Startup Pitch Deck

In the past 5 years, I meet with hundreds of entrepreneurs and developers that were starting a new company.
In many cases, it was during a pitch or mentoring session.
I learn a lot from these meetings.

One surprising learning was a common intimidation from pitching your startup. If there is one thing that entrepreneurs are really afraid from is this moment of true, when they need to sell.

Let’s not get into the why here but focus on what can reduce this stress.

If you think about it, it’s a way for you to gain trust and show that you can deliver.
No one (with experience) want to see that you got all the answers but investors do want to see that you are thinking on the right issues and you have a plan. It’s true, that “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face” but it’s still valuable to see such a plan.

Here is the template for a good pitch deck.

The one I will use myself and tell my kid to use.
You can feel free to add slides but please keep in mind that your presentation should not be longer than 15 slides as you want to finish it under 20min and leave room for open conversation.

The slides

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Problem
  3. Value
  4. Competitive advantage
  5. Business model
  6. Go To Market Plan
  7. Competitors
  8. Team
  9. KPI and Financial projections
  10. Accomplishments
  11. How Much?
  12. Executive Summary


So let’s see what we should put on each slide.

Make sure you use a large font (28+) and less is more in terms of wording on the slides. You need to have one set of slides that you are presenting from (with few words) and another set of slides that contain much more text (could be in the notes) so you can send it to people in order to gain feedback.

  1. Executive Summary

    Your executive summary should be like a good espresso — short and bold!
    You need to impress the audience.
    If it won’t do it – They will open their phones and you lost them.
    It should contain:
    a. A short explanation on the idea and what you plan to do. Don’t be shy here. After all, you are building something wonderful, right?
    b. What is your competitive advantage? Why you can deliver it and make it happen?
    c. Where you are right now and what you accomplish to do so far.
    d. Finish it strong with vision and few near term key results you plan to reach.

  2. The Problem / Opportunity

    What is the problem and why it’s worth doing?
    If there is an opportunity here, describe the need and what is the size of the market.

  3. The Value

    What is the value of the solution you are going to provide? How much money/time/effort it will save or generate?
    Extra points, if you can show that it’s a ‘must have’ and people will be happy to pay for it.

  4. Competitive Advantage

    Do yourself a huge favor here, switch from slides to a ‘Live Demo’ and show your stuff.
    As someone smart said: “If one picture worth ten thousand words, a demo is worth 10,000 slides”. More on that can be found at ‘best seed pitch ever’. The idea here is to drive home the idea that you got something that no one else got. It might be a special talent, some intellectual property or new way to do things (faster, better, cheaper).

  5. Business Model (How will you make money?)

    What is the path to profitability? Is it going to be a SAAS model? selling license? service? ads? There are few options here and the best is to go with one of these strategies. You can learn more about it in my Udacity course on App Monetization.

  6. Go To Market Plan

    How are you taking your product to market and expose it to potential users?
    Are you going to use direct sales, channels, freemium or something else?
    What will be the cost of acquisition?

  7. Competitors (Visible/Hidden)

    An overview of what competitors your startup will need to win. Here you will
    build credibility by showing that you are aware of all the major visible competitors and even some hidden ones (that will fight with you on the same budget).
    Extra points for a nice chart the shows your strengths and weaknesses vis a vis your competitors.

  8. The A Team

    This is the most important part (at least to me). You should show here why it’s a dream team that can deliver. If you can show real data (=paying customers, growth numbers, retention % etc’) that support your claims – even better.
    Focus on the core people and their dedication and grit.

  9. KPI / Financial projections

    Forget the 5 years plan. But do try to give here a forecast for the next 12-24 months. What are the KPIs that you will move you forward?

  10. Accomplishments

    What is the current status? Try to show here how you did so much with so little and if you can have numbers that support your ‘Value’ and ‘Biz plan’ – even better.
    People like to argue but with data you can make your point quickly and effectively.
    This section should build trust that you can deliver.

  11. How Much? What you plan to do with it?

    Why do you need $1.4M?
    On what you are going to spend it?
    How much time it will give you?

  12. Executive Summary

    You can copy the first slide here. It’s a good slide to keep when you start the conversation. It’s the summary of everything, no?


Last but not least, Feel free to use this

pitch deck template

or browse around this good examples and some more.

Good luck!


4 thoughts on “Startup Pitch Deck

  1. Hi! Thanks for sharing this.

    May I understand how you relate the questions for

    Competitive Advantage with a software demo?
    Go-to-Market questions with the timeline slides on Slide 7? It’s not very clear to me how I can answer those questions in a timeline format.

    Thanks in advance!

    • greenido says:
      1. The competitive advantage you got should be clear with your demo. If in your case, you can’t show a live demo, I would try to show something else that make it clear that you got something unique. It could be in the way you do things: faster, cheaper, better or completely new thing that you bring to life.
      2. Your go to market plan should show a timeline (for the next 6-18 months) of what are the main actions/aspects you are going to do.

      I hope it helps!

  2. Hey Ido- You actually do a better job than most with this. The latest y-com one is annoying. You at least try drive the rationale of the thinking.

    Fundamentally I find these outlines super dangerous as founders try cookie cut copy them and there ends up being no narrative – founders don’t tell their story. But without pro help, sure, knowing what to actually cover is super useful.

    Yeah, I deal with a lot of decks and even started a company as was so sick of founders wasting time.

    In the words of a VC writing on Quora ‘ I have a metric fucktonne of resources…’ You reference some pitch deck examples, but in typical fashion, I’ve collated 102 funded decks, in case worth referencing:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s