How Many Slides is A Pitch Deck?

How many slides should be in your pitch deck? Knowing how many slides are best is a typical question the entrepreneur asks. The pitch deck question usually follows the query about a business model, and most entrepreneurs find many questions when it’s time to raise funding.

The number of slides in a deck is still one of the most common things entrepreneurs and founders get stuck on. Some just don’t provide the information that investors want (and they don’t have enough time to bother to ask instead of just deleting your presentation). More commonly, startup fundraisers struggle with boiling down their idea and plan to a few key slides that show they can focus and simplify it enough for investors to make a favorable decision.

No matter how much they are advised to keep the slide count down, even the smartest and most talented engineers in the world struggle with it. This is not somewhere you want to be stuck. You need to just get to presenting and putting that money in the account so that you can get out there and do the business.

If you absolutely must, at least have a couple of variations of length for your pitch deck. One that will work for getting their attention and some follow up. Then a more in-depth version that makes you happy about getting it all out on the screen.

Here are three variations you can use, from super short and sweet for scenarios like public crowdfunding sites, to the meaty for showing the detailed and analytic investor.

The Short 5 Slide Pitch Deck

If you need a publicly published deck that doesn’t give too much proprietary information away, or you are at a super early stage and plan to use these funds to continue to explore the idea and market, then you don’t need a financial slide.

  1. Title slide
  2. The problem
  3. The solution
  4. Team slide
  5. Status and use of funds

The Medium Length 10 Page Pitch Deck From Guy Kawasaki

Brand evangelist and investor Guy Kawasaki says that you must be able to deliver your presentation in under 20 minutes. These are the 10 slides he recommends for achieving that.

  1. Title
  2. Problem/opportunity
  3. Value proposition
  4. Underlying magic
  5. Business model
  6. Go to market plan
  7. Competitive analysis
  8. Management team
  9. Financial projections
  10. Current status, accomplishments, and use of funds

The Long 20 Page Pitch Deck

If you really can’t control yourself or have investors you already personally know who have specifically requested more depth before they can get you the money, this is as long as you want to go. If you can’t do it in 20 slides, the chances are that you need to go back and start from scratch with a new idea, at least hire some pro help that can boil it down further, or spend some time with a fundraising advisor.

  1. Cover slide
  2. Company information
  3. The concept
  4. The problem
  5. The solution
  6. Market size
  7. The competition
  8. Competitive advantages
  9. The Product
  10. Customers
  11. Feedback
  12. Traction
  13. Business model
  14. Financials
  15. Financial forecast
  16. Other investors
  17. Team slide
  18. Use of funds
  19. Next milestones
  20. Contact information

My 16: The Slides You Need To Get Your Startup Funded

From my experience launching companies and fundraising to interviewing 200 of the most accomplished founders on the Dealmakers Podcast, to consulting others on raising and exiting their startups, these are the 16 slides I recommend for the perfect deck that gets funded, and which I’d share with other investors.

  1. Cover
  2. Problem
  3. Solution
  4. Market Size
  5. Competition
  6. Competitive Advantage
  7. Product
  8. Traction
  9. Customers and Engagement
  10. Business Model
  11. Financials
  12. Amount Being Raised and Other Investors
  13. Use of Funds
  14. Team
  15. Advisors
  16. Back Cover

The cover slide

Make sure you include your personal contact information here. Your logo and company name also goes on this slide.

The problem

What inspired you to take on this adventure? What really big and pressing urgent problem are you fixing for others? Tell a great story to accompany this slide.

The solution

How are you replacing this pain with more pleasure? Hone in on just one main thing you are focused on solving.

Market size

There is a lot more riding on the size of this opportunity than you think. Not only your ability to get funded but how much sense it will continue pursuing in the next year or two.

The competition

Use a graphic to quickly display and convey your position in the market in relation to your competitors. Put your company in the top right corner.

Your competitive advantages

Add a few bullet points here to demonstrate quickly how your startup is superior. It could be price, IP, speed, quality, or the strength of your team.

The product

What is the product that you are packaging up to sell to your customers? Use pictures if you can.

Traction

Show what you’ve accomplished so far and how fast you are growing. You can use sales, revenues, customer acquisition, profits, or revenue per employee.

The business model

What’s your business model? How will you make real money and profits? Can you use a graphic? Can you show superior operating margins in comparison to your competitors?

Financials

If you’ve already been doing business, show your numbers. How many customers do you have? Annual revenues? Net income? Forecast these numbers for the next 3 to 5 years.

Raise and other investors.

How much have you raised already? Who else has invested? Who is leading this round?

Use of funds

How will you divide up and use the money raised in this round to get to the next one?

Team

Who are the awesome people on your team that are great for these investors to bet on?

Advisors

Who are your advisors? What celebrity or experience do they bring to the team?

Back cover

Thank them for making it this far, and once again, make sure you include your direct contact information.

Leslie Wilder

I’m a Creative Writer, I’m also a a self-proclaimed happiness junkie,and someone you would generally consider confident and well balanced. I would say it is more accurate to say that I live a normal life along with all the usual stresses that come with life and running a business. But. no matter how messy my hair is, or how much falling apart I seem to be doing at the moment, I LOVE IT ALL!

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