- Viknesh Silvalingam
Building an Executive Pitch Deck for 2021
With 2021 approaching, one of the goals for a young startup like ours is to get some investors on board. It's often been taught that you would need a pitch deck if you want to get some investment money. The idea of building a pitch deck is not new to me I had to create a deck to raise funds for the 2 feature films that I produced. What is a pitch deck? A pitch deck is a quick overview visual presentation of your business plan to your potential investors (1*). Oftentimes, this financing will come from external sources (not your family or friends, unless they are VCs themselves) This means that you’ll need to communicate your ideas to potential financiers in a way that gets them excited about investing in your business.
However contrary to beliefs, the objective of your pitch deck is not to raise money but to get to the next meeting. You will be presenting your ideas to the gatekeepers of the money that you so dearly need. Once your idea has sparked their interest and is convinced that it's the next big thing, it is then you will have the real meeting for the money where they would request for more information.
At the moment our team is building our pitch deck and below are the topics that we are including in our PowerPoint slides.
1. Vision and value proposition
This slide will create a great first impression by communicating our value proposition ( what we are and what we want to achieve) in a single sentence phrase.
In true tech fashion, we can compare our value proposition to another well-known company. "Netflix for shoes". However, we have to make sure that it makes sense and not piggybacking the success of a high-profile company to signify growth potential.
2. Problem and opportunity
There is a problem within the filmmaking community that we are looking to solve within our target audience which the market isn't addressing.
We will be including at least 2 problems that our product will solve.
3. The solution
Every problem should have a solution and, and we will clearly and concisely indicate how we intend to solve the highlighted problems.
Making sure to be focusing on how our customers will react to our product rather than the product itself.
4. Revenue model or business model
This may be the most important slide in the entire pitch deck. How are we going to make money? How much to charge and who pays the bill?
There are some business models that allow a product to be free for the users because the advertisers pay the bills. This something that we would need to consider and include with as many details as possible.
5. Traction and validation/roadmap
Currently, we have some early adopters using our product actively. An active user group is appealing to the investors as it will indicate potential and market need for the product.
Also, a roadmap outlining our key milestones will be helpful to showcase our vision for the company.
6. Marketing and sales strategy
In the past year, our marketing team has been working to varying levels of success to spread awareness of our product. This information along with our future strategies will be included in the deck.
Finding and winning customers(2*) can sometimes be the biggest challenge for a startup, so it’s important to show that we have a solid grasp of how we will reach our target market and what sales channels we plan on using.
In my last blog, I mentioned that we are now a team of 3. Our team now has the required experience and expertise to build and grow this company. The deck will include information about the members.
We will also identify the key areas that we need to fill.
How are we going to manage our competitors? Even though we don't have any direct competitors as our product is opening up a new market, our potential customers are using alternative solutions to solve their problems today.
We will describe how different we are from the competition and the alternatives. Explain what is our "secret sauce " why our customers will choose us.
9. Investment and use of funds
The reason why we are doing this is for the money. But more importantly, this slide is to show how we are going to spend it and how it will help achieve our business goals.
Ultimately creating this pitch deck is a process that will force us to examine how practical our idea is. It will highlight any fundamental problems, guide us to find the solutions and strengthen our business model. For many startups, the pitch deck is everything, particularly in the pre-seed stage. Working out the details – untangling the great ideas from those that are unrealistic or unnecessary – is the first step to creating a successful business. Fast, cheap, and low risk, the prototype pitch deck is critical for transforming a great startup idea into a realistic business model.
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