How to create a pitch deck that attracts investment for your startup?

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22 Jan
2024
22 Dec
2023
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A strong and engaging pitch deck is your golden ticket to attract investors and make more influential people interested in your services. It’s the very first impression stakeholders might get about your product. So, today, we’ll talk about the main do’s for your pitch, what you should add in each slide, and why you may need to hire IT specialists to make the most of your presentation.

When pitching investors, it can be hard to find the right templates to share your vision and showcase your market potential. To help you pinpoint this issue, we’d like to explore this topic, telling you from experience how to create a powerful pitch deck and raise money for your company.

What is a pitch deck for investors?

Before creating a pitch deck for investors, first and foremost, we need to figure out what it is and why you may need it.

An informative and well-designed pitch is key to winning investors
An informative and well-designed pitch is key to winning investors

A pitch deck, also known as a marketing deck, is a concise presentation that provides investors with a snapshot of your company’s business plan and potential. It typically consists of a set number of slides, ranging from 10 to 20, each carefully designed to convey information about your organization in the most digestible manner.

Business pitch deck is the window to your startup’s future. It’s a valuable storytelling tool, which persuades stakeholders to make the next step — initiate a follow-up meeting or invest in your vision right away.

You see, when reaching out to your company (especially if we’re talking about startups), most visitors know very little about who you are and what you can bring to their tables. So, either accept defeat and let your potential investors choose your competitors, or accept the challenge and make something to get their attention.

In this context, one of the most powerful “somethings” is a pitch deck presentation — a structured way to communicate your business idea, strategy, and value proposition. But why is it so important for your startup? And how can it help you secure funding from prospective investors? To find your answers and acquire valuable insights and reasons, keep reading as we get to the bottom of a standout pitch in upcoming chapters. 

Why is a well-designed pitch deck vital for your startup?

You cannot just skip the creation of a pitch deck, especially in the sunrise of your company building. For startups, it’s a great chance to differentiate themselves from others and, as a result, secure capital, gain strategic partnerships, and correctly convey their message to prospective investors.

Simply put, it’s a story about your business idea, plan, and value in a concise and inspiring format. And who doesn’t want to engage in an exciting story? Especially when it holds the promise of delivering significant benefits (like increased revenue) for both parties.

Your startup’s journey begins with a remarkable pitch
Your startup’s journey begins with a remarkable pitch

So, if we’re clear on what a marketing deck is, let’s explore which benefits it can introduce to your fledgling company. Overall, this type of business presentation can help you:

  • Secure funding. A well-designed pitch deck is your primary means of attracting potential investors. It serves as your initial introduction to the investment community and can make a huge difference in securing the funding you need to fuel your startup’s development.
  • Demonstrate product value. Within a pitch deck, it’s easy to showcase the intrinsic value of your product or service to prospective investors and customers. Through compelling visuals and persuasive messaging, you can convey how your offering addresses a specific problem or fulfills a critical need in the market.
  • Highlight competitive distinctions. A thoughtfully crafted marketing deck lets you articulate how your startup distinguishes itself from competitors. You can emphasize what sets your solution apart, whether it’s through innovation, unique features, superior quality, or other competitive advantages.
  • Establish credibility. By presenting a well-researched and carefully structured pitch deck, you not only showcase the credibility of your product but also instill confidence in your team and overall business strategy. In any case, investors are more likely to trust and support a startup that has taken the time to prepare a professional presentation.
  • Demonstrate market potential. Your pitch deck should provide investors with insights into the vast potential of your target market. This includes identifying your audience, estimating market size, analyzing growth trends, and highlighting untapped opportunities your startup can exploit.
  • Showcase accomplishments. An effective pitch deck allows you to stress your startup’s past victories and development milestones. This, in turn, can reassure investors that your business is making meaningful progress and moving in the right direction.
  • Provide financial forecasts. Investors want to see the financial viability of your startup. For this reason, your pitch deck should include clear revenue projections, expense breakdowns, profitability models, and potential return on investment. Through this financial transparency, business partners will trust you more, leading to swifter decisions that work to your advantage.
  • Propose funding requirements. Your pitch deck should specify the amount of funding you are seeking from investors. It should outline how the investment will be utilized to achieve specific strategic goals and objectives, such as product development, marketing initiatives, expansion plans, or scaling efforts.
  • Generate enthusiasm. Beyond being informative, your pitch deck should be emotionally engaging. Your story needs to inspire enthusiasm, passion, and interest in stakeholders, motivating them to take the next step — whether it’s scheduling a meeting or exploring a partnership with you further.
Pitch deck can set a positive tone for a startup’s growth and investors’ decisions
Pitch deck can set a positive tone for a startup’s growth and investors’ decisions

General tips for creating a pitch deck

A well-crafted pitch deck presentation goes far beyond a simple business plan overview. Within it, you should always keep a balance between providing enough information to pique interest and keeping it brief to maintain engagement. 

To help you in this challenging task, we’ll provide detailed insights into crafting a pitch deck, starting with general tips for its design and structure.

In most cases, pitch deck is the first impression your startup makes on investors
In most cases, pitch deck is the first impression your startup makes on investors

Tip #1. A smart pitch deck presentation is about using icon headers for key insights. This is more than just a design choice — it’s a 100% must. Icons act as visual signposts, guiding your audience through the narrative and emphasizing the critical points you want to stick in their minds.

Tip #2. Consistency is key, especially when it comes to charts. Maintaining a uniform style across your charts not only pleases the eye but also allows for easy comparison of data. It’s about creating a rhythm in your presentation that the audience can follow intuitively.

Tip #3. In longer decks, where it’s hard to keep users’ attention, slide layouts come into play. Each new slide layout acts like a scene change in a play. Although, in this matter, the variety is important, it’s equally crucial to keep a uniform theme for background images. This thematic consistency creates a sense of cohesion, weaving individual slides into a single tapestry.

Tip #4. One of the most powerful tools in your deck is the creation of visual personas for your ideal users. These personas give a face and story to your target demographic, making abstract data relatable and real.

Tip #5. Timelines are another excellent way to visualize your journey and growth. They provide a clear, linear path of your progress, milestones, and future direction, grounding your story in reality.

Tip #6. Clarity is paramount, especially when it comes to numerical data. Clear, concise figures are the bedrock of your business case. These elements can provide hard evidence to back up your narrative, so ensure they are easy to perceive.

Tip #7. Remember, at its core, a pitch deck is a story. It’s about your journey, your vision, and your ambition. Weave this narrative throughout your presentation, making each slide a chapter that contributes to a large, sincere, and compelling story.

Tip #8. Choosing the right slides is an exercise in judgment and restraint. Each slide should serve a purpose, contributing something unique and essential to your overall message. Remember, in the world of business, presentations are not about quantity but quality.

Tip #9. A design-forward approach means to focus on both aesthetics and communication. Pitch deck speaks volumes about your professionalism and attention to detail. In most cases, it’s the first resource from which your investors explore your startup, so it should set the right tone for your future collaboration.

Tip #10. Your deck should cover all the bases: it should be comprehensive but not overwhelming. Striking this balance is key to keeping your stakeholders interested and informed.

Tip #11. Engagement is the goal of every pitch. Your content should resonate, stir emotions, and even spark curiosity. But don’t forget about the “less is more”’ rule and avoid jargon, overly fancy words, or complex language — simplicity is the soul of wit, and it’s true for pitch decks too.

Tip #12. Keep your presentation straightforward. When your deck is overly complicated and filled with too much information, it can leave your audience yawning. Simplicity, clarity, and directness are your allies in conveying your message effectively.

A pitch deck is more than just a series of slides but a carefully developed narrative, supported by data, brought to life through design, and delivered with clarity and passion. It’s your unique story, make it count.

12 pitch deck slides with recommendations and examples

Pitch decks are like fingerprints — each is unique, shaped by your startup’s story, goals, and target audience. But, to make any startup shine, there are some essential elements that cannot be missed while making a business presentation.

As our company once started off as a newcomer in the industry, we want to share with you 12 slides you need to include in your pitch deck to rock the room. These insights stem from our decade-long experience in the IT industry, and we hope they will help you hit your highest spots. To back up our words, we’ll mention some decks of popular companies that helped them to make a breakthrough and become who they are now. 

Your pitch deck is your startup’s spotlight moment
Your pitch deck is your startup’s spotlight moment

1. Introduction

In every pitch deck, it’s crucial to start with a warm welcome to your business. Imagine the first slide as a friendly handshake, introducing yourself and your venture. This is where you share the essence of your business, including:

  • What your business is about
  • Your unique value proposition
  • How you differ from others
  • Reasons to invest in your startup

Example: Facebook, 2004

Facebook’s pitch deck played a crucial role in securing early funding
Facebook’s pitch deck played a crucial role in securing early funding

2. Problem

The second slide plays a vital role in setting the stage. It provides a clear and concise view of the issue or gap in the industry you can help your potential clients solve. Because if you cannot address any pain point of your target market, then what’s your company’s purpose at all? Show investors that you have a precise, well-defined problem statement that frames your journey and serves as a basis for providing the answers.

Example: Intercom, 2012

Intercom gives a concise and clear statement of the problem they aim to address
Intercom gives a concise and clear statement of the problem they aim to address

3. Solution

The solution side is where you introduce the company’s answer to the identified problem. It should leave all potential clients excited about how you plan to make a difference and why your startup is poised for success. For this, conclude the solution statement by giving a glimpse of your long-term vision. How will your company evolve or expand in the future? Investors are interested in growth potential and scalability, so present your startup as a game-changer for years ahead.

Example: Intercom, 2012

The company’s Solution slide explains further why their startup is valuable
The company’s Solution slide explains further why their startup is valuable
To help stakeholders further understand your business’s purpose, you can put the problem and solution on one slide. As a crucial extra, use data and visuals to bolster your statements.

4. Explanation of business idea

Once you outline the global issue you focus on and show how you can solve it, provide a full yet concise overview of your business idea. Keep your language clear and avoid too many technical details that might confuse your recipient. Your business idea should resonate with your target audience, whether it’s investors, potential partners, or customers.

Example: Careerist, 2023

Careerist’s business idea is concise, articulate, and transparent
Careerist’s business idea is concise, articulate, and transparent

5. Market size and opportunity

This section of your pitch deck is all about showcasing what returns potential investors can expect if they contribute to your launch. It involves providing a clear understanding of your clients and their purchasing power. To back up your words, include data or market research that showcases your users’ spending habits and capacity to afford your offering.

Example: Linkedin, 2004

Linkedin’s pitch deck was focused on strategic positioning and growth prospects
Linkedin’s pitch deck was focused on strategic positioning and growth prospects

6. Traction

At the very outset, each startup has to prove that the target market has an interest in purchasing its product. With this in mind, illustrate how your product or service is actively being adopted and used. Choose clear metrics such as sales data, user growth, or customer testimonials to paint a picture of a startup that is rapidly evolving from concept to reality.

This is your opportunity to show that your business is not just promising but is already achieving real, measurable success in the marketplace.

Example: Buffer, 2011

Buffer’s pitch deck attracted $500,000 in investments
Buffer’s pitch deck attracted $500,000 in investments

7. Competition

This section of your pitch deck is where you position your startup within the broader competitive landscape. You can start by providing an overview of the key competitors in your industry: identify who they are, what they offer, their strengths and weaknesses, and delicately show how you can outshine them. Highlight what sets your product or service apart — be it innovative technology, unique business models, superior customer service, or cost-effectiveness. 

Example: Dropbox, 2007

With the use of a pitch deck, Dropbox demonstrated its competitive edge
With the use of a pitch deck, Dropbox demonstrated its competitive edge

8. Marketing plan

The marketing plan details how you intend to reach your user base, the channels you will utilize, and the messaging that will resonate with potential clients. Focus on both digital and traditional marketing tactics, such as social media campaigns, content marketing, public relations, and direct outreach. Explain how these strategies are tailored to your specific market and customer base, and how they will effectively drive awareness, engagement, and sales.

This section may also include key performance indicators to measure the success of your marketing efforts, providing a clear roadmap for how you will attract and retain customers.

Example: Uber, 2010

Uber has invested heavily in building a strong pitch deck for stakeholders
Uber has invested heavily in building a strong pitch deck for stakeholders

9. Team

To humanize your presentation and introduce the individuals behind the startup, provide insights into your team’s expertise, experience, and passion. Emphasize how each member’s skills are directly related to the company’s mission and goals. If applicable, mention any significant milestones or achievements the team has reached together or individually. 

Example: Backstartup, 2018

Backstartup’s lively Team slide instills confidence in potential investors
Backstartup’s lively Team slide instills confidence in potential investors

10. Financials and revenue model 

Begin by outlining your startup’s revenue model and explain how you plan to generate (or raise) income. Next, mention your burn rate, break-even point, and present financial projections for the next several years, which include:

  • Revenue forecasts
  • Expense breakdowns
  • Net income projections

To make this crucial data more accessible, use tables or graphs, clearly conveying your path to profitability and growth.

Example: Orange Charger, 2022

To persuade investors, Orange Charger showcased their financial projections
To persuade investors, Orange Charger showcased their financial projections

11. Investments and funding

This slide is a crucial component of a pitch deck, as it provides an overview of the financial support and resources your startup has already received. It offers investors and stakeholders insights into your company’s financial health, growth trajectory, and ability to execute its plans. 

Example: Supliful, 2022

Supliful added their financial achievements to keep investors hooked
Supliful added their financial achievements to keep investors hooked

12. Investment ask

The final section in a pitch deck is designed to state the amount of funding your startup is looking to get from potential investors. Give them a straightforward figure and ensure that this request aligns with your business plan, goals, and financial projections.

Example: Smalls, 2023

Smalls presented a sturdy growth strategy for a successful investment ask
Smalls presented a sturdy growth strategy for a successful investment ask

How can Halo Lab help you with developing your pitch deck?

We understand how important it is to present your idea in the best light possible. That’s why we’re excited to help you bring your startup’s story to life with a business presentation that resonates with your potential investors.

For further information, check out Halo Lab’s Pitch Deck Service page and explore our technology stack, some of our cases, and related offerings that can boost your startup’s success.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, share it with your friends, and don’t hesitate to study even more about winning business pitch from our other piece.

Writing team:
Dmуtro
Editor
Viktoriia
Technical writer
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