt, you can be sure that each time you talk with potential investors you are delivering all necessary information you believe can help them make a favorable decision.  If you already have employees or co-founders involved in your startup, having the best pitch deck template can mean every representative provides the same basic information in every discussion. This can also mean that the person most comfortable with the group can be trusted to communicate the investment pitch.     

Pitch Deck Formats    

As any entrepreneur knows, investment meetings take a number of different forms. For this reason, the best pitch decks 2021 versions must include a variety of different formats.  Mostly verbal pitch decks can be used as guides for emails, letters, and written proposals. Short excerpt pitch decks can be converted into 30-second elevator speeches or three-minute reception comments.  Finally, a visualized version of the pitch deck can include lots of pictures, graphs, and charts to illustrate formal presentations.     

Having a variety of formats available makes it more likely that representatives can quickly create a conversation to match almost any opportunity. We usually cannot control which opportunities will lead to successful funding. Therefore, it is best to be prepared for every possible interaction that can yield results.    

Pitch Deck Template    

Once you have been convinced that you need a pitch deck, how do you go about creating one? Fortunately, there are a variety of resources available for entrepreneurs.  Resources can be found with small business associations, entrepreneur-focused magazines or blogs, or business consultants. The best pitch deck templates will usually be as tailored as possible to your specific field. That means a pitch deck template created for a software company may not perfectly fit your bakery business. An advertising pitch presentation example and a product pitch presentation can both follow these same models but be specific to the product or service.     

The key is to find someone who either understands the pitch process, or research enough agency pitch deck examples to create a general understanding of the necessary elements. Once you have these elements down, you might be better able to adapt public examples to your specific business.     

Pitch Deck Elements    

Usually, a professional pitch deck designer uses the same basic elements in their pitch deck design. Please note, each source may use different names or titles for these elements, however they usually have similar functions. 

  1. Introductions: The first thing you need to do is introduce yourself and your team. This is a critical element for demonstrating credibility and expertise. Include any experience relevant to the startup or the creation of successful businesses in the past. This can help to demonstrate the seriousness of your pitch and the likelihood of eventual success.
  3. Product/Service: Once they know who you are, now you need to introduce the product or service. One huge mistake many rookie entrepreneurs make is focusing on the product itself first.  Startups are often so passionate about the idea that they believe communicating the idea is the point of the presentation. However, customers buy products in order to solve problems. Therefore, this part of the presentation should begin by introducing the problem that your product or service is intended to solve. 
  5. After introducing the problem, you then need to introduce your product.  In this section, you should also examine the competition. Investors will know that other solutions exist, even if they solve the problem differently.  Here you need to demonstrate why your product is better at solving the problem than other options. It is extremely important that you do not fall for your personal bias in this section.  Customers and investors are often overwhelmed with information and messages every day. Many of us are quite adept at finding the important focus parts. You must be able to rationally and clearly explain how your problem solves the problem better than other solutions, especially if those solutions are already more established. 
  7. Customer Base: The perfect solution is meaningless if it does not have an audience.  That is why after introducing the solution, you must then demonstrate traction with a potential audience and estimate the size of the market. Some pitch deck software packages can provide tools and tips for researching answers to market size. What an investor pitch deck PowerPoint template may not mention however is the importance of matching the size of the investment to the market size.  The amount of money you request must match the potential of the market. Also, make sure your pitch deck generator includes room for an analysis of competition. 

The Investor Perspective   

The last element of a great pitch deck template PowerPoint is specific to the needs of investors.  While customers and even potential employees will need to know about the team, problem, solution, and market, those elements are meaningless to investors without a working business model.  Investors want some kind of return on their investment in order to justify sharing their resources. This perspective might also match some potential partners or high-level employees who consider their labor an investment in your company.     

Search for the best pitch deck template free download that includes powerful and clear formats for communicating return on investment.  Investors will need to know specifically how much money you need and when. Do you need a huge upfront investment or a number of smaller cash infusions over three years? They will also want to know the details of how the money will be spent or what kind of resources are requested. Remember that not all resources must be monetary.     

Finally, make sure to include multiple forms of contact information for questions or more information.  The last thing you want is a potential investor to give up after attempting to reach you for a few days because you are out giving more pitches.       

Pitch Deck Examples    

Now that you have an understanding of the purpose and content of pitch decks, we can address some examples. Note that most of these pitch deck examinations are based on purported examples found on the web — none of these are High Alpha portfolio companies.  

  • Airbnb: The pitch deck Airbnb template is a great example of matching price and renter experience with homeowners needing extra money. They simply get a small commission on each transaction. 
  • A copy of the WeWork investor presentation 2018 pdf makes it clear that they sought to provide small businesses with an alternative to the traditional office spacing models. 
  • According to TechCrunch, the Uber pitch deck focused on the quality of the ride experience and the environmental benefits of cars owned by drivers.

Tech Pitch Decks

  • LinkedIn's pitch deck was focused on using a new networked approach to helping employers connect with potential employees. 
  • One YouTube pitch deck focused on a centralized archive for sharing content, using ads and premium content sales for funding.
  • The first Facebook pitch deck was based exclusively on connecting university students, faculty, and staff using advertisements as the funding source.
  • The Slack pitch deck is based on usability and growth but is light on business model details.
  • The Buffer pitch deck provides a great explanation of the company growth and traction but is again light on funding specifics. 
  • The Mint pitch deck was very detailed and organized, matching the financial nature of the product.

Product and Lifestyle Pitch Decks 

  • Interestingly enough, fashion pitch deck examples can follow standard models with a little flair. Upstart Autumn Adeigbo indicated she used the AirBnB template, but added lots of bright imagery to match the fashion topic.
  • Makeup and skincare company Glossier doesn't share the specific first pitch deck, but offers an interesting breakdown of how they got the funding needed.

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