We see a lot of pitch decks here at MicroVentures, and no two are alike. Each founding team has their own backstory to share, their own value proposition, and their own take on the trusty PowerPoint slide.
However, there are a handful of things that we would like to see in all the pitch decks that come through our door. No matter what you’re pitching – or who you’re pitching it to – your deck should at a minimum include the following components:
- Problem space: What’s the problem you’re solving or niche you’re filling?
- Solution fit: How does your product or service uniquely address the problem?
- Addressable market: How many people are affected by the problem?
- Competitive landscape: Who are you going up against? How are you different/better?
- Business model: How are you going to monetize your solution?
- The Team: What makes your team uniquely qualified to lead this charge?
Beyond these nuts and bolts, there are other elements we look for in our ideal pitch deck – things that can really make your story stand out from the rest:
A picture is worth a thousand words – unless it’s in a pitch deck. Photos of your product and screenshots of your app are great, but they’ll be even better if you include details on the product’s features and benefits. Take this opportunity to tell us more about what you’re building and what makes it awesome.
It’s always helpful to put an industry analysis in your pitch deck, but if you’ve really done your research, you’ll also include sources for the information you’re providing. You’re targeting a $4 billion industry – that’s great news. But who said it’s a $4 billion industry?
We love a chart that goes up and to the right as much as the next company, but your charts will be much more meaningful if you give us all the details. That means clearly labeling both the X and Y axes – including the units, whether it’s the number of months, users, clicks, page views, or widgets.
The most prepared startups not only understand the industry and have quantified the market – they have a plan for going after it. How are you planning to reach your target market, and how much is it going to cost?
Unless you’re still in the idea phase, you’ve probably made some tangible progress on your product and perhaps have even seen some early user traction. Tell us what milestones you’ve hit, what milestones are next, and what your plans are for hitting them.
Use of proceeds
Whether you’re raising the earliest seed money or working on a Series round, your investors want to know how you’re planning to use the money they’re putting in. Are you growing the sales team? Pouring it into product development? Buying a ping-pong table? Tell us what your plan is.
There are dozens of other details you may decide to include – trends that are specific to your industry, metrics that are specific to your business model, etc. Just remember to put yourself in the investor’s shoes and tell your story as honestly and passionately as you can.