As an early stage company, you have more questions than answers. Accelerators, challenges, and investors understand that. At Urban.Us, we feel that the best pitch decks cover 4 goals :
- Making it clear what you understand and are excited about.
- Clarifying what you don’t know or are concerned with (risks).
- Showing why this is a problem worth solving and why you are the team to solve it.
- Detailing the evidence(traction) that your approach is working.
We’ve seen a lot of startup pitch decks that are missing those key insights as well as some other basic components. Including these key components will increase your chances of getting a response from potential funders.
Here are the components we look for at Urban.Us :
The Team – What are the highlights of your background, particularly as they are related to this venture? What makes your team special?
The Problem – Why is this a huge problem or currently missed opportunity?
The Solution – What is your solution and why is it unique? Where is the product in the development cycle? How much of it is usable today?
The Growth Plan – How do you plan on growing your user / customer base? It’s important here to focus on unique growth strategies or highlighting how you are going to leverage existing growth trends.
The Competition – Who else is working on this problem? Please avoid stating that you do not have any competition. Even if there are adjacent solutions currently masking the problem, you should still identify how the market will be able to perceive the advantage of your solution over existing ones.
Partnerships and Transaction – How have you validated what you are working on with other people? What social or market proof can you provide that shows your viability?
Financial Needs and Plan – How much have you raised in the past? How much are you raising now? Where are you with the current fundraise (funds committed and by what key investors)? What do you plan on doing with the funds?
Appendix – What are the risks and how are you going to mitigate them? What are the references you are using to gather your data?
While we don’t expect the exact same structure or chronology in every pitch deck, we do want to see these areas covered at some point in the material submitted. Another good reference is the Sequoia post on Writing a business plan.