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  • Writer's pictureThomas Shelbourn

7 Key Things We Look For in a Pitch Deck

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

We share how you can make your pitch deck shine in front of investors and even provide a sample pitch deck template to get you started

At WilkinsonFuture we have the pleasure of reading countless pitch decks from start-up companies looking to raise venture capital investment. We're often asked what makes a good pitch deck. From an investors perspective, the best pitch decks provide a concise and informative snapshot of the business: the problem you are tackling, the solution that you bring, and the the economics of how the business is going to work and (eventually) support itself financially.

Below we'll highlight some of the most important things to think about when putting together your pitch deck and we'll also mention some of the things that run through our minds as an investor whilst reading through your pitch decks.

1: Problem & Solution

This point seems strikingly obvious, but precisely and concisely outlining the problem your product or service solves is the most crucial part of any pitch deck. We want to get to know what the problem is and how you're solving it. How does the problem affect your target customer? Do solutions currently exist, and if so what's wrong with them? What makes your solution compelling to people, and why is now the right time to be solving the problem?

From the investors point of view:

  • Is there a genuine problem that needs to be solved here?

  • Is there a clear enough focus or is the team trying to solve too many problems?

  • What is the significance of the problem, and how impactful would a solution be?

  • Is the timing right? Is there a need to address this issue long into the future?

2: Market Size

Understanding the size of your market is key for any business. The more people the problem affects, the more impactful the solution is, and the greater the opportunity. How many customers could there be for your product? How many do you expect to actually buy it, and why? Looking to the future, is the market growing or shrinking?

Think about your plan to take your product to the market, and that should help inform your thoughts about the total addressable market vs your obtainable market. Nobody expects you to take over a market next week, but we do want to see where you're going to start and where you're headed. The very best pitch decks give some genuine thought to this, rather than simply highlighting a multi-billion pound market and hoping to capture a small percentage of it.

From the investors point of view:

  • Is this market too small given the investment required?

  • Which segment of the market is the company looking to target?

  • What does this market look like in the future? Are we solving a problem that's only temporary?

3: Product

People buy with their eyes and investors are no different. Pictures of the product help investors visualise what customers will be buying into. What does the product look like? How does it work? What are the key features we should be aware of? Is it one product or multiple products?

It's also useful to mention any future iterations of the product or additional products you've got in the pipeline and how far along you are with the development of those ideas and features.

From the investors point of view:

  • Do we think people will actually buy this product?

  • Is this a product someone buys once, or multiple times?

  • Is there intellectual property (or an IP opportunity) with the product, or are we simply relying on branding / first mover advantage?

4: Competition

Demonstrating that you have a great handle on what else is out there in the market gives investors confidence that you know what you're up against. It also helps us quickly identify what value your product brings when compared to the competition.

A good starting point is to put yourselves in the shoes of your target customer and think about what products they would consider when trying to solve the problem your product is also trying to solve. What is the price? How does the performance compare? What are the differentiating features? What is the scale and distribution of these competitor products?

From the investors point of view:

  • What specifically makes this product better than the competition?

  • Is there a clear value add here, or is it simply another product solving exactly the same problem at a similar price point?

  • Who are we up against and how well resourced are they? Are we competing against small companies or multinational players?

5: Business Model

Showing how the business is going to make money and eventually support itself financially is crucial for us to understand how investable the product is.

What are the unit economics of your product? How much does it cost to make? How much are you selling it for? How are you going to sell it? What is the the customer pipeline? Are customers purchasing once, or are they coming back again and again? How do these figures change with scale?

From the investors point of view:

  • Are the unit economics sufficient to make a profit given the desired routes to market?

  • How can we test these figures to make sure they are truly accurate?

  • What market validation has been done to give us comfort that the assumptions work in the marketplace?

6: The Team

Great companies have great teams. Investors want to see who is going to make the business successful and how they are in a position to make it successful. Getting comfort that the team can lead the business is as important as the investability of the product itself. Include information about the core team and any advisors, organisations or companies who are supporting the journey.

What background experience do the team have? What has brought the team together? Do the team have any past experience with entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship? How do each person's skills complement each other?

From the investors point of view:

  • Does this team have the right expertise to bring this product to market successfully?

  • Where are the gaps?

  • Where can we add value?

  • Are key people appropriately incentivised?

7: Financials

Investors need to see how the business is going to support itself, and crucially how long it's going to take to get to that point. This point expands upon the unit economics and the business model covered in Point 5 above. Most decks we see will include a basic financial forecast detailing the projected sales and costs of the business. If not, it's one of the first things we'll ask for following an initial pitch.

How long until the business reaches profitability? How much external cash does the business need before it can generate its own cash? Will the business need to raise additional capital in the future? What does the current ownership structure look like and how will it change? How much equity are you offering in exchange for the ask?

From the investors point of view:

  • Is the business going to have enough cash to achieve milestones within a certain period of time?

  • What will be the uses of our cash investment?

  • What cash buffer is there if things take longer than expected?

  • Is our ownership going to get diluted in the future?

  • Is the valuation reasonable in the marketplace?

Helpful Resources & Next Steps

The team at WilkinsonFuture have put together a basic template you can use to start putting your pitch deck together. Click below to download:

WilkinsonFuture Pitch Deck Template
Download PDF • 473KB

WilkinsonFuture Pitch Deck Template
Download PPTX • 583KB

It's also a good idea to have a look at pitch decks that other companies have put together to give you some further inspiration. The team at PitchDeckHunt have compiled sample pitch decks from some of the most famous startup businesses to raise venture capital over the past decade.

Spending the time to put together a great pitch deck is key to really make your business stand out to investors. Keep things simple and impactful. We really look forward to reading your pitch deck and learning more about your business. Please do not hesitate to contact us when you're ready!

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