Use These 10 Slides for Your Startup Pitch

Are you preparing a presentation on your great business idea or startup? Here’s a checklist for a ten-slide presentation. I’ve collected this information from several sources. My main sources of inspiration have been Jean-Pierre Vuilleumier, Guy Kawasaki, Brad Feld, and David Cowan.

The presentation should not be a list of bullet points, as this checklist. Instead, use infographics, photos, and short captions to tell the story. People will listen or read – they will not do both! You can hand out a more detailed version after the presentation.

Cover slide

  • Your captivating tagline
  • Your vision or mission
  • Your contact information

1. The Problem

  • Plausible problem description, illustrated with a short personal story, if possible
  • Is it a real problem (not only my own one)?
  • What happens if we do not solve it?
  • How big is the market opportunity?
  • How established (or nascent) is the market?
  • Do you have a credible claim on being one of the top two or three players in the market?

2. Your Solution

  • What is your product/service?
  • How does it solve your customer’s problem?
  • What is unique about your product/service?
  • What are the benefits of your solution?

3. Business Model

  • How do you make money?
  • What resources and partnerships will you need?
  • What costs do you need to cover?
  • What is required to become profitable?

4. Underlying Magic/Technology

  • Less words, more diagrams, flowcharts and pictures
  • Bring prototype along, show it, results of studies
  • Intellectual protection strategy

5. Marketing and Sales

  • Who are your customers (list)?
  • How will you reach the target customer?
  • What is your sales, marketing and distribution strategy?
  • What is the current sales pipeline?
  • Always mention market research studies source (Forrester etc)

6. Competition

  • Who is your existing & likely competition?
  • What are the competing technologies?
  • Who is adjacent to you (in the market) that could enter your market (and compete) or could be a co-opted partner?
  • What are their strengths/weaknesses?
  • Why are you different?

7. Team

  • Who is your management team?
  • What is their experience?
  • What pieces are missing and what is the plan for filling them?

8. Projections and Milestones

  • No graphs (investors prefer financials in a table)
  • For each time period, add headcount and cash balance. It should be clear how you expect the company to perform top line and bottom line three years out, and how much capital will be required now and later.
  • Pricing and quantities could be helpful
  • What funds have already been raised?
  • How much money are you raising and at what valuation?
  • How will the money be spent?
  • How long will it last and where will the company “be” on its milestones progress at that time?
  • How much additional funding do you anticipate raising & when?

9. Status and Timeline

  • What is your stage of development (technology/product, team, financial metrics/revenues)?
  • What has been the progress to date (make reality and future clear)?
  • What are your future milestones?

10. Summary and Call to Action

  • Summary of what you are offering, and why it is a feasible investment
  • What are the proposed next steps?
  • Questions/answers

Aarni Heiskanen, AE Partners

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