The 10 most important elements of a startup pitch deck, backed by VCs, angel investors, and other experts — with real examples from founders

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What do investors want to see in startup pitch decks? For founders seeking funding for their companies, that’s the million-dollar (or multimillion-dollar) question. 

And it’s one Allison Byers, CEO of Scroobious, a new video pitching-platform for entrepreneurs, has set out to answer — for herself and for her community of startup founders.

After years of gathering personal pitching experience — first as the copresident and director of startup medical device company Digital Cognition Technologies (DCT), where she successfully helped raise $9.6 million for the company, and later by conducting market research on pitching and interviewing early-stage investors as groundwork for her current startup — Byers came up with 10 elements investors are looking to see covered in pitch decks.

“This was the result of hundreds of pitch deck iterations and no less than 100 pitch presentations,” Byers told Business Insider. She then put this list in front of dozens of investors, including angel, VC, private equity, and family office investors, asking if the slides covered what they wanted to see.

“The diverse set of investors I spoke with overwhelmingly supported this structure, and while no deck will make everyone happy, I believe these are the core elements to satisfy most,” she said.

Here’s a breakdown of the 10 key elements, with visual examples from real pitch decks.

1. A mission, vision, or origin story

The best mission statements are straightforward and take the guesswork out of what it is exactly the startup does. These first few slides are also a great place to share the company’s origin story — the reason for creating the company, a personal connection to a problem, and the founder’s expertise.

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“How would you explain what your company does to a third grader?” Byers said. “Use that language on your slide and in your presentation.”

Testing out a potential mission statement on friends and family and asking them to describe what your company does can also help. Most likely, they’ll restate your mission in even simpler terms. If they don’t, they were likely so confused by what you said they tuned out when you were talking.

A great example of a strong mission statement comes from participating Scroobious beta founder Demetri Harrison, founder and CEO of on-demand haircut and styling company Tunsure.

“He had crafted a vision statement in a format he thought investors wanted to see, but it was generalized and didn’t convey the root of his vision for his company,” Byers said. “We got to the heart of his origin story and put his mission in language anyone can understand and relate to.”

2. The problem

Founders have the unenviable job of convincing investors the problem they’re looking to solve is real and needs to be addressed ASAP.

To do that, Byers suggested quantifying the problem in terms of dollars or other figures. 

As with the mission statement, these pain points need to be addressed in plain language that’s accessible to the average individual.

“It can also be good to phrase the problem in terms of the opportunity it presents,” Byers said.

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Source:: Businessinsider – Tech

      

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