The Evolution of the Investor Pitch Deck
July 4, 2022
Pitch decks have become the go to tool used by almost every startup trying to raise funding. Pitch decks are there to sell a founders dream to a potential investor, and to convince them why your team and project is a good fit for that investor.
Business plans are not Pitches and vice versa. A business plan can however be used to raise investment, but they are more generally used to plot out and plan a business strategy which is why they require more detail.
The structure of a pitch deck has remained almost untouched and follows the simple structure of telling a story. The order is generally as follows ; the problem, the solution, the product, the market opportunity, the secret sauce for success, the business model, the team, the financial projections, the investment opportunity, the exit strategy and the conclusion. The story should be told in no more than 12 slides. Pitch decks are usually prepared in a powerpoint form and exported as a PDF but today there are multiple online portals that offer alternatives to this presentation format.
A pitch deck should be visual and informative. It is essential that your first page or slide captures the attention of the reader willing them to continue reading the rest. Think of it as a book you are reading. If you are not engaged in the beginning, you may put that book down and not continue reading it.
A pitch deck should also not contain too much information that will bore the reader on the other end, who probably reads ten pitches a day. When quoting numbers and figures, unless it is necessary, don’t include too much detail, but always be ready to defend any claim or number you have included.
New developments in pitch deck tech includes creating a landing page on your web page where you direct potential investors to, but this approach may be problematic for VC’s who keep copies of pitches for reference, printing and presentation. Currently most pitches are emailed to a VC.
The look and feel of a pitch deck is a difficult decision to make and rests entirely on the product or service you are creating. The determining factor is who it is that is going to make a decision on investing in your project, but the path to this is littered with gatekeepers, so you have to account for them and make sure the presentation will grab an assistant’s attention enough to forward it to the decision makers. One new school of thought is that pitches should be flavored to suit potential investors. This means researching the potential VC and finding the person who will make the decision or contribute toward making the decision, and then flavor the pitch to suit them.
We have started developing our pitch deck to raise pre-series funding for Empowch, and we have three distinct flavors of presentation and depending on the VC firm, we choose which version to send them. The first version I call the “Business” version and this is a plain straightforward no frills presentation , usually with less color and a more corporate feel. The second flavor is a “personal” version that has different imagery to make the presentation a little more intimate and personal and the last version is a “Fintech” version which looks more high tech and is geared toward VC’s focused on fintech investment.
Below is the cover page of our #audiovisual #fintech version.
And this is what our business flavor looks like: