How to Create A Pitch Deck

How to Create A Pitch Deck

Are you looking to raise money?

Whether you’re a pre-seed, seed, or Series A startup, we can all agree that it is so much easier to talk to investors when they ‘get’ what it is that your company does. As an entrepreneur, you will have to pitch your company often. A poorly executed pitch can leave prospective investors unconvinced, even if you do have an incredible product.

That said, how you present your company is incredibly important and that begins with your pitch deck — it’s the first touchpoint for prospective investors and for better or worse it sets the tone for how your company will likely be perceived . A great pitch deck is one that tells a story that is both clear and concise. [more on this notion of storytelling shortly]

At Oui Capital, we’ve received and reviewed hundreds of pitch decks and see a lot of the same mistakes being repeated. So, in an effort to help you put your best foot forward and make our lives a tad bit easier, we have put together an overview of how to build a great pitch deck.

As we go through the key components of an effective pitch deck, we want you to remember that It’s not just about the slides, but the story.

Still Interested?

Let’s Get started….

The Structure of Your Story

Your cover page

For your opening slide, you want to capture the audience’s interest so they pay attention. To capture that attention and to help them remember you, always open your pitch with the single most memorable line about your startup or business.

This could be a tagline or a short description of your Company. Which would come after your:

  • Company’s Name
  • Logo; and
  • Date

The Need or Problem

Your next slide should discuss the problem that needs to be solved.

In this slide, discuss what pain points you have identified and the affected demographic(s).

In this section, try to:

  1. Underline the problems that your target audience faces and how they are negatively impacted. (i.e. time, money, frustration)
  2. It usually starts with a shift! Articulate succinctly what has changed and why the current solutions do not work.

Through this, you provide context for why the problem needs to be solved.

The Solution

After setting up the problem, it is time to present the solution.

In your solution, talk about the company’s unique and compelling value proposition. Your solution should present a deep understanding of your customer’s wants and needs.

More specifically, Use cases — ‘narrative’ is important here. A great way to think of this is clarity of purpose, spend time in articulating a strong narrative. It helps to use actual examples that people can relate to, this way you increase the likelihood that your solution resonates with your prospective investors.

Another key thing to communicate on this slide, is that the company is in fact scalable. With this in mind, you should show that 1) your product(s) or service(s) can generate additional value through continued development; and 2) your company has a growable customer base.

How It Works

Drive home your product’s value by making sure your audience understands what your product or service does.

Create a 1–2 min demo showing off your solution — it could be a short film, screenshots, a ScreenFlow or even a mock-up. Guide prospective investors through the first-time user experience and highlight 4–5 of the standout features. Make us go wow — but don’t overwhelm us with the details.

Business Model

Now that you’ve talked about your product or service, this next slide should layout how your business generates revenue.

Prospective investors want to see a clear path towards profitability, as it increases the likelihood that they receive a return on their investment. Business models should be broken down by product/ service with pricing details — by tiers and or volume. As you put this information together, consider how it compares to other companies in the industry, such analysis will help your reader gain better context.


For your traction slide, you need to answer the question — What has your company accomplished to date?

You would also need to emphasise the significant milestones you’ve hit in: funding, product, users, downloads, revenue, growth, endorsements, partnerships, etc. since launch or beta. If you are yet to launch, then talk about your sign-up or proof-of-concept studies. The more mature the company is, the more metrics you will be expected to provide.

Market Opportunity

When weighing in on your market opportunity, there are two ways to go:

Top-down and bottom-up.

The top-down approach determines the total market and estimates your possible share of it. The bottom-up method ascertains the market for similar products, the number sold, and what percentage of those sales could be yours.

Either way, you go, it is crucial to highlight your market.

Two key things to consider as you go about estimating your market:

  1. Don’t conflate addressable and/or serviceable addressable with obtainable:
  • Total addressable market (total demand in market for your product/service)
  • Serviceable available market (segment of total demand targeted by your product/service)
  • Serviceable obtainable market ( the portion of the segment demand you can realistically obtain)

2. Cite sources for key assumptions, and be prepared to defend your estimates — a high-level build-up of the calculations provides more transparency into how you, the founder see the market opportunity.

Competitive landscape

An important question asked at almost every pitch meeting is: “Are there other companies that provide/offer similar services or products?”

The question usually creates the most friction and if not answered correctly, it gives off the impression that the founder lacks awareness. The competition slide presents an opportunity to a) demonstrate an understanding of the competitive landscape, and b) emphasise how you intend to set your company apart from the crowd.

The Team

The team is presumably one of the most relevant slides in any pitch deck. Why? prospective investors want to know who is running the company and what makes them uniquely qualified.

This is particularly important if you are working on a complex or regulated problem. Having expertise in house to tackle these problems is crucial.

So when discussing your team, a few things of interest are:

  • How many founders?
  • Is there a technical co-founder?
  • How long have you known each other?
  • Is everyone working full time?
  • What is the equity split among the founders?

The Roadmap

We’ve got a sense of your company’s past and present, but where is this going in the future? Here we are looking to you, the founder to articulate product testing and launch timelines, customer and revenue growth targets. This is what your investors will measure you against in board meetings after you complete the raise.

The Ask

What do you want from prospective investors? This is where you talk about how much you are looking to raise, and why. Funding the next stage of growth? Specify how the funds will be allocated by function, e.g sales, product development, marketing. This should align with your roadmap.

In Closing

All that said, creating a great pitch deck is hard work — trust us, we know (VCs make pitches too, to prospective limited partners). For the best results, we recommend getting feedback on your braintrust and iterating accordingly. It goes without saying, you should not be soliciting prospective investors using the first draft of your pitch deck.

When you are done perfecting your pitch deck, be sure to send it to us in PDF format, from your company email address .


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Partner/Principal Consulting At EY

How to Create A Pitch Deck

Executive with a passion for advocating for and investing in people. I desire to facilitate opportunities for people to reach their highest potential.

Managing Director, Fidelity Investments

How to Create A Pitch Deck

At Fine Structure Ventures, a venture capital fund affiliated with FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments we focus on early stage investments in disruptive scientific and technological innovation.

Prior to this fund, I led investments in deep tech (AI, Robotics, Blockchain, Crypto, HPC, etc.) over 15 years for funds at Applied Crypto Ventures, F-Prime Capital, Eight Roads, and Fidelity Ventures.

I am a follower of the globalization of innovation and enjoy engaging with leading regional funds as an advisor: Pillar VC (Boston), Kae Capital(Mumbai), and Oui Capital (Lagos). This follows a long career as a technology entrepreneur, operator, investor, and dealmaker for over 20 years.

I frequently take on operating roles in startups, and in recent years, I have led strategic business development for startups like Tactai (haptics and virtual reality) and ownCloud (cloud file storage). Previously, I led business development efforts at RSA’s Data Security Division and drove the relationship that led to the $2.3B acquisition of RSA by EMC in June 2006 (largest tech deal that year).

I earned dual MBAs from Columbia Business School and London Business School; an MSEE from Clarkson University, and a BE in Comp. Engg. from Mumbai University.

Follow my analytical writings at or on twitter (@kamadoll)

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Managing Director, Foundry Group

How to Create A Pitch Deck

Author of The New Builders – a look a the changing nature of entrepreneurship in America today. Available for pre-order now!

Financial and operations background – venture capital/private equity/corporate development/mergers and acquisitions

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Corporate Development
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