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Need a pitch deck template to impress investors? We'll explain what a pitch deck is, how to use our Ultimate Pitch Deck (Part 4) template to get you started, and if you read until the end, you'll learn one of the top metrics that mega-VC firm Andressen Horowitz uses to assess a startup's potential. Why is it that the top-funded pitch decks all seem to follow the same format? Whether you're talking about Airbnb… Uber… Facebook… Or Youtube… all of these companies followed a similar format to pitch VC and get millions of dollars in investment.

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To use a pitch deck template effectively, you should first understand what a pitch deck is and its purpose. It's a presentation used to provide your audience with a quick overview of your business plan. You'd typically use a pitch deck during face-to-face or online meetings with potential investors, customers, partners, and co-founders. Some tips include: keeping it simple, making sure your message is clear and concise, telling a story, and using visuals to support your message. Also, it's important to tailor your pitch deck to your audience and always be prepared to answer any questions.

A pitch deck can help establish a startup's credibility and potential by effectively communicating the business model, vision, and strategy of the startup to potential investors. It provides a clear and concise overview of the startup's value proposition, market opportunity, competitive advantage, financial projections, and team. This information can help investors assess the viability and potential of the startup, thereby enhancing its credibility.

There are numerous resources available for creating an effective pitch deck. Some of the most popular ones include online templates and guides, such as those provided by Slidebean, Canva, or Sequoia Capital. These resources often provide step-by-step instructions and examples of successful pitch decks. Additionally, you can also seek advice from mentors, industry experts, or startup incubators. Lastly, studying the pitch decks of successful companies like Airbnb, Uber, Facebook, and Youtube can also provide valuable insights.

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Our fully customizable Ultimate Pitch Deck (Part 4) template includes all of the top slides you need to pitch your company to investors, from the problem and solution slides, the team, and company overview slides, as well as slides to showcase your business model, demo your product, or highlight how you create value to customers. We'll also cover slides on market size, market validation, demographics, and financial projections. Now, let's break down how these slides are used to improve your chance of getting funded by VCs.

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Data and analytics can be used in a pitch deck in several ways. They can be used to demonstrate the market size and validation, showing potential investors the potential for growth and profitability. They can also be used in the business model slide to show how the company creates value for its customers. Additionally, data and analytics can be used in the financial projections slide to provide a realistic forecast of the company's financial future. Lastly, they can be used in the demographics slide to show who the company's target customers are and how the company plans to reach them.

A pitch deck can be used to demonstrate a company's market positioning by including slides that showcase the company's business model, product demo, and how the company creates value for its customers. It can also include slides on market size, market validation, demographics, and financial projections. These slides collectively help in demonstrating the company's position in the market.

Visuals can be used effectively in a pitch deck in several ways. Firstly, they can be used to simplify complex information, making it easier for the audience to understand. This could include using graphs or charts to represent financial data or market size. Secondly, visuals can be used to tell a story, such as demonstrating the problem and solution through a series of images or diagrams. Thirdly, visuals can be used to highlight key points or data, drawing the audience's attention to the most important information. Lastly, visuals can be used to create an emotional connection with the audience, such as using images that resonate with the audience's experiences or aspirations.

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Start with a problem and solution

The most important aspect of any pitch is to set up the problem that your company aims to solve. Without a real problem to solve, there's no need for your business. For example, did you know one of WeWork founder Adam Neumann's first business idea was kneepads for babies? Babies have crawled on their own for centuries, so this wasn't a real problem. Cheap office space was a much better idea.

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A business can pivot by reassessing their business model, identifying a new problem that needs solving, and developing a solution for it. This may involve market research, customer feedback, and brainstorming sessions. The new problem and solution should be compelling enough to attract investors. It's also important to communicate the pivot effectively to stakeholders, including investors, to gain their support.

Some strategies for showcasing problem-solving in a pitch deck include: 1. Clearly defining the problem: Start by explaining the problem your business aims to solve. This sets the stage for your solution. 2. Presenting your solution: After defining the problem, present your solution. This should be clear and concise. 3. Demonstrating your solution's effectiveness: Use data, case studies, or testimonials to show how your solution effectively solves the problem. 4. Comparing with alternatives: Show how your solution is better than other existing solutions. This could be in terms of cost, efficiency, or other factors. 5. Showing your plan: Outline your plan for implementing your solution. This shows that you have a clear path forward.

A business can use customer feedback to identify a real problem by actively listening to their customers' experiences, complaints, and suggestions. This feedback can highlight areas where the business is not meeting customer expectations or where a product or service could be improved. By analyzing this feedback, a business can identify common issues or trends that indicate a real problem that needs to be addressed.

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These Problem and Solution slides communicate to investors the top four main pain points to your target market and the top four value adds of your solution. For instance, the top four pain points that baby kneepads solve are nothing. The top four "customer gains" that your product or service provides set up your company's value proposition, which is the tangible benefits customers receive with your product. If you don't land this aspect of your pitch, VCs or angel investors won't see the value of the rest of your pitch. (Slide 3 + 4)

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One strategy is to clearly identify and communicate the top four main pain points of your target market and how your product or service addresses these. This sets up your company's value proposition, which is the tangible benefits customers receive with your product. It's crucial to effectively communicate this aspect of your pitch, as it helps potential investors see the value of your product or service.

Some potential challenges in demonstrating the tangible benefits of a product or service to investors could include: difficulty in quantifying the benefits, the benefits may not be immediately apparent, the product or service may be in a new or unproven market, or the investors may not fully understand the product or service.

Some examples of products or services that have successfully demonstrated their tangible benefits to investors include tech startups like Uber and Airbnb, which have clearly communicated the value they provide to their customers. Other examples include innovative products like Tesla's electric cars or Apple's iPhones, which have revolutionized their respective markets and provided significant returns for their investors.

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Provide a team and company overview

After an established value proposition, you need to share why you are best equipped to provide this value. This slide highlights your founder team, their roles, and their most relevant points of experience. This aspect of your pitch is vital because VCs need to know the team can deliver.

Wonder what the right background for your team is? Data from the book Super Founders found that just over 50% of all billion dollar companies had a business background, while 49% had technical backgrounds. Over 70% of all chief executives of billion-dollar startups had less than a year of industry or relevant work experience. And only one in five billion-dollar companies was founded by a single founder. However, nearly a third of all companies were founded by a duo. For more insights on this, check out the link to our summary.

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Now, this company overview slide should tell investors who you are as a company. Include a founding story, as well as an easy-to-digest mission statement to solidify the value proposition from before. Remember: Your pitch isn't about how impressive the technicalities are, but how well your story flows. A lot of business ideas did come from personal experience and personal hardships, so a real story is never a bad thing. But if your origin story didn't come from some profound personal experience, you should still appeal to the general human condition in your pitch so people can empathize with you and your vision. (Slide 7)

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Another visualization of the company overview slide provides your origin story as told through key numbers, such as the year you were founded, how much funding or revenue you've generated so far, and how big your team is. Remember: this is not some boring internal document like a progress report, this is an external-facing document where you pick out the most impressive aspects of your company and translate them into a language that anyone can understand. (Slide 8)

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Business model, product demo, and value to customers

Now that you've established who you are and the why behind what you do, your pitch deck should then establish the how, as in how you plan to execute this vision. For instance, this business model slide demonstrates the intricacies of your business model in a simple and straightforward way. (Slide 11)

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For a digital product, you may want to include a product demo of your UI and its core benefits, like with this visualization. There are plenty of variations of these UI demos inside the presentation, so make sure to download the full version to get access to them all. (Slide 12)

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And after you introduce these specifics, you may want to reiterate how this business model and product provide value to the customers with this slide. For more slides and tools to help you plot your value proposition, such as a value proposition canvas, you can download and customize our Value Proposition presentation. (Slide 13)

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Market size, market validation, and demographics

Now, what about your market size? When investors invest, they do so based on a multiple of future earnings. This slide shows your total addressable market. If you watch our video above, we explain why this is important to investors.(Slide 16)

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How do you prove to investors you can capture this target market? Use market validation to highlight your product market fit. If you don't already have sales data to share, you can validate your assumptions in a different way. Even though your product is new and innovative, there are precedents to point to the value of your potential business. Market validation doesn't have to come from a company or product doing the exact same thing. Rather, it's evidence that implies a shift is brewing that validates your product.

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For instance, let's say you see the electric car transition happening. At the same time, you see that more employees want to transition to remote work full time. Both of these trends could validate an EV sharing subscription service, where people share cars that they use less frequently instead of buying expensive new cars. A quick Google search shows there are TONS of companies doing just that! Last, as part of your market research, you'll want to share your target persona's demographic information across gender, age, income level and what they value. (Slides 15 and 17)

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Case study: Andressen Horowitz's advice

So how do you calculate your total addressable market size in a way that a top VC firm like Andressen Horowitz would like? Instead of the classic way to calculate TAM based on the market share of a total market size, Andressen Horowitz prefers what they call a "bottoms-up" analysis which counts your market size by the target customer profile, their willingness to pay for your product, and how you'll market and sell the product to them.

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Let's say you're an e-commerce business that wants to sell toothbrushes in China. If you calculated it based on the classic method, you might guess that you could capture 40% of the entire population of China, which is over one billion people. If you sold the toothbrush for one dollar, you could make five hundred and forty million dollars a year. But this overstates the market size and the difficulty of selling a toothbrush to five hundred and forty million people. Alternatively, you should calculate how many toothbrushes you can actually sell every day across all the venues available to you. This not only provides a more accurate number, but it makes you think about the skills and resources you'll need to pull your business off.

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To generate these projections, we've created a Business Plan that compiles all of the above across multiple product and subscription offerings while accounting for expected expenses. It can even generate charts and graphs to visualize as part of your investor pitch. If you can back up your assumptions with hard data, it could make the difference between getting funded or not.

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While VCs want to see big numbers, many of the best companies had relatively modest markets to begin with. For example, eBay and Airbnb both thought their market shares were a lot smaller than they ended up being. Because of network effects, these platforms grew to scale well beyond the original estimates because they proved they could do the hard part: offer a service that solved a real problem for a small community. Then, they grew from there. For more insights like this, check out the great blog A16z wrote on the topic here.

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Conclusion

Ready to pitch your company to investors? Download this new iteration of the Ultimate Pitch Deck for more slides on the ask, market sizing, target prospects, lead maturing cycle, customer acquisition framework, and additional dashboards to save time and hours of work.

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