Make your pitch deck stand out

At its core, the objective of any pitch deck is to convince the investors on the following questions:

  1. There is this genuine problem which impacts a large number of people
  2. We have a solution to this problem, and opportunity is big
  3. Enough people will pay for this solution to that problem
  4. That price is good for us to make money
  5. The solution cannot be copied
  6. We have already done so much work
  7. We are the right experienced team to do all this
  8. We have the attitude to build an organization
  9. We will not cheat the investors

So, here are the challenges:

  • A VC firm will typically sit through 10-15 pitches in a day. So how do you stand out in a sea of startups clamoring for attention
  • Once a VC firms passes your investment opportunity, it is very unlikely that they will revisit it soon  – for you it’s a lost opportunity if the pitch was not up to the mark.
  • The deck needs to be mobile friendly when viewed
  • The deck should be self-contained and complete if someone wants to read through it in your absence

The most successful pitch decks weave a compelling narrative, one that paints a vivid picture of the problem, the solution, and the world that awaits on the other side of their innovation. It’s about making investors feel and imagine, not just think.

Follow the guidelines in the table to get a strong narrative

Problem statement1) Begin with a strong hook to grab attention. This could be a compelling statistic, an intriguing question, or a powerful statement that highlights the problem your product or service solves.
2) Elaborate by breaking down the problem into elements demonstrating your deep understanding.
Solution and market sizeGive a real example of how your product helped an early customer. Expand from that customer to the larger customer base and mention the market size. Provide summary data (details and calculations in the annexure).
CompetitionThe investor is thinking about the competition now. Present a chart for comparisons honestly highlighting the differences. If possible, carry the products to showcase the differentiation.
Showcase  the tractionShowcase any traction or milestones achieved to date. This could include customer testimonials, user growth metrics, revenue figures, partnerships, or any other evidence of progress. Traction helps validate your business and reduces investor risk.
The “founders”The objective here is to convey that the founders are uniquely positioned to do this. Showcase what you have left behind to do this startup- your opportunity cost. Highlight if you are already signed a “founders agreement” Speak about: Industry experience Fund raising Team building and management even if in a job.
The PlanTalk about the go-to-market plan to achieve he product-market fit. Share top level numbers, unit level economics, market share projections etc. if possible. Give examples from your experience why this seems right.
The teamTalk about the early hires and their background. Share the esop plan if already in place
Corporate governanceHighlight the advisory team, the independent directors, the auditor etc.  whatever you can do to give comfort even if it is not being explicitly asked.

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About Author : The founder of VCIFY, Puneet Suri, is a veteran of the PE/VC industry. He is an M.B.A. from IIM- Ahmedabad, and has been involved in more than fifty investments across consumer, technology and e-commerce sectors. He is based out of Gurgaon (NCR).

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