Founder Resource: The Ultimate Pitch Deck Checklist: Impress Investors and Secure Funding

By Scott D. Witt

A well-prepared pitch deck is crucial when you’re looking to secure funding for your startup. It’s your chance to showcase your business idea and convince investors you’re worth their time and money. Inspired by our recent discussion with Evaluation Committee member Scott Witt, we’ve compiled a comprehensive ‘Pitch Deck Checklist’ to help founders present their ideas more effectively and contribute to the startup ecosystem through education and efficiency.

Present Sales Projections as a Table

Avoid using graphs for your sales projections or income statement. Instead, present this data in a table format that clearly illustrates how long your startup will take to achieve a venture capitalist’s (VC) traditional target sales level (approximately $50-$100M/year).

Use a Bottoms-Up Model

Demonstrate the thinking and structure behind your financial projections by including a) Critical numbers such as unit prices, sales, and the number of distributors, customers, and employees. b) Key assumptions behind your projection, like when competitors may enter the market and impact your numbers.

Highlight Multiple Revenue Streams

If your startup has multiple revenue streams, show high-level numbers for each.

Include a Use of Funds Page

Detail how you’ll allocate the funds you seek: a) Present the breakdown in dollars, not percentages. b) Connect spending to achieving specific outcomes, like meeting milestones in your roadmap whenever possible.

Provide Meaningful Insights about Your Competition

Offer valuable information on your competitors, including their strengths, weaknesses, and likely responses to your market strategies.

Include Key Points of Your Business Model and Strategy

Explain how you plan to succeed in a highly competitive market by outlining your business model and strategy.

The Value of a Good Checklist:

A well-designed checklist benefits the startup ecosystem in two main ways:

  1. Education: By helping founders understand what investors need to see in a pitch deck, a good checklist encourages them to delve deeper into their financials and develop business plans that are attractive investment opportunities. Regular events and programs, like workshops and office hours, can further support this educational process.
  2. Efficiency: With a clear checklist, investors can focus on the most promising startups, avoiding those that don’t meet the criteria for venture investment. This saves valuable time for both founders and investors.

A comprehensive pitch deck checklist guides founders in creating a persuasive presentation and fosters a more efficient and educational ecosystem for startups and investors alike. By following this checklist, you’ll be well on your way to impressing investors and securing your startup’s funding to succeed.