May 27


Pitch Decks- All you need to know!

By Mimi MacLean

May 27, 2021

Karri Saarinen presenting at Nordic Design
Photographer: Teemu Paananen | Source: Unsplash

A pitch deck is a short presentation you need for your company to raise capital. It is a good idea to have a pitch deck from the beginning to make sure you are looking at all the essential aspects of your business. In essence, it is a condensed business plan. You shouldn’t have it be more than 12 pages or under 3-5 minutes to present it. You want it to be clear and concise. The primary purpose of a pitch deck is to generate excitement and interest to follow or invest in your company.

Here is what I would include in your pitch deck.

  • Explain the Problem
  • Explain the Solution
  • Why Now
  • Market Size (Is the Tam big enough
  • Business Model (How are you going to make money)
  • Competition and Your Competitive Advantage
  • Costumers and how you will distribute.
  • Your Team
  • Financials/ What metrics do you use?
  • The Ask

The pitch deck needs to explain the problem and the pain points your company will solve. How is it being done today? As a founder, you need to make sure you explain why something is lacking in the marketplace and how your company will solve this pain point? Explain why someone’s life is better with your product. If you have a personal story to tell about how you came up with the idea, tell it. Make it personal. What is your unique value proposition? What is the minimum viable product that the market wants?

So many ideas are tried before, but sometimes the market is not ready for it. Do you know Beta and VHS were attempting to launch at the same time? Why did VHS win out? Or take Amazon Food delivery. Webvan launched many years ago and lost over a billion dollars because the market wasn’t ready for delivered groceries. Why is the market ready for your product. What has changed? Technology, market, you get the idea.

What size is your marker? If it is too small, you will have trouble getting investors. They need to know the market is big enough to cover the high risk. Layout how you see your company acquiring market share and not just taking a percentage and multiplying by the total market value. Make sure you clearly describe your market and what you see your piece of the market is now and in the future 5, 10 years.

The business model is the most important thing. Ensure your layout and make money to demonstrate that you already have sales and market demand even better. Gone are the days that revenues don’t matter.

Why are you the person to bring this idea to market? Why your company? What makes you unique versus your competition. Is there a competitive advantage? Are the barriers to entry high for other competitors? Understand your competition and why you are different. Show how you reduce the risk for an investor by investing in your company.

Understanding your customers is very important. Understanding their needs, pain points, and dislikes will be instrumental in your success. Who is your ideal customer or Avatar? How much will it cost for you to acquire them as a customer? How will you reach them?

Why is your team poised to be the most qualified to bring this idea to market? Explain your unique value propositions each of you brings to the table. I think this is the most critical part of the entire pitch. You can have the best idea, but if you get this wrong, you will not succeed. So who the founders are, their personality, and what they bring to the table is what I look at first.

Having a summary of your forecasted financials is a must. You need to know how much cash you will need and how long before you are breaking even. What KPIs or Kep Performance indexes are you using to ensure you are staying on track to being profitable and forecasted for your investors. Forecast out for 3-5 years.

The final slide should be laying out the ask. How much money do you need? Do not put the valuation on this slide. Valuation is a very personal number, so no need to open it up for debate here.

Pitch decks are a great exercise to think about your business and present it prominently and concisely. There are lots of examples of pitch decks available online.

One of the most popular ones is Airbnb.

You can find others to review here.

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