If you want to convince investors, you need a good pitch deck. All the important information belongs here - but the presentation should not be too long. A few tricks of the trade.
When creating a pitch deck, founders can make many mistakes, starting with embarrassing spelling mistakes and ending with completely superfluous slides. If you want to convince investors, you have to stand out from all the funding requests from other startups that VCs receive all the time. A magic formula, how exactly the perfect pitch desk has to look like, does not exist, as VCs, business angels and also founders emphasize again and again. Sevdesk boss Fabian Silberer, for example, says that basically anyone could make a glossy pitch deck today - and investors are increasingly looking at the team behind the start-up. But the one does not exclude the other. Of course, a good pitch deck should also include a presentation of the team, and after all, there are a number of basic rules that founders should follow in any case. We have compiled the most important ones.
Tip 1: Keep the target group in mind
One thing right up front. The pitch deck doesn't replace a business plan, it's more of a pointed summary. The first step is immediately the most important, because by answering the question for which target group the pitch deck is intended, founders lay the foundation for their presentation. A pitch deck can be important, for example, to convince a jury, to win over a business angel or to receive money from a traditional VC.
Juries often primarily evaluate the idea behind the start-up without already demanding very concrete financial figures. The VC will be much more interested in scalability. A business angel may expect a start-up in its early stages to have a concept that has been thought through down to the last detail. The following tips for the setup are mainly directed at pitch decks with which founders want to convince VCs.
15 slides are generally considered the absolute maximum for a presentation of one's own start-up; at best, twelve are already sufficient. A pitch deck should stimulate and arouse interest for more. Founders can still send a fully formulated business plan if a VC asks for it. In that case, the pitch deck would have already fulfilled its task. In addition: In slides generally only little text belongs, graphics or images usually seem more meaningful.
Typically, the first slide should describe the business idea in one sentence. The name of the start-up also belongs on the first page, and if already present, also a logo. There should also be a date on it - if only to signal how up-to-date the presentation is.
On the second page, the founders usually introduce themselves briefly. They briefly describe the role they play in their start-up and their qualifications. The second page is particularly important for gaining the trust of investors. They want to get an impression of who they would be dealing with in an investment.
Tip 2: Pay attention to a sensible structure
Theoretically, the following could be tinkered with a bit in the structure of the pitch desk. The most common approach is to describe the "problem" the startup wants to solve on the third slide. On the fourth slide, founders should address the solution that is, at best, only possible with their product. Following this, a more detailed description of the product or service is useful. If there are already pictures of the product, they belong on the fifth slide.
The target group:
Typically, slide six is followed by a consideration of the intended target audience: who would all buy the startup's product? What market share do founders want to capture in the long term? Here you need as concrete figures as possible. On the next page, founders should work out their unique selling proposition. Investors are already aware that there are usually competitors, but the presentation should clearly show why the start-up's product should be better.
Tip 3: Concrete figures are essential for survival
Part of fairness is that founders name their competitors. This is usually done on slide eight. A proper assessment of the competition also makes founders look more serious to VCs. It is very unlikely that there really are no competitors at all. Slide nine is about concrete numbers. Investors want to know how the startup plans to generate revenue.
On slide ten, founders should outline why their business model will work. Such proof of feasibility is particularly difficult for start-ups in the early phase. If this is not yet possible, for example, founders can list milestones achieved so far. The number of customers to date could also find its place here.
Slide eleven is crucial for investors. This is where the start-up's financing requirements are listed. Founders must explain here exactly how much money they need - and how they intend to use it. If an investor can understand these ideas, he will also turn to the last slide, on which the founders have to enter their e-mail address and a telephone number.
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