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Pitch deck advice for startup founders who want to raise venture capital investment

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Pitch deck

A pitch deck (also known as a slide deck) is a business slideshow presentation, and this page provides a quick start for creating your own pitch deck.


Pitch deck advice by teams: * Pitch deck advice - by Atrium * Pitch deck advice - by YCombinator * Pitch deck advice - by Twine * Pitch deck advice - by Unusual Ventures * Pitch deck advice - by Guy Kawasaki * Pitch your startup - advice from Stripe * Pitch checklist - by David Teten * Seven questions - by Peter Thiel * Value stack - by Floodgate * Asymmeteric laws - by Floodgate * Venn diagram of ideas - by Peter Thiel * Crazy but good - by Atrium * Disruptive technology shift - by Atrium * Unique go-to-market-strategy * Market first, team second - by Elad Gil * Bold vision - by Atrium * Achieving product/market fit - by Atrium * Understand the small idea and big idea - by Justin Kan * Aggregation theory - by Stratechery * Commditization of trust - by Stratechery

What is a pitch deck a.k.a. slide deck?

A pitch deck is a business slideshow presentation.

  • It summarizes the business idea of a startup company, and the business model, team, goals, needs, and more.

  • A carefully crafted pitch deck is a fundraising fundamental, and is often requested by investors prior to a company’s pitch presentation.

The pitch deck is a quick start. When you create the pitch deck, you can use it as a start to expand your deck into a formal investor pitch deck (described in the next section). pitch deck with 6 slides (informal)

Slide 1: Vision

Can you write a simple summary of your idea and its value to the user?

Slide 2: Reason

What broad problem are you solving, and what is a specific relatable example?

Slide 3: People

Who are you focusing on helping, how do you reach them, and at what costs?

Slide 4: Context

How does your idea fit among any related ideas, products, services, etc.?

Slide 5: Proof

How do you demonstrate that your idea is worthwhile to try, and to buy?

Slide 6: Needs

What do you need to succeed, such as teammates, partners, investors, etc.? pitch deck with 12 slides (formal)

Slide 1: Vision

  • One sentence overview of your business.
  • Emphasize the value that your business provides.
  • Keep it short and simple.

Slide 2: Problem

  • Talk about the problem you are solving.
  • Tell a relatable story when you are defining the problem.
  • The more you make the problem as real as possible, the more your investors will understand.

Slide 3: Target

  • Talk about your ideal users.
  • Who are they?
  • What do they need?
  • Where are they?
  • When do they need your idea?
  • How many are there?
  • Why are they your target users?

Slide 4: Solution

  • Describe how customers use your product/service.
  • How does it address the problem that you presented on slide 2?
  • Use pictures and stories when you describe your solution.

Slide 5: Revenue

  • What do you charge?
  • Who pays the bills?
  • Describe the competitive landscape.
  • How does your pricing fit into the larger market?

Slide 6: Validation

  • Talk about any proof you have that validates your problem, target, solution, and revenue.
  • What have you achieved, such as milestones, metrics, and goals?
  • What are your next steps to validate your plan?
  • Investors want to see proof points because these reduce risk.

Slide 7: Marketing

  • Talk about how you plan to get customers’ attention.
  • Show a solid grasp of how to reach your target market and what sales channels to use.
  • Investors know finding and winning customers can be the biggest challenge for a startup.
  • If your sales and marketing is different than your competitors, then highlight the differences.

Slide 8: Team

  • Talk about your team.
  • Why are these the right people to build this company?
  • What experience do you have that others don’t?
  • Highlight the key team members, their previous accomplishments, and key expertise they bring.
  • Identify key positions you need to fill, and why they are critical to company growth.

Slide 9: Financials

  • Show your sales forecast, profit and loss statement, and cash flow forecast for 3 years.
  • Do not show in-depth spreadsheets because these are difficult to read in a presentation format.
  • Limit yourself to charts that show sales, total customers, total expenses, and profits.
  • Try to explain your growth based on traction you already have.
  • Highlight what your key expense drivers are.
  • Prepare to discuss any underlying assumptions that you’ve made.
  • Prepare comparisons of similar companies in related industries.
  • Be realistic.

Slide 10: Competition

  • Describe how you fit into the competitive landscape.
  • Why will customers choose you?
  • How are you different than the competitors and the alternatives?
  • What key advantages do you have over the competition?
  • Is there any "secret sauce" that you have and others don’t?
  • Is there any "moat" for acquisition and/or retention?
  • Are there any "network effects" for you or the competition?

Slide 11: Partnerships

  • Talk about any strategic partnerships that are critical to success.
  • For example do you have any key intellectual property licensing partnership?
  • Do you have any key distribution partnerships?
  • How does your success rely on these types of partnerships?

Slide 12: Investment

  • Ask for the money.
  • Why do you need the amount of money you are requesting?
  • What is your plan for using the money?

Links to more

  • Get Startup Funding - a collection of pitch decks
  • 600+ decks from the world's best startups


  • Wikipedia
  • MarsDD
  • Garage
  • Shawn Carolan and Menlo Ventures
  • Fred Wilson and AVC
  • Stuart Logan and Twine
  • Patrick McKenzie and Stripe

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