Pitch Deck Structure: What Should You Include

A pitch deck is a start-up presentation that helps potential investors learn more about your business. It may sound strange, but the purpose of the pitch deck is not to get funding, but to reach the next meeting. Experience shows that you should include no more than 19 slides in a pitch deck. However, the best pitch decks are short and simple in their presentation. The ten or so core slides that build your story are:

1. Introduction. The first slide of your pitch deck is the most important. The introduction slide should be concise and visually appealing – tell people who you are and why you are here. Try to articulate it in a single phrase or sentence.

2. Problem. Any business idea has to solve a real problem – yours too. You must identify the problem your target audience is facing and see a gap for which there is no solution on the market yet.

3. Solution. On this slide, briefly and clearly describe the solution to the problem. Avoid making pretentious claims like “we are the only company on the market that does this”.

4. Market size and opportunity. Whether you get funding will determine the market. If you are operating in a small market, investors may feel that the potential return on investment is too small or that your case is too risky to fund. Demonstrate data from your research, showing on a slide the market growth in the past and projections for market growth.

5. Product. In this section, describe the specific products or services your business sells. Add professional photos of your product from different angles. You could also include images of individual components or a cross-sectional view to elaborate on the materials and features of your product. If your product is an app or online service, add screenshots showing its unique features.

6. Growth. This slide should focus on the growth of your business – the number of sales you’ve made, major goals you’ve achieved so far, and the next steps. Include a graph with a growth curve in this slide. Growth slides are important because they reduce risk in the eyes of investors.

7. Team. This slide will show the key members of your team. Investors are interested in the motivation of these people and their qualities on which the success of the project depends.

8. Competition. On this slide, you must talk about your competitors and how you differ from them.

9. Financial performance. Your pitch deck’s financials slide should include data on your company’s projected growth over the next 3 to 5 years, as well as details on your business model and finances. Much of this information will change in the process. However, investors will want to know your indicative plan and ensure that you have the financial knowledge to implement it.

10. Investment and use of funds. Don’t limit yourself to just stating the amount of money needed – tell investors what you plan to do with the money. If investors understand your motives, they will trust you more easily and take you more seriously.

The previous 10 “slides” are meant to give a framework. Each startup has its own story, and that story might require a very different framework (there are about 15 different ways of presenting your story).

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