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What goes in a Pitch Deck

A guide to help you develop your pitch deck

  • 01

    There is a wealth of information easily available on everything you would need to know in relation to developing your pitch deck.

    Before you start working on your pitch deck, it is strongly recommended you read as much as possible to gain valuable insights

    To make life easier we have set out the information we believe you should consider putting into your pitch deck. Whatever you decide to include make sure it tells a story, reflects your business and gives the investors the information they require to assess the opportunity.

    But, most importantly keep it concise

    What is a pitch deck?

    A pitch deck is a concise summary of your business plan and it is the best way to present your business to potential investors. It should have no more than 15 slides and should set out a compelling opportunity for investment. It should address the fundamental questions all investors ask.

    • What problem do you solve, and who do you solve it for?
    • Who do you compete against, and what makes you better?
    • How big is your market, and how fast is it growing?
    • How you make money, how big could you get?
    • How will you acquire and retain customers – profitably and at scale?
    • What makes your team the right team?
    • How much capital do you need to get from where you are now to escape velocity?

    What are investors looking for?

    Quite simply investors are looking to invest early in a new business with strong potential for a significant return
    on investment combined with minimal risk of failure.

    When investors review a pitch deck, they are evaluating RISK v REWARD

    The potential return on an investment in your business

    The risks that might prevent them from getting that return

    Growth potential

    Investors seek at least a 5-10x return on their investment. You need to demonstrate you can grow the value of the business by this amount over the next few years

    • Read the 4 Valuation Methods Used By VCs and Angel Investors
    • If you have a SaaS business


    • The best technology companies show “T2D3” revenue growth in their first few years
    • This stands for triple-triple-double-double-double. Keep this in mind as you model your revenue growth.
    • $1M > $3M > $9M > $18M > $36M

    Minimising risk & market failure

    Investors assess the following three investment risks:

    • Market Risk – are you addressing a large, growing market?
    • Product Risk – can you build a compelling product with a sustainable competitive advantage?
    • Execution Risk – does your team have the industry, operations, and technology expertise to deliver on the potential and reduce the risks.
    • Market failure – when the offering targets a market that doesn’t exist or is too small to offer any significant potential.
    • Product failure – results from a product that is not useful, not usable, or competitive.
    • Execution failure – results from poor leadership, sales, marketing, customer service, or financial management.

    Or your team lacks expertise or has no prior experience scaling a start-up from MVP into a thriving business.


    • Traction minimizes market, product, and execution risk and strong traction can mitigate some shortfalls whilst significantly increasing the chances of getting funded.
    • Investors look for a product-market fit. This is proof that there is a market for your product and that customers are willing to select your product over the alternatives.
    • Developing and launching an MVP to show product-market fit is key

    The Pitch Deck

    There is a lot of information on the number of slides and the content.

    The information set out below is a suggested flow.

    Make the pitch deck your own to reflect the story of your businesses.

    Some templates are available by clicking the links below but before you use them, use the information provided here to start the ball rolling.

    • Improve Presentation
    • PITCH deck
    • Slidebean
  • 02

    Announce your big idea – the one thing you do better than anyone else. You have 10 seconds to hook your audience.

    This introduces your idea to the investor. Grab their attention in the first 10 seconds by setting out what you do in a simple statement. Your value proposition perhaps. Don’t forget an inviting and relevant image.

  • 03

    Summarise the highlights of your business and investment opportunity. Provide a teaser for what’s to come.

    Summarise business highlights of the investment ask up front as this will give them a reason to pay attention.

    Remember, they are looking for investments that provide the highest return with the least risk. So, make sure you emphasize your growth potential and explain how you will reduce market, product, and execution risk

    Always include traction on this slide.

  • 04

    An easy to understand explanation of the problem you are addressing Any numbers that show the relevance of the problem.

    Set out the problem you solve or unmet need you address.

    What are the pain points for the customer?

    What are the market needs?

    What is the current solution and why is it inadequate?

  • 05

    Explain how you provide a better solution and list the unique benefits for customers and users.

    What is your solution the value proposition? The WHAT & WHY

    Relevance – how does your solution solve the problem and your customers life/experience better?
    Differentiation – what benefits do you deliver and why should the customer buy from you rather than your competition?

  • 06

    Show how your product works in three simple steps. Keep it visual.

    Set out the product, its features, functionality and roadmap. The HOW.

    Keep the info simple, do not put too much here. Remember, the info here is to pique their interest. There will be plenty of time subsequently to delve deeper into the how.

    Highlight any technology patents

  • 07

    Offer tangible proof that customers love your product and are willing to pay for it. Your Revenue (if you have some) Additional Numbers showing that you solve a real problem (App-Installs, Downloads, Users, Leads, Requests, Revenue, Marketing Metrics etc.) User / Customer Feedback

    This is a critical slide as traction addresses all three risk factors: Market risk; Product risk; Execution risk. Measure traction using acquisition, retention, and expansion metrics. These metrics include your average customer acquisition cost (CAC), the average lifetime value of your customer (LTV), your total number of paying customers, monthly active users (MAUs), your monthly recurring revenue (MRR), your average revenue per user (ARPU), your monthly churn rate, your net revenue retention (NRR), and so on.

    If possible demonstrate trends such as customers and revenue doubling monthly, shorter sales cycles, bigger deals, expanding up-sell revenue per customer, and declining customer acquisition costs etc.

    If you have yet to launch your product and have no traction to show, use this slide to identify significant milestones for product, hiring, and funding and list traction metrics.

  • 08
    Market Opportunity

    Show how much money you’ll make when you dominate your target market. Bottom-up and top-down. Special characteristics of the market (e.g. long sales cycles or regulations)

    Who and where are your customers and how big is the market?

    Customer profile – identify your target customer profile

    Market size – TAM (Total available market), SAM (serviceable achievable market) SOM (serviceable obtainable market) How much of the market do you aim to acquire – be realistic. Include growth rate (CAGR) data if you can.

  • 09
    Business Model

    Explain how you make money

    Go to market strategy – how do you deliver on your value proposition? What are your operating, sales and distribution models and what is your pricing strategy?

    Revenue model – how do you make money? Keep it simple and focus on the primary revenue model you use to monetize your customers.

  • 10

    List your competitors. Explain why your product is better than theirs in the eyes of your customers and users

    A critical slide for investors as they are looking to reduce market and product risk.

    Where is your business positioned compared to your competitors, what makes you better and what are your key differentiators/USPs?

    Use either the “Gartner Magic Quadrant” or the classic competitive matrix/grid – whichever suits

  • 11

    Explain how you will acquire and retain customers profitably at scale. And how you will keep your product competitive

    This slide addresses execution risk. It should show investors your strategy to transform a competitive product for an attractive market into a substantial, sustainable business.

    Set out your plan for each of these three critical start-up activities:

    Customer Acquisition – How will Sales and Marketing create awareness, generate demand, and close new customers?
    Customer Retention – How will Customer Service keep customers happy, so you don’t lose them to competitors?
    Product Innovation – How will Product Development enhance and extend your solutions to maintain your competitive advantage?

    You should also share three key metrics to show you have a viable business that can grow. You need to get data for these three numbers as soon as possible.

    Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) – What’s your fully loaded cost to acquire a customer? E.g., £50. CAC should include all your sales and marketing expenses.

    Lifetime Value of Customer (LTV) – How much will a customer pay you before you lose them? E.g., £50/mo x 36 months = £1,800. Some calculations assume five years for all new customers. Remember to factor in a churn rate assumption.

    Payback Period – How long does it take for a customer to cover their acquisition cost? E.g., £50/£500/mo = 1 month using the example above.

    Generating an LTV that is 3-5x your CAC is a fundamental prerequisite for a profitable business.

  • 12

    Introduce a team with the experience and expertise to transform your opportunity into a large, profitable business.

    A Another critical slide as it addresses execution risk. Investors want to see experience and expertise in as many areas as possible.

    Founders and management – who are they? Do they have the relevant skills and expertise to deliver?
    Advisory board – who are they and what value do they bring?

  • 13

    Provide a simple model, with explicit assumptions, of how much money you can make in the next 3-5 years.

    This is your best-guess projection of revenue and expenses for the next three years. Ensure the numbers are not so small that they are uninteresting and not so large to be unrealistic.

    Highlight key assumptions. Investors can then decide for themselves if they think your assumptions are reasonable. Include cumulative EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Tax). This lets investors see how much money you will burn before you become profitable.

    Include percentages alongside your numbers for things like margins and various operating expenses as a percent of revenue.

  • 14
    Funding / The Ask

    List your competitors. Explain why your product is better than theirs in the eyes of your customers and users.

    How much are you asking? What are your capital requirements and how will the funds be deployed?

    Tie your ask to your financial model. For example XXX, is asking for the £500K to execute Year 1 of their business plan which identifies what traction (users, customers, and revenue) the investor should expect. It also states how much will be spent Sales, Marketing, Product and People.

  • 15

    A simple and concise summary of your pitch deck – the same as slide 2. You can choose whether you have this slide or not.

  • 16

    Optional. Include a few slides with positive press

    Anything you think relevant to your pitch such as positive press mentions, happy customer quotes, etc

  • 17

    This is a written summary of your pitch deck that an investor can skim in 30 seconds.

    It is something you can forward to an investor to pique their interest. Most investors want a reason NOT to read or listen to your pitch deck.

    The elevator pitch should be compelling and summarises your pitch deck, hence you leave it to the end.

    Elevator pitch template

    [ your company name ] is [ your solution ] for [ your target customers/users ]. We help [ your customers/users ] [ solve this problem with these benefits ].

    We’re initially targeting [ your market ]. We make our money by [ your business model ]. We acquire customers by [ your customer acquisition strategy ]. Our Lifetime Value of Customer (LTV) is [ your multiple ] of our Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).

    We have [ your team advantage ], [ your technology advantage ]. [ your traction statement ].
    We’re seeking [ your desired funding ] to [ your primary use of funds raised ].

    Elevator pitch example

    Gleamr is “Uber for mobile auto details.” We help consumers get an affordable, professional auto detail wherever they are, whenever they want. And we help mobile auto detailers spend less time chasing customers and more time detailing cars.

    We’re initially targeting the $12B US market for mobile auto details. We make our money by collecting a 15% transaction fee from auto detailers. We acquire customers primarily through online marketing and we currently get a 5x return on our customer acquisition cost.

    We have an experienced team with deep domain expertise, patent-pending technology and a significant firstmover advantage. In our first six months we’ve signed up 1,600 detailers and 16,000 consumers. We’re currently making $162K a month and doubling users and revenue every month.

    We’re seeking $2M in Series A funding which will fund the next year of our business plan, getting us to $5.6M in ARR.

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