A pitch deck plays a critical role in your startup's investment journey. It's the most important document, a Startup prepares in its early stages for fundraising and thus has a direct impact on its long term success. On the contrary, a bad pitch deck can kill your fundraising hopes, even if you have a great product or technology as well as traction.
"The purpose of a pitch deck is to enable entrepreneurs to effectively tell their story" - Bill Gurley, Benchmark Capital.
What is a Pitch Deck?
A pitch deck is a brief presentation (often created in PowerPoint or Google Slides), used to provide your audience with a quick overview of your startup's business plan. You will usually use your pitch deck during face-to-face or online meetings with the potential investors, or even during the pitch events, organized by various stakeholders in the startup ecosystem.
Role of Pitch Deck in Fundraising
“What matters most in entrepreneurship, is that you must have a great pitch.” - Guy Kawasaki
Pitching the startup (or venture) to the investors or during the pitching events though exciting is an extremely nerve-wracking moment of truth for every founder. All you have is your investor pitch deck presentation and just 3-5 minutes with the potential investors to convince them, to invest in your startup (idea).
DID YOU KNOW?
92% of the startups in India failed to get funding in 2019, and this is despite the investors were having $7.1 billion of their funds as dry powder i.e. ready for investment - Business Standard
Need an "Compelling Pitch Deck" for Your Startup? Check here!
Your Pitch Deck Must Stand Out, Here's Why?
An average Venture Capitalist partner gets anywhere from 3,000 - 5,000 decks every year, which means they've just under 4 minutes to review your deck.
Investors have this unconscious dislike for the lousy pitch deck i.e. poorly designed and most importantly, missing the required key information for decision making.
Investors review all pitch decks with the sole purpose of digging out all the reasons to say "NO". Every single reason has a compounding effect on the decision to say "NO".
To get the investors buy-in during the earliest phases, you need to create a truly compelling pitch deck!
Now that you're aware of the criticality of pitch decks in fundraising, let's about it's structure.
Structure or Number of Slides in a Pitch Deck
I'm an ardent fan of Guy Kawasaki's 10-20-30 rule i.e. a pitch deck (like any presentation) must be limited to 10 slides, it should be presented under 20 minutes and contains no font smaller than size 30.
Excessive text or too many bullet points.
Using small fonts or jazzy backgrounds.
Beyond 12 slides, investors just have under 4 minutes to review your deck.
Inflating your financial projections, or your capabilities.
Saying you've no competition or you're next Amazon, Google, blah-blah.
Check out, the next part of this guide i.e. The Ultimate Pitch Deck Template for Your Startup!